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Saturday, July 23 • 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Having a Theme Without Being a Theme Bar

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There is a narrow line between a bar having a theme (good) and being a theme bar (not so good). What does it take to pull this off successfully? How can a bar honor a theme without being predictable, pigeon-holed or clichéed? In this seminar, we will meet three successful bar operators who manage to walk this line gracefully and with outstanding results, including each of their bars being named among 2016's "Best Bars in America" by Esquire Magazine. They include Mark Maynard-Parisi, creator of Porchlight, a New York bar with a Southern accent and a 24-year veteran of Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, Neal Bodenheimer, creator of Cane & Table, which nods to Havana and tiki, who is also behind Cure in New Orleans, and Josh Mazza, creator of Seamstress, which takes 19th century homesteading as its inspiration without veering into kitsch or literalism, as well as The Gilroy and the newly-opened Belle Shoals.

avatar for Michael Anstendig

Michael Anstendig

Partner, Hanna Lee Communications
Michael Anstendig is a communications maven specialized in the best things in life: spirits, cocktails, food and hospitality, with extensive experience as a freelance writer and public relations professional. | | Michael’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New York Observer, New York Daily News, Tennis Magazine, Food Arts, Nation’s Restaurant News, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine’s website, nymag.com, where he... Read More →

avatar for Neal Bodenheimer

Neal Bodenheimer

Owner, Cure, Cane & Table, and Bellocq
Born in New Orleans, Bodenheimer began working in a bar at age 18. After graduating from theUniversity of Texas at Austin, he embarked on a year- long trip around the world with a focus on exploring food and beverage traditions. Hungry to get back to the states and start working, Bodenheimer moved to New York City where he worked for Steve Hanson’s B.R. Guest Corporation and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality during his six years in... Read More →
avatar for Mark Maynard-Parisi

Mark Maynard-Parisi

Co-Founder/ Managing Partner of Porchlight, Union Square Hospitality Group
Mark Maynard-Parisi is Co-Founder/Managing Partner at Porchlight, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG)’s first stand-alone cocktail bar, located in New York’s West Chelsea. Mark, a 24-year veteran of USHG, together with the group’s CEO, Danny Meyer, conceptualized and designed Porchlight, a New York bar with a Southern accent. Mark is responsible for its strategic direction and all day-to-day operations. | | Mark is... Read More →
avatar for Josh Mazza

Josh Mazza

Born in Canberra, Australia, Josh Mazza found his love of wine and all things hospitality in the wine regions of Central Victoria after a family move to the regional center of Bendigo. Studying with the Australian Sommeliers Association to acquire accreditation as a Sommelier only increased his desire to explore a life in wine.  | | Forming a boutique consulting group with some of Australia's most talented young hospitality professionals in... Read More →

avatar for Diplomatico Rum

Diplomatico Rum

The history of Diplomático began in Venezuela in 1959 with the establishment of a distillery, out of a partnership between Venezuela’s best rum distilleries and Seagram’s International . In 2002 the company was acquired by a group of Venezuelan entrepreneurs, most of them with extensive experience in the spirits industry. The acquisition deal included assets such as the distillery and a premium rum brand called... Read More →

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