Matthew Poli is a beverage director with a style and passion that has evolved throughout his committed career in hospitality. A Chicago native, Poli began his hospitality career at Chicago’s popular The Publican in 2008 after the economic downturn left him, like many others, with fewer hours in the professional world. With a love of beer and a fan of The Publican’s well-known pairings, Matthew began staging at the restaurant, putting away their deliveries every Friday afternoon in exchange for lunch and a few tricks of the trade. Poli’s career began to take shape when he was hired as a bar back, and from there he quickly progressed through other FOH before landing as the beverage director. Matthew spearheaded The Publican’s involvement in the popular collaboration with Chicago’s FEW Spirits to create a unique gin. This collaboration highlights a turning point in Poli’s ideology as a bartender, with a passion to provide every guest with an experience they are unable to achieve elsewhere.
After a hefty six years at the The Publican, Matthew left his hometown to travel west to James Beard Award Winning Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, Colorado. After one year, Poli’s experience was cut short in July 2016 when he made a move down south to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was hired as Beverage Director of Strategic Hospitality’s The Catbird Seat restaurant. As beverage director of the interactive chef-run restaurant, Poli is able to showcase his passion for expanding guests’ beverage options beyond just wine to include more beers, sakes, cocktails, and nonalcoholic beverage options, offering a catered and unique experience to each and every guest.