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Affie Adut on Gastro Gurus Podcast: “If you’re doing F&B, you’re selling you’re soul.” 

It’s always exciting times on our show Gastro Gurus where we talk to industry professionals and learn about their insights and visions for the industry. In this article we share with you some of the highlights from our interview with Affie Adut, Director and Co-Founder of Here&Now. 

Listen to the full interview here.

Affie Adut, winner of Bacardi Legacy Malaysia 2018 and now, Director and Co-Founder of Here&Now bar. Affie started his journey in performing arts -which still shows in his work today- but his passion for the art of bartending triumphed over the stage and so the bar became his new creative sanctuary. 

Located at The Five @KPD, Here&Now is inspired by Tiki bars but with earthy tones. Think sand, rock and caves. Add on the modern feel, doodling inspired by caveman drawings artistically spread on the walls and the flavors of tropical bliss and you’ve concocted yourself the feel of Here&Now. 

Firstly we jumped into the menu or should I say we took flight in their Time Machine?
The menu at Here&Now resembles the evolution of time. Affie explains, “cocktails are split into three categories: past, present and future.
Past is our classics based on Tiki tropical flavors 
Present is twisted classics in our way.
Future is our experimental way of the present” 

When did you want to jump into the industry? 
Coming from performing arts background and having a growing interest for cocktails. Affie says, “I decided to bring my arts into the bar. I started from service and I got transferred into the bar. I made my first drink, it was a Mojito, which received a complaint from the client” -though Affie liked his invention. That complaint sparked a challenge in Affie and he started educating himself more, reading books, watching videos and joining competitions. And after more than 8 years in the industry he now got to where he is in the Here&Now. 

What would you say is your main focus when building your own place? 
“The first team that you choose is very crucial before anything else because they are the DNA of the place. They are the ones who will run the show at the end of the day” he continues “it’s not about how good they are, it’s the character.” He explains, “skills can be trained, but the character is a golden gem.”

What do you think sets this place apart from other bars?
“Again, The team. We offer different values as well, we’re not just a bar we’re a brand. We don’t just push on drinks. We push on entertainment and lifestyle as well.” he continues, “from collaborations with designers and luxury brands.” And here’s a sneak peek to all of you, Here&Now is launching their own merch soon!

With the stream of digital marketing these days, how do you stay relevant and trendy? 
“We try to make a brand that showcases our lifestyle, not just our products.” 
Affie explains they achieve that by promoting the team and the experience they offer allowing the viewer to see and feel what it’s like to be at Here&Now.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of having their own place?
“Before you do it, bear in mind if you’re doing F&B you’re selling your soul.” Affie continues, “If you don’t have the passion to do it, think again because you need 100% passion.”
He explains how Food and Beverage is a tough career although it’s exciting and you get to meet new people and learn a lot. 

What’s your favorite saying of all time? 
“Fear doesn’t stop death but fear stops life.” 

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