A Day in the Life: He loves meeting locals

John Mulcahy, Tommy's General Manager, Lismore. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
John Mulcahy, Tommy's General Manager, Lismore. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

JOHN Mulcahy has owned 17 pubs and clubs in his lifetime.

He is a third generation publican and has travelled the country transforming venues from ruins to riches.

James Packer and Alan Jones have dined at one of his establishments and he was once stabbed, but the knife hit his belt buckle.

Mr Mulcahy knows how to break up a fight, defend his staff in a shooting, but most importantly; he knows a thing or two about pouring a beer.

As general manager at Tommys in Lismore, the publican is in the middle of the venue's busiest period of the year.

"It's been crazy," Mr Mulcahy said, adding he usually works an 18-hour day on Saturdays.

He starts his day around 7.30am when he takes care of administration for the venue. By lunchtime he's on the floor of the restaurant serving meals or washing the dishes with the team before getting behind the bar to do his favourite job - meeting the punters.

"I don't like to run things from the office, I have a very front-of-house management style," Mr Mulcahy said.

"My favourite thing about the job is all the different people you get to meet."

After recently moving from a small town near Emerald to get Tommys back on its feet, Mr Mulcahy said the clientele at the venue have steadily increased.

In all Mr Mulcahy's years as a publican he said he has learnt the art of conflict resolution.

He said as venues have moved and changed with the times and the concept of a pub as the meeting place of the community has been pushed aside in favour of poker machines, the traditional role of the publican is no longer the same.

Mr Mulcahy said this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

"In the old days, the publican dealt with everything from fights to cleaning and he was all about good service," Mr Mulcahy said.

"But as the pub culture changes and the police get more involved, things do improve in that sense."



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