Head Barman Vincenzo Marianella grew up in the small Italian town of Tolmezzo, where he balanced his time working and playing basketball for the local team, his 6'4" frame perfect for the game ("I have been 6'4" since I was thirteen!" he says). But Tolmezzo was in "the middle of nowhere," and Vincenzo was eager to travel, so left his hometown and ventured forth around the world, discovering bartending as a great way to "make a few dollars and meet lots of girls."
He was soon making drinks and turning heads at clubs and bars on other continents, including stints in Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, Australia. After attending the Australian Bartending Academy, it was on to London in 2003, where he worked at Smollensky’s and fell in love with his craft; he knew Mixology would be his career.
Vincenzo quickly discovered why The New York Times hails London as the best cocktail city in the world – it is the home to many of the most famous bartenders, such as Slavatore Calabrese ("one of my idols"), Robert Wattie and Dick Bradsell. "I'd work, make money for five or six days, then go out drinking, and I'd steal techniques!" he remembers.
When he returned to Los Angeles, he worked at Valentino (known for its vast wine collection) during which time he spent months searching for the right place to settle and practice the true art of Mixology. At the first interview with the owners of Providence, the chemistry was electrifying, and Vincenzo joined the team. Later that summer, Los Angeles magazine proclaimed his creation "Rhode Island Red" the Best Summer Cocktail of 2005.
The recognition kept coming, with stories in Los Angeles Times, Variety and others. In 2006, Vincenzo collaborated with Food " Wine for a Cocktail Clinic, and he was named Best Bar Chef by Starchefs.com and L.A.’s Best Bartender by Anthony Dias Blue.
With the opening of Copa d’Oro in Santa Monica, Vincenzo has come full circle. The unique concept of tailoring a cocktail list around fresh produce from the local Farmer’s Market and having a system where the guest in effect "creates" the cocktail is unique to the Los Angeles area and very new to the rest of the world. "Copa d’Oro is groundbreaking in its approach to service and quality," Vincenzo proudly says. "Here, our guests will be part of the creative process, selecting the fresh ingredients that will be used to make their drinks." At Copa d’Oro, everyone will be a Mixologist, with the opportunity to try something new every time and become part of the creative process.