As duty manager at Fukuko, Rose Tipane-Takirau Griffith takes her job seriously… just not too seriously.
Are you from Auckland? Yes. Born and raised.
How do you get to Britomart? Mainly Uber. Just because of my hours. And I’m out east. It’s just easier.
What do you do here? It’s a small venue, so you do pretty much do everything. I’ve been doing it in this company coming up to seven years. In Fukuko four years, and I was in Ebisu before that.
How long have you been making cocktails? Nearly 10 years.
How did you get into it? I started working in hospitality in Starbucks in Mission Bay. Then moved on to cafe and then when I hit 18 it was just like ‘Right, nightclub.’ It just kind of escalated from there and sooner or later you’re stuck. You’re stuck in hospo and there’s no escaping it.
What would be your dream job? My dream job would be still doing what I’m doing. But traveling the world doing it. I want to be able to experience different countries.
Surely you could just do that? Yep. Next year, that’s the plan.
Where will you go first? Eastern Europe. Greece, Italy. Sweden. Romania and Bulgaria.
What do you enjoy about working here? The customers. They can make your day. They can make you or break you, to be fair. Meeting different people from different places. I’m very nosey, so we get to know each other a bit more than usual. And I tell them things I probably shouldn’t.
Like what? About my drinking habits is one. Yep. What you got up to in the weekend gone.
Like what? I shouldn’t say this, but at the staff party I ran down the road topless with a road cone on my head… I didn’t realise until someone showed me the video the next day…
Is that a regular move of yours? No, thankfully. I had a lot of tequila that night.
What’s your favourite place to drink around here? I’d have to go Caretaker because of their cocktails, the staff and their cheeseboards.
What’s your favourite hidden Auckland City gem? Fukuko. I might be biased, but just ‘cause the staff here are amazing and their knowledge about cocktails is incredible. And you can’t go wrong with an Earl Grey Martini and fried chicken.
What’s your favourite? My favourite is the fish taco and the salmon don.
What’s something not many people know about you? I’m very sensitive. A lot of people don’t know that about me because I do have a hard shell. I’m also very open. But I have a super-sensitive side and it actually doesn’t take much to make me cry, which a lot of people would be surprised to hear.
Are there any Britomartonians you see around that you’d like to make friends with? Hmm. Who would I be friends with to get free things around here? It would have to be Zambesi.
Clever. If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? Kina and fried bread. Reminds me of home and childhood.
Portrait and interview by Florence Noble