Molecular Bars – Dino Batista

Let’s face it. Drinks = connections. Probably one of the biggest things everyone is missing during lockdown is the option of going to a bar and enjoying a cocktail with friends and family.

Dino Batista is one of the directors of Molecular Bars. In the events and entertainment industry since 2008, Batista started his own mobile bar company. With a passion for slinging drinks, he studied part-time to get his Bachelors in Marketing.

A trophy case to be proud of, Dino has represented South Africa in London and Tobago at international cocktail mixing competitions, winning best rum cocktail at the Tobago competition.



Molecular Bars is a mobile bar company offering everything drinks related – beer, wine, standard drinks, cocktails, coffee – in the events environment.

Their niche however is in their passion for cocktails, those mixed drinks usually consumed in the company of people you enjoy, causing euphoria and misguided statements about your dancing ability.

The business not only operates as a bar service but also collaborates with some of the top restaurants around South Africa to create unique cocktail menus.

The company has grown from strength to strength, from doing 1 event a month to up to 40 in a single week!



Batista and his team had planned on using 2020 for growing the business by expanding to Cape Town and working on improving skills throughout the company’s structure. However with lockdown, this expansion plan has been put on hold.

The events and entertained industry changed within a matter of days. From a full calendar of events to everything being postponed or cancelled, Batista and Molecular bars were forced to face a very different view of the rest of 2020. 

It’s a challenging time for the event industry. Anything to do with alcohol is banned, so Molecular bars are not receiving any income at the moment. A further challenge is the question of how long the virus will occupy the realm of people’s minds after the pandemic is over. When will people feel safe to attend big events again? No one can really say. 

While there aren’t a lot of silver lining’s to this situation, Dino has been grateful for the downtime to focus on things that he usually wouldn’t have time to work on in the business, as well as within his own life.



Rather than looking to promote themselves over this period, Molecular Bars chose to rather use the gift of social media and digital communication to start a crowdfunding campaign. The beneficiaries? The countless staff who have helped them bring events to life over the years.

As a diverse nation, we are all facing a similar problem from very different scenarios, and Batista feels that it’s been a humbling experience to watch the nation come together in the spirit of Ubuntu to help one another and be kind to each other.



With the obvious consequences of the lockdown being a long-lasting reduction in social interaction, Dino believes that there will be a lot less unnecessary face-to-face meetings being held. The events industry has used this lockdown to experiment with digital festivals through conference apps. However the experience of being out with friends at a cool bar is an experience that is difficult to replicate from behind a screen, so of course the hope is that the industry will return to a safe version of normal in the future.

To find out what Dino’s essential save before lockdown was, watch the interview here

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