Christian is a true New Yorker. Growing up in an Italian family, he was always surrounded by the most welcoming and loving of friends and it was his family who showed him what is truly means to be a great host. As a young adult Christian found his calling in the night life of NYC. Fascinated by its vast & colorful culture, he navigated his early career working at such legendary night clubs as THE TUNNEL and LIMELIGHT where he was naturally tasked at meeting people and building a guest list to insure the VIP treatment for his customers.
Christian eventually found his way down to Greenwich Village in the late 90s where he began his craft behind the bar at THE VILLAGE LANTERN one of the first venues created by THE BOWERY RESTAURANT GROUP. From host to barback he worked his way up the ladder to bartender learning everything he could along the way. During his three years with the company, he met his wife Lisa who was a colleague.
In 2002, he moved on to work at the Irish Pub CENTRAL BAR in the East Village where he learned the art of conversation and building relationships with your clientele. It was here where he witnessed some of the greatest storytellers and their effortless delivery that inspired him to be as captivating behind the bar. In 2007 he teamed back up with his wife Lisa where they ran multiple venues for the BOWERY RESTAURANT GROUP which had grown since the days of THE VILLAGE LANTERN. Together they would help expand the live music and night club hotspots CRASH MANSION and BLVD.
In 2011 Christian stepped away from large venues. Wanting to work in a more intimate setting,
he made his home behind the bar at the WHISKEY TAVERN in Chinatown and where he became part of THE WHISKEY GROUP whose focus was building bars with “handshakes & relationships”. In less than eight years, he helped open four new bars for the company and worked with some of the most impressive bartender/owners in NYC who always knew a customer’s name and what he or she was drinking.
By 2018, Chris and his wife Lisa were looking to move closer to her homeland of New Zealand and Hawaii was the perfect compromise. Their dream was to open a bar of their own, but Lisa landed a position at the SURFJACK as Director of Food & Beverage and Chris later followed first as a bar consultant and in the Spring of 2021 joined the team to reopen Mahina & Sun’s.
In addition to creating the new cocktail menu, Chris has also created an atmosphere where both visitors and kamaaina can feel at home. His input can be heard in the music played, seen in the lighting of the restaurant, enjoyed in the service of the staff, and felt in the seats of the new bar chairs. For both Christin and Lisa, it is important that guests feel at home and the food and beverage experience emphasize that.
When not behind the bar, Chris and Lisa can be found at their other home just a few blocks away in Waikiki.