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Marco Zappia  

Beverage Director at Martina's

Marco Zappia started out opening up bars as a partner at consulting firm Bittercube. He's opened up 32 in all - spanning from Wisconsin to California and South Carolina to Costa Rica. In November 2017, Zappia planted roots in his hometown of Minneapolis, cofounding an Argentinian restaurant inspired by Italian immigration to the country, called Martina. As beverage director, he has created a bar program which is one of the most inventive in the country. Shirking industry norms, he refuses to use branded liquor at his bar because he doesn't want to be beholden to big alcohol companies. Martina is known for its house-made amaros, fernets, vermouths, bitters and other old-school Italian liquors that celebrate Italy's aperitif and digestif culture with an Argentine spin. All botanicals and herbs used to make the liquors come from farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Zappia makes about a dozen in all and they are aged from 21 days to a year. The group's second restaurant, an Oaxacan inspired spot called Colita, opened in October. Colita's signature fermented liquors come from other local botanicals and yeasts that Zappia has been cultivating on indigenous Minnesota silver birch trees.

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