We all know the old adage “hard work pays off.” If you want an example of that adage playing out in real life, look no further than Andrew Curry. He has worked at South End’s Tyber Creek Pub since October 2012. He’s been everything from barback to bartender to his current role as general manager. Curry will soon have a new role – co-owner of a new bar opening uptown.
Curry, an Irish national, originally came to Charlotte five years ago. At the time the self-proclaimed homebody was visiting his brother, who also lives here. Curry planned on heading back to County Meath, Ireland and his life there. He helped on the family farm, worked as an electrician and played on a Gaelic football team. Like many visitors, Charlotte quickly won Curry over – the people (including his now wife, Britt), the southern hospitality and as he points out, the weather is slightly better here than in Ireland. It didn’t hurt that Charlotte also had a sizeable Irish community that welcomed Curry.
One member of that welcoming Irish community, Kevin Devin, introduced Curry not only to Charlotte’s Gaelic football team, but also to the popular bars – Connolly’s, Tyber, Dandelion Market, Prohibition and The Workman’s Friend – Devin co-owns with Tommy Timmins and Maynard Goble.
Curry worked early on doing security at Connolly’s before transitioning to barback at Prohibition and Connolly’s.
“He was just eager to work. He really, really wanted to work and get his hands dirty,” Timmins said. “When somebody shows up and says ‘They’re willing do anything and shows it,’ they’re off to a great start.”
Although, Curry had an electrical engineering degree and worked as an electrician, but he always wanted to own a bar. Working with Devin, Timmins and Goble revived Curry’s longstanding dream. Goble was a natural fit for bar life. He’s a people person and enjoys talking to strangers and making people for welcome. Curry decided stay in Charlotte and work with the group.
In October 2012, Curry started as a barback at Tyber, and was promoted to bartender within a couple of months. He enjoyed the one-on-one interactions with customers in his role behind the bar, but wanted to be more involved in the operation of Tyber. Six months later, he was promoted to bar manager.
“There’s more to running a bar than meets the eye,” he said.
What made Curry a successful manager was his appreciation for his staff, and their hard work. After all, he’d worked his way up from being a doorman to a manager.
After a couple of years as Tyber’s bar manager, Curry was ready to take the next step toward his goal of owning a bar. In 2014, Curry asked Timmins, Devin and Goble if he could invest in Tyber, but they didn’t he was ready. Instead, they made him the general manager at Tyber Creek – but they didn’t close the door on a potential partnership down the road.
Curry wouldn’t let them forget his longtime dream. Not long after Curry became Tyber’s general manager, he reminded the owners group that he wanted partner with them.
He didn’t have to wait much longer. When the space at the corner of Church and Sixth uptown previously occupied by The Rhino Club and Stool Pigeons became available, Timmins, Devin and Goble immediately thought of Curry.
His hard work climbing the ranks at Tyber paid off. His dream was becoming a reality.
“I always wanted to be in the bar industry. I never thought I’d get the chance to do it,” Curry said.
So, what is the next bar concept brought to Charlotte by Timmins, Devin, Goble and now Curry?
It’s a work in progress. Curry made it clear that it will not be an Irish bar. However, like the rest of the group’s portfolio, the focus will be on great service, an extensive drink selection and elevated bar food. There is no immediate timetable for the opening. The group is interviewing chefs, working on menus and finalizing designs. The buildout will likely begin at the end of the summer. Curry is eager to get his hands dirty with the construction crew.
Given Timmins, Devin and Goble’s track record with Tyber, Connolly’s, Dandelion Market, Prohibition and The Workman’s Friend, it is hard to imagine this new uptown bar will be anything but a success. As for Curry – he is already his own success story and proof once again that hard work really does pay off.