avatar for Mark Maynard-Parisi

Mark Maynard-Parisi

Union Square Hospitality Group
Co-Founder/ Managing Partner of Porchlight
New York City
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 an Advisory Partner at Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, which he co-founded and led from 2002 until 2015. Under Mark’s leadership, both Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard emerged as destinations for well-curated spirits, vibrant cocktails and craft beer. For 13 years, Mark led the strategic growth of Blue Smoke, which expanded to multiple locations, including New York’s Battery Park City and outposts of Blue Smoke on the Road at CitiField, home of the New York Mets, Washington Nationals ballpark and JFK Airport’s Delta Terminal Four. Mark also helped USHG forge a relationship with Delta Airlines to offer Blue Smoke in-flight meals on select international flights. Other USHG restaurants now offer their food on Delta. For two years, Mark simultaneously served as Managing Director of Operations for Union Square Events, the catering and events services branch of USHG, and he remains an Advisory Partner there.

Mark’s career at USHG began as a host/reservationist at Union Square Cafe, where he was personally trained by Danny to become its maître d’. He was ultimately named General Manager. It was here that he absorbed the USHG approach to hospitality, which he characterizes as honest, straightforward and caring. The focus, first and foremost, is on the staff and guests.

A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Landscape Architecture, Mark sees both disciplines requiring patience, planning and vision. Most importantly, he believes that in both cases, simplicity matters most and a design’s effectiveness is only as good as the end-users’ experience and their connection to it.

Mark, an avid cyclist, gardener and bakery aficionado, lives with his wife and two children in South Orange, N.J. He enjoys spending as much time as possible on his home’s porch—eating breakfast, gathering with family and sipping a cocktail with friends. He credits his “hospitality gene” to his grandfather, who owned a popular Bridgeport, Conn. butcher shop, his mother, a former chef, and his father, a wine enthusiast. Mark began working in the hospitality industry at age 16 and never stopped.

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