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Take a Sip

Located in the heart of Gregory Street, Osk Bar has brought a “big city feel” to Townsville with its ambitious and unique cocktails that has made it the go-to destination for those seeking a high-end experience. 

Drawing from their expertise managing hospitality venues for the better part of five years, including establishing renowned local restaurant Matte Black Violet, business owners Scott Stalker and Marissa Seeley were inspired to bring a new and completely different cocktail experience to the Townsville market in April of last year. 

“The hardest thing is bringing your vision to life. Deciding how we design the venue, the menu, the drinks, the uniforms, the lighting, the furniture and even the fragrance to deliver the exact feeling that we want,” explains Scott. 

“Every business we have owned across four different industries has taught us something completely new, and even now I love knowing that I’m going to look back on Osk in five years time and see so many things I would have done completely differently.”

The couple and their five staff members spend their weeks making anywhere between 800 – 1200 cocktails, including their most popular drink, ‘Pornstar,’ which is served with a huge smoke bubble on top. Scott says Osk Bar has been their most successful venture to date, which he credits to the culmination of lessons he and Marissa gained from their previous businesses. 

“Each business has been better than the last. The reason we are so pumped about ‘learning from your mistakes’ is because Osk is a perfect example of what happens if you continually and patiently work on each aspect of business,” he continues. 

“In terms of statistical parameters, Osk is certainly the most profitable business we have had, which is great, but what makes it truly the most successful is that our customers are genuinely the happiest and most satisfied we have ever seen in all of our businesses thus far.”

The pair are the first to admit that they aren’t afraid of “risking every dollar” and whilst Scott says he doesn’t recommend this business approach, he does acknowledge it has added another dimension to the business and enabled them to go all in.  

“We are trying to do things we shouldn’t really be able to do, we don’t have family with capital or experience, our lending ability is non-existent, so we take a certain level of risk and live a certain kind of lifestyle that enables us to achieve the things we want,” adds Scott.

“It’s not something we recommend as a business approach as it adds another layer of stress and risk, and we understand that we won’t always have the fortitude to continue this way, but in business and in life, it is important to drown out everyone’s opinions and do what is best for you and your current situation and goals.”

As Osk Bar fast approaches the one year mark, Scott says they are continuing to refine their processes to ensure it remains as the number one illusive cocktail experience in the region. 

“Now that Osk is up and running, it’s about working on our weaknesses, building up those quieter days, training staff and working on consistency,” he continues. 

“It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your successes and failures and if you don’t take responsibility and acknowledge both what you do well and what you need to do better in business, the competitive market will swallow you up.

“Business is hard, if you’re not taking every opportunity to fail, to learn and improve then you’re leaving a lot on the table.”

By Georgie Desailly. 

Photography Credit: 537 Media

Georgie Desailly

Georgie Desailly

Georgie is BDmag’s resident writer who is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional affairs. She is preparing to study with The School of The New York Times later this year before commencing her journalism qualifications.