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Luke O'Callaghan, Manager, Grand Central Social

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018 4:36pm

Name and position: Luke O'Callaghan, Manager, Grand Central Social

Age: 28

Lives: Dublin Hill

Family: One sister called Molly, my mother Margaret and my father Edwin.

Pets: Three dogs – Joey, Crunchie and Lily

Favourite thing about Cork: The food, culture and the nightlife, in particular the variety and quality on offer in the city.

Least favourite thing about Cork: Sometimes I find that everyone knows everyone else's business!

One thing you’d change about Cork: Nothing - it would lose its charm if you tried to change anything. 

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

Funnily enough, my parents always say that I wanted to be a train engineer or driver, and now I work in a bar named after the most iconic train station in the world!

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I started as a floor staff member in Gorby's straight out of secondary school. As I began to rise through the ranks, I started to realise that I have a passion for the hospitality industry. I eventually got my first management role in BarBarossa in 2015. Most recently, I spent a year in Toronto before returning to Cork and undertaking Grand Central Social. It's really been a huge help to have worked for the same people for most of my career; there's a great trust and understanding between us.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I'm definitely a people person and getting to work with people in such a hands-on environment is the most enjoyable part of what I do.

What motivates you?

I'm really competitive by nature. I hate to fail or to lose.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Explore all options while you're young. Don't get tunnel vision by focusing on one thing.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

If I wasn't doing this, then sports journalism is always something that has really interested me.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

My greatest career achievement has been managing a bar that is about to open, from marketing it to being heavily involved in all the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to get a new place open and have it be successful.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My girlfriend. She has been my best friend and part guidance counsellor through our move to Canada, and now again with a project as big as getting a new bar up and running.

What is the life dream now?

Making Grand Central Social stand out as Cork’s best bar and maintaining that reputation. Then, maybe to have a place of my own some day.

How do you switch off?

Sports. That's definitely my therapy, whether it's playing or watching.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

It's not just one memory, but I think the buzz around the city on Jazz Weekend is unbelievable. I'm really excited about the line-up for Guinness Cork Jazz Weekend at Grand Central Social and seeing if we can make Washington Street known as a great jazz spot going forward.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Pretty much anywhere down west. Just once it’s quiet, cosy and I can get a decent pint of stout.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

My most overused one is ‘Go for it, you could be dead tomorrow’.

When are you at your happiest?

Taking the dogs out for a really long walk.

Any regrets?

Nope. There's no point living in regret. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.

What is your hidden talent?

It's hidden so deep that I haven't found it yet!

What might we be surprised to know about you?

Nothing really. I'm an open book.

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