Adam Dunbar was only at Encore for seven months, but during his time there he made sweeping changes to the cocktail program, helping the restaurant transform into a serious spot for libations. Pre-Prohibition classics and innovative concoctions filled the beverage board, which included the best martini in town. But now he's leaving.
Dunbar is returning to Freshcraft, where he spent a brief period serving. This time, he'll take on the front-of-the-house manager role, working with bar manager and owner Aaron Forgy to put the place firmly on the craft beer and cocktail map.
"The partners at Freshcraft want to put the bar much more on the radar," he explains. "They want to be much more known for beer cocktails and cocktails." But they also want to keep up their reputation for beer: Freshcraft maintains twenty taps and dozens of bottles in its collection, making it a popular stop for drinkers seeking out rare and craft brews.
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Dunbar is waiting to detail his vision until he's back in the swing of operations at the restaurant; then he'll tag-team with Forgy to run the front of the house and make those shifts. "We're a dynamic duo," he notes. "We work together really well, so it will be epic."
His family life played an important factor in his decision to leave Encore; ultimately, he felt that Freshcraft was a better fit. "It's very flattering," Dunbar says of Forgy asking him to return. "I feel good about it, and so does my wife."
Dunbar's official start date is July 18.