Shawn Soole exported himself from Australia over 10 years ago to Canada. Based in Victoria since arriving, Shawn has helped evolve Victoria into a world-renowned cocktail destination. Since taking the reigns of Clive’s Classic Lounge in 2009, he garnered multiple Tales of the Cocktail nominations including back to back Top 4 International Hotel Bar (2011,2012) & Top 10 International Bartender of the Year (2012) until leaving in 2013 to open his own venue Little Jumbo.
Little Jumbo lead to Top 10 Best New International Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail (2014) along with a Top 4 Best New Book for Shawn’s Cocktail Culture, enRoute Magazine Top 50 Best New Restaurants in Canada (2014), enRoute Top 15 Favorite Bars in Canada (2014) & Silver Medal at the Vancouver International Wine List Awards. Shawn left Little Jumbo in late 2014 to pursue other endeavours.
He went on to begin his consulting firm, S2 Hospitality Concepts and helped with the creation and branding of Stump Gin with Phillip’s Fermentorium, Sheringham Akvavit & Legend’s Distilling Naramaro. He partnered Brad Holmes of ulla to help with the rebrand and relaunch of OLO Restaurant in 2016 and consulted on the design, construction and relaunch of Victoria staple, Café Mexico where he stayed on as General Manager till July 2017. Café Mexico now boasts one of the largest collections of tequila and mezcal in Canada along with an authentic Mexican inspired cocktail menu.
Shawn embarked on his own venture again partnering with Shane Clarke & Jill Tulloch from Clarke & Co. to create a new space in the Doubletree by Hilton. House in a 60-year-old cocktail lounge space, Foxtrot Tango Whiskey Bar opened in August 2017 to rave reviews along with becoming one of the leading modernist cocktail bars in the country. Unfortunately, bureaucracy forced the shut down of FTW four months after opening to public dismay.
Shawn continues to work in Victoria with various establishments pushing the envelope and building Victoria’s cocktail culture while speaking and teaching across Canada and the globe.