“It’s just all I’ve ever done; All I’ve ever known.”
This is Mark Hefter’s first line when discussing his career as one of the most forward-thinking Beverage Professionals in the modern restaurant industry. What began as a part-time job as a dishwasher in a local burger joint in his native New Jersey has turned into a career and passion spanning some of the most prestigious names in the business.
Mark attended University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, where he graduated with honors from their highly prestigious Hospitality program, which only accepts 50 students per year. During his time there, He began working for the inimitable Sirio Maccioni at the iconic Le Cirque 2000 in New York City.
Mark then picked up and traveled through the famous wine regions of France and the United States before settling in Las Vegas. His time there included work with Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group at Spago and Chinois restaurants, 55º Wine + Design, and returning to the Maccioni family at Le Cirque and Osteria del Circo restaurants at Bellagio.
Mark then departed Las Vegas to become the Director of Wine at Montage Beverly Hills, opening the property and writing the seven different wine lists for each unique outlet. Montage received the Forbes Five-Star rating in its first year, braking the record for fastest property from opening to achieving this highest honor. Additionally, Montage received the rare Triple Five Star rating for the Restaurant, Spa, and Hotel, a list that today is only shared between 17 properties in the world. It was here that Mark also developed, named, and oversaw operations for £10, the private, reservations only bar. In its first year of operation, £10 was awarded “Best Bar in the World” from Virtuoso, putting it in the same company as the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London, and King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel in New York.
Mark returned to Las Vegas to run the Beverage Program for Morton Group Restaurants. In this role Mr. John Curtas, Las Vegas’ foremost Restaurant Critic, put it best: “Mark Hefter’s beverage program is a lot like Mark Hefter: fun, interesting, intelligent, and all over the map.”
Mark began work with longtime friend and restaurateur Jonathan Fine at Fine Entertainment Management. Shortly after developing one of the most extensive Whisk(e)y programs in Las Vegas at Ritchie McNeely’s, Jonathan and Mark partnered on The MINT Tavern. In addition to his role as Managing Director of The MINT, Mark continues his role in Beverage Management and Education across many of the Fine Entertainment Management properties.
Mark is an Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators Just as comfortable with a shot of Tequila or a Beer as he is with a glass of Champagne or Barolo, Mark has been at the forefront of approachable, inviting Beverage Professionals that are so highly regarded in today’s restaurants. An enormous music fan of all genres, you’re as likely to see his tattooed arms flailing about at a live music venue as you are to see those same arms covered in a suit raising a glass at the restaurants and bars of whatever town he is in at the time. Just like music, Mark has a passion for food, wine, spirits, beer, and cocktails that is infectious to the guests in his spot.