Christina Maffei returns to her Pittsburgh roots as Director of Food and Beverage of The Commoner, bringing her extensive operational and beverage experience to her hometown. Earning a B.A. in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, Christina began her career at a Hyatt Regency O’Hare as a MIT until a rare occasion allowed her to continue learning at the hands of Charlie Trotter at his two Michelin starred namesake restaurant in Chicago. She continued on to the Four Seasons Chicago for three years, prior to opening up Aria in the Fairmont Hotel Chicago, followed by several years as Restaurant Director on opening teams with various Trump Hotel properties in Chicago, Panama City, Waikiki and Miami. In 2012, Christina returned west to Hawaii where she was the Director of Restaurants and Bars for Hilton Hawaiin Village. Then, in 2014, she moved the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki as Director of Food and Beverage Operations, as well as starting her own restaurant and beverage consulting company. Bringing her world’s best mai tai title with her, Christina joins the Commoner team, committed to the best service and an innovative dining room.
In her spare time, Christina loves to hang out with her Boston terrier, Franklin. She also makes custom made wedding accessories that she sells in her own Etsy shop.
Executive Chef Brian Barcus is a Pittsburgh native, with a warm and welcoming personality that matches his cooking style that he describes as “traditional fare with a twist”. Barcus began his career at the illustrious Nemacolin Resort & Spa, where he spent 6 years quickly moving up the ranks, working and learning every aspect of hospitality and service at the resort. Barcus exited Nemacolin as the esteemed Sous Chef. Barcus's career in the hospitality food and beverage industry landed him positions at Hotel Saxonburg, Oakmont Country Club, and as the Chef de Cuisine at Tamari in Warrendale. Chef Barcus joined Kimpton in 2015 as the Executive Banquet Chef of Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh and, true to form, his dedication and excellence in the kitchen now has him at the helm of The Commoner.
Scott Hilty comes to the Pittsburgh market by way of Chicago, bringing over twenty-five years in the hospitality and food & beverage industry to the Steel City. After attending the University of Las Vegas with a degree in Hotel Administration, Scott worked in the city’s most prestigious hotels in food and beverage and hotel management positions. From his start at the Four Seasons to Paris & Bally’s Hotel and Casino to Caesar’s Palace and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Scott’s attention to detail and engaging style eventually landed him the position of the Assistant Director of Outlets at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. With Hilton, Scott oversaw 7 outlets and 3 bards on the 26 acres, 3500 room property. Prior to joining The Commoner in Winter 2018, Scott was the Director of Restaurants for the famed Drake Hotel in Chicago.
Alex Dando is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and its diverse surrounding neighborhoods. Alex started working in downtown bars at the age of eighteen while studying Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He worked his way to opening and developing The Commoner’s menu by way of some of the city’s finest establishments. Alex brings the best of Western Pennsylvania’s flavors together with a dedication to creating balanced and accessible cocktails, while constantly innovating and giving a breath of fresh air to the classics. With a strong focus on technique and presentation, Alex and the Commoner Bar team provide an enlightened, yet comfortable experience for business travelers and fellow “yinzers”, alike.