Q&A – Meet the Team: Olivia ‘Livi’ Robbins – Founder & Owner of The Boston Shaker

Tell us about yourself

Olivia (‘Livi’) Robins! – 42 years old, and I grew up on the Sunshine Coast. I have two nearly adult children, Alina and Kade and a groodle called Lola. I live in Maroochydore with partner Dan and his two dogs, Stevie & Nugget. In my spare time, I love to eat great food, walk my dogs, travel, camp & be creative. I consider myself a bit of a dreamer; I’m always thinking about the things I want to do, the places I want to go and dreaming up ways of getting there. I’m generally most content and happy when I am busy creating something or working towards a sometimes unachievable goal, haha. I love being spontaneous & Exploring. My favourite days are when I end up doing something I never expected, discovering a venue I didn’t know about or travelling to a place I’ve never been.


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Tell us about Boston Shaker

Boston Shaker Bar is an art deco-inspired cocktail bar. It’s a place where you can go with friends, sit in comfort & enjoy a quality cocktail delivered with great personalised service. Our goal at BS is to provide our patrons with an experience they will remember, whether trying something new, being treated to a touch of 5-star service for a special occasion or just having a unique, unexpected night out meeting new people. We have an amazing bar team that are passionate about hospitality and have a goal of making each and every patron leave with fond memories of an awesome night out.


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Why were you inspired to start a bar?

I always had in the back of my head that I wanted to own my own business; being from parents who owned and operated a business my whole life, I just expected it was something I would eventually do. I worked as a radiographer for 18 years and have to say I disliked the job from day 1; it just wasn’t me. I used to sing on weekends to fill the void and make a bit of money out of that, but nothing I could ever feasibly live off. During my gigs, I began to notice hospitality venues and think perhaps I could do it. I was heading out a bit on the weekends and noticed that there was nowhere for someone my age to go. Nowhere I could relax without too much noise, be treated with great hospitality and treat myself to a few nice drinks after a long boring week at work. I thought perhaps I could design a venue to suit me.


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What inspired you to start Boston Shaker

Well, did I mention I love exploring new venues? I was out on a spontaneous bar hop on my own in Brisbane one evening, and I came across a cocktail bar in Brisbane called the Bowery. I wasn’t sure what to order, so I asked the bartender (he was fantastic). I ordered a cocktail called the Aviation as per his advice, and it literally changed my world. It was the most elegant drink, delivered icy cold, a transparent lavender colour in a Martini glass. Then the taste, a perfectly balanced citrusy, floral boozy sensation I had never had before. It was one of those great experiences that I hope my patrons leave with. I never knew a drink could taste so good. I basically fell in love with cocktails there and then and wanted everyone to experience what I had. I started to research cocktails and realised they came about during prohibition when good liquor was hard to come by. They used to disguise the flavour of the bathtub gin with fresh citrus, sugar, mint and whatever they could get their hands-on, and that’s really when cocktails became popular. I loved reading all about it, and everything in the bar was designed around this era, with great cocktails and great service.

Do you have a favourite cocktail from Boston Shaker?
What is in it, and how is it made? I love all my children equally, haha! Well, as I mentioned, Aviation will always hold a place in my heart, but I have to say it always changes. Being the explorer that I am, I just love trying new unique flavours and seeing what my staff can create on the fly. We have a new drink on the menu called “Coastside” – it’s a native Australian twist on the southside. Sunshine & Sons Original Gin, Fresh Lime Juice, House-made Lemon Myrtle syrup, Mint and dash house-made pomegranate syrup. It’s a shaken cocktail served in a coupe; it’s very refreshing from the mint and lime and a little floral from the lemon myrtle!

Where are your favourite bars around the world, and why?

I haven’t travelled nearly as much as I would like to, but 3 come to mind – Fly Bar in Positano, I was travelling with my kids, and there was a thunderstorm this particular night as we ran to escape it and we stumbled across this beautiful bar. They took us in and gave the kids mocktails, and made me a beautiful drink I will never forget. Watching the storm roll in, one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had and my kids with me.


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A great Memory. Buza Bar in Dubrovnik – Again, I was with my kids, and we had just finished dinner. We were walking home around the high stone walls when we saw lights coming from a hole in the stone wall and heard cool music. We ventured in for a look, and the doorway led downward staircase and an open-air bar/restaurant on a cliff face overlooking the sea. We returned the next day. This place was amazing, I had cocktails delivered to me, literally sitting on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, then diving into the beautiful sea for a swim and back to sunbaking. Great cocktails, Great service and a unique experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else in the world.

1806 in Melbourne, I visited this place when I was planning the bar as it had a similar fit-out to how I envisaged Boston Shaker. It just had a really beautiful fit-out, and I met up with my cousins that I hadn’t seen in years. The cocktail we had there wasn’t one I particularly remember, but I know we spent the night laughing and it was more about the vibe of the place and the people I was with.

What do you prepare yourself when you’re at home?

Gosh, well, I am pretty lazy at home. I probably mix up a Margarita or Cosmo because they’re easy to make and easy to drink!

We hear you’re also a singer, tell us about that?

I was around 25 when I thought I might like to try singing; I had always watched the Christmas Carols on TV and dreamed I would one day do that. It started as a hobby, then I achieved my goal of singing Christmas Carols and then a decade later, it had evolved quite a bit, and I was lucky enough to sing on some amazing stages in Australia, had a brief stint on x-factor top 20 in 2010 and eventually wrote and recorded an Ep in the Country Pop Genre. That’s the short version of quite a long journey with music, one of which ultimately led me to own a bar!

What are your three go-to karaoke songs?

Gosh, I hate Karaoke. I must say it’s the one thing I am not spontaneous with, too many variables. If I had to choose, I’d go for some polar opposites, something dramatic/ballad Whitney Houston – I have nothing. Everyone loves a good love song Meghan Trainer – Like I’m gonna lose you. Lastly, Just a feel-good sing-along song Peaches – Justin Beiber.

The Queen of England, Anthony Bourdain, and Beyonce are at your house; what drinks do you make?
Classic cocktails all the way. There is a reason they are timeless and elegant! Don’t think you can go wrong with a Gin Martini (Beyonce – Elegant but fierce), Charlie Chaplin (The Queen – Easy to sip on for the elderly ) & an Old fashioned (Easy to make, hard to get right – Mr Bourdain ).


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What’s your favourite thing about Mooloolaba?

Definitely the beach. It is just so beautiful to drive past every day on the way to work. I never grow tired of that view. We are extremely lucky to be part of this beautiful location at The Wharf Mooloolaba, and I never take it for granted.