T O M M Y   F L Y N N

September 6, 2019 | Photos: Aly Pentangelo of Sunny Flora Photography

Warm, laid-back and effortless are the words that come to mind when you meet Tommy Flynn, Beverage Director of Paper Daisy. Tommy takes pride in keeping his menus fresh and interesting, and his flowing creativity is on full display throughout Paper Daisy’s one-of-a-kind menu. Tommy spent time at esteemed cocktail bars Mother’s Ruin and Drexler’s before becoming the Beverage Director of Paper Daisy, which debuted in March in the former space of the neighborhood classic Cafe Orlin of 36 years.

At Paper Daisy, Tommy and his team present an ever-changing menu featuring both classics and innovations such as their take on the Pina Colada, made with mezcal, cynar, passionfruit, pineapple, coconut, lime, and absinth (a must-try)! Other delightful creations include a gin matcha cocktail and a whiskey cocktail featuring one of our favorite ingredients, pandan leaf.

We sat down with Tommy to learn about how he made his way into mixology, his favorite cocktail spots, and how he likes to enjoy Oliverlane.

How did you become interested in mixology?

I was spending a year traveling in Australia and needed a job. I had waited tables for a while prior to the trip but wasn’t interested in being a server. I was always excited about working behind a bar. I lied into getting a good job at Sake in Melbourne, and it was pretty obvious I had no idea what I was doing. They pulled me aside and said we like you, but we don’t like being lied to. We’ll make you a barback and see how it goes. It went really well, and it’s been a fun trip ever since.

What’s something you’re most proud of? 

Paper Daisy as a whole. It blows my mind how much people like coming here. We’ve been getting great feedback from customers and it feels great. I’m really excited to see the progression of PD.

What was the biggest challenge with starting your first bar?

Everything. Opening a bar is tough. It is also incredibly rewarding. The hardest part was probably figuring out the best bar design to deal with our growing volume of guests. Adapting is a fun part of the game.

Is there any person or experience who has had a significant influence on who you’ve become today? 

My fiancé is the most influential person in my life. I’d be very different without her.

What’s your favorite cocktail ingredient right now?

I recently put pandan on the cocktail menu at Paper Daisy, and I am really into it. It has a ton of depth and has this cool vanilla nutty flavor. It’s fun.

What’s your favorite place to have a cocktail? 

PrettyUgly Bar in Toronto is my favorite with Death & Co. being a close second. I like both bars for different reasons. PrettyUgly has this cutting-edge program that doesn’t take itself too seriously. They have vinyl DJs, a mezcal bar and Wu Tang Wednesdays. I wouldn’t be bartending without the original Death & Co. cocktail book, and I get excited about bartending every time I walk in there.

What’s your favorite song to mix to?

Tame Impala all the way through. Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind is my typical Saturday night bartending jam.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Oliverlane? 

With Pandan! Oliverlane, Jamaican rum, banana, pandan and a dash of bitters. Sign me up.

Cheers to you, Tommy!

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