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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Marco Pipolo, Founder and Owner of Marcony Restaurant Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Marco Pipolo

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Marco Pipolo hails from the Island of Capri, where his family has lived for generations. He is a graduate of Liceo Classico of Capri, and worked in the summer as a windsurfing instructor. Upon graduation in 1980, Marco endeavored to pursue a career in hospitality, and after exploring top opportunities in Italy, an international corporation interviewed 40,000 candidates and accepted 40. Marco was in the top 40. 

In the 1980’s, Marco Pipolo worked in 5-star hotels like Quisisana in Capri, which was highly influential in both his understanding of what top clients needs were but also how to exceed them. In these prehistoric days before cell phones, Marco would monitor the pulse of important clientele and reach them in all circumstances, even going twenty minutes away from the concierge desk to the beach to retrieve a client for a phone call. In 1981-82 the King of Saudi Arabia frequented this hotel and Marco worked with him directly. 

Oxford, England was the next geographical spot to influence Marco’s illustrious career in the winter season of 1983-84. There, he acquired an accurate command of the English language, and also it was his first entrĂ©e into the world of cuisine at La Dolce Vita, a top Italian restaurant in Oxford. 

After a summer of working in a Capri nightclub: Piranha, on October 12, 1984 Marco came to New York. Nicola on 84th between 3rd and Lex was Marco’s first restaurant to begin working in, in Manhattan. For two years, Marco spent the winter in New York and the summer in Capri, where he continued to work at Piranha. In 1985, Marco became the head bartender at Il Mulino downtown and stayed for four years. He excelled in cocktail personalization, putting blood orange juice in a margarita and exerting a unique European flair in his creations, and Marco then also gained a strong background in wine. 

An opportunity arose to become involved in Vico Restaurant on the Upper East side where he was first waiter and then General Manager from 1989 to 1992. Finally in 1992, Marco became an entrepreneur as one of three partners in Scalinatella, an Italian restaurant at 201 East 61st, and was there until 2009. In 1997, the three partners including Marco opened Postino on 49th between 1st and 2nd. In 2008, Petit Marmite in Palm Beach Gardens Florida was opened by Marco and his cousin Lucio Desiderio. 

Through all of these fantastic experiences in hospitality since 1980, Marco today brings this unparalleled experience to Marcony, which opened on March 5, 2010. Marco is the sole owner with his wife, Claudia, who is also a total peach. Marcony is one of the premiere Italian venues to dine at in Manhattan located at 184 Lexington Avenue between 31st and 32nd streets in the Murray Hill neighborhood. The space suggests a small yacht cruising around the Isle of Capri, bringing Marco Pipolo back to his roots. Marcony has been highly recommended by Whom You Know: 
http://www.whomyouknow.com/2011/09/peachy-picks-marcony.html and has been featured multiple times since its initial post.  
And, it was not lost on Peachy that it has one of the most amazing chandeliers in the city, which evokes the spirit of an anchor splashing into the water as one would dock their yacht in Capri.   We could not be more thrilled to present Marco Pipolo as our latest Mover and Shaker!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Marco Pipolo for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What should the world know about Capri? 
Marco Pipolo: 
For me, it is the most beautiful island in the world. There is no other place that makes everyone relaxed no matter how high profile the guest is or low profile-they all find comfort in Capri. 

What did like most about Oxford? 
The city full of kids was fantastic; I met people from all over the world. One of my friends was from Afghanistan and another from Lebanon-the diversity was great. 

What was your favorite restaurant to work for in New York and what did you enjoy about it? 
Il Mulino because I felt like I owned the bar! It was my bar. I learned how to run a business. 

What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? 
I didn’t want to work for anybody else! 

Do you have any good stories about interesting clientele you’ve worked with that you’d like to share? 
When I owned Scalinatella, a prominent music industry executive would regularly receive dozens of calls during his dinner. Since this restaurant is underground, the reception did not agree with his cell phone so I installed a land line for him and gave him a phone to go with it so everyone could enjoy their dinner. I think Tommy Mottola appreciated it at Table #2! 
I’ve also developed effective ways of managing paparazzi and keeping them at bay for my clients. 

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
My mother. She’s an entrepreneur as well and she does luxury Real Estate in Capri. 

What are you proudest of and why? 
In this business you need to be fresh every single day: fresh means being able to re-innovate yourself every day and constantly improve, and I keep doing this. You can never stop. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
I’d like to own a hotel with a restaurant.

What words best describes you and why? 
A positive attitude! 

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
Marcony of course!

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
Tod's Shoes 

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why? 
I’d like to substitute the waiters with famous actors and have serve for charity dollars.

What is your favorite drink? 
Vodka 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
Every night is a cocktail party if you are at a restaurant, and one night Celine Dion was having dinner with us at Scalinatella and she invited me to dance with her to some contemporary instrumental music I was playing in the restaurant! 

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
Jean Georges

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
The Italian Prime Minister 

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
I’d like to have one of the Central Park benches named after my grandmother, Amelia D’Orazi 

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
Bicycling in Central Park

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Restaurant hopping 

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
With one of my friends that passed away because I miss him 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
Le Zinc Jazz Club 

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
Marcony!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here? 
The city is not updating fast enough technologically for the age we live in.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 
Peachy’s Picks since that’s where Marcony is! 

Have you tried The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
No but I’m working on getting the vodka. 

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I think they know everything!

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 
marcony@usa.com

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