Having a degree in chemistry is a valuable asset when making cocktails, according to Jonathan Stathakis, Bar Manager at Saké Restaurant & Bar.

“When it comes to creating cocktails, I think very systematically,” says Jonathan. “I have a sound understanding of organic chemistry and know if elements are going to work together to create something spectacular, or if they’re going to fail.”

The 27-year-old Sydneysider studied Chemistry at the University of Western Sydney, graduating in 2012. He most recently put his knowledge to the test when he helped create the cocktail menu at Saké Manly, on the new rooftop of Manly Wharf.

“I’m very proud of the drinks we’ve created, in particular the gin bowls made from botanicals and various delicious tonics,” he says. “The cocktails perfectly enhance Saké’s super-fusion reputation and we’ve drawn inspiration from Manly’s beachside location to create something really quite unique.”

Jonathan has been in the bartending trade for nearly a decade. His career started at Café Sydney in 2010.

After a year, Jonathan began bartending at Rockpool Dining Group’s The Argyle, before moving to Merivale Group where he worked behind the bar at various restaurants. There, his knowledge and love of wine grew, and a keen interest in Japanese spirits saw him return to the Rockpool fold and take a Bar Supervisor position at Saké The Rocks in 2016.

Jonathan’s talent was recognised and Rockpool Dining Group’s culture of supporting and promoting hard-working team members with leadership potential has seen him promoted to Bar Manager for Saké in The Rocks and Double Bay, and now Saké Manly.

“Saké Manly is a fabulous dining destination,” he says. “It’s a fresh and invigorated Saké, one which Sydney hasn’t seen before. The restaurant is laid-back and approachable, the premium new menu is exquisite, and the cocktails are magnificent – even if I do say so myself.”


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