Next Up for Holdfast: Casual Mondays with Hotshot Barman Adam Robinson

Deadshot at Holdfast—launching July 25—does a 180 on the fine dining concept, with à la carte plates, Asian-inflected drinks, and absolutely no reservations.

By Ramona DeNies June 28, 2016

Adam picture hujtey

Renowned Portland barman Adam Robinson, newly returned from a year-plus stint in Taiwan, is partnering with Holdfast's Joel Stocks and Will Preisch on a soon-to-launch casual Monday bar night.

Image: Sean Marc Lee

For the past 16 months, Joel Stocks and Will Preisch of Holdfast have honed their “naturalist Nordic-Oregon” menus with precision skill, from sweetbreads evoking “Michelin-star-quality McNuggets," to a signature cornbread madeleine that transcends savory and sweet.

Deadshot cocktail ehgtyj

Robinson is currently testing a seven-cocktail "Asian-inflected" bar menu for Deadshot. Potential flavor notes could include salty dried plum, bitter melon, and sesame.

Image: Emily Krause

Now, they’re aiming to change things up—along with a new partner who’s back in town. Meet “Deadshot at Holdfast”—a reservationless weekly bar night set to start on Monday, July 25. Slinging the drinks? None other than Adam Robinson, the highly innovative former bar manager at Park Kitchen and the Bent Brick, just back from a year-and-change slinging improvised western-style classic cocktails at Taipei's Ounce.

“Holdfast, what these guys do, is very high end,” says Robinson. “Not everyone can afford it, or plan that far ahead. We talked about something more casual, more approachable.”

Prawn djqavd

Fried prawn head with togarashi and bisque dipping sauce—a Holdfast dish that chef Joel Stocks says leans "towards the direction of plates we will be putting together for Deadshot."

Image: Emily Krause

The Deadshot bar snack menu, according to Stocks, will run about 10 items (one will be that madeleine), all under the $20 mark, a la carte, and focused on “grubbin.’” And the drinks? Three wines by the glass (curated by Holdfast beverage director Jeff Vejr), tallboys of Stiegl Radler and Montucky Cold Snack, and Robinson's cocktails—about seven of them, at least one savory, that will swap out with seasonality and whim.

“I want to pull some flavors I was using in Asia, things that people might not be entirely familiar with,” Robinson tells Eat Beat. “Li hing mui, which is a salty dried plum, found both in a candy-like form but also a powder, orgeat (but not the traditional almond variety), sesame, bitter melon, longan.”

The casual beverage-centric bar night replaces Holdfast's Thursday dinner service, which Stocks says the restaurant will instead devote to semi-regular "collaboration dinners and private dining events." Both Stocks and Robinson (who currently mans the bar at Radar) say that the Monday night experiment is an opportunity to let down proverbial beards and 'staches, get creative, and relax. But don’t think for a minute that this team will be content with rim shots. 

“Deadshot is a slang term for a perfect marksman, or perfect hit," says Stocks. "We like the idea that evokes when it comes to how perfectly our cocktails will be executed. Adam is basically our deadshot behind the bar. On top of that, it also really just sounds like a bar name.”

Deadshot at Holdfast—launching on July 25—will run weekly on Mondays from 8 pm to midnight.

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