Whitney and Doug’s thinking about beer have both evolved alongside each other just like any successful relationship transforming from independence to partnership. Instead of thinking about beer or food on its own, it’s now about learning to work together instead of against each other as a functional family unit. This is food from the heart, neither fancy or basic, just satisfyingly good casual items that are familiar but delivered uncompromisingly. Perfect for happy hour bites over beers, but with enough flair to satisfy on a date night out.
“It has to have a nice balance of pedestrian dishes that we feel the neighborhood needs, the standards, the classics, and then a really good mix of nightly specials,” says Adams.
Fish & Chips is the first thing he mentions when asked for specifics. Doug’s been thinking about the best way to make them ever since Whitney took him to her favorite spot on the Oregon Coast when they first started dating.
“It’s an equation of crispyness, to moistness, plus that batter staying on, that and fresh, fresh, fresh fish. I’m a beer battered guy,” says Adams.
Seafood will be a big part of the menu, look for oysters when they are fresh, perhaps even a seafood tower.
There will be the usual suspects of smoke and pickles, stuff that I am kind of known for in town. I’m not totally ready to throw it out. I am really excited to be at the helm of a small kitchen that’s not this huge machine, it’s gonna be really personal,” says Adams. Longtime fans of his cooking will be excited to have his famous smoked then fried chicken wings, and he has aspirations to even do buckets of fried chicken on special occasions.
“I’ve done a lot of thinking about food with beer and what that means, and what do you think of in that classic bar or brewery situation. There will be a lot of classic beer/food stuff kind of turned on its head. I think the real pull is Whitney’s beer, and hopefully my food can elevate that experience” – Doug Adams.
Doug will be able to scratch his creative itch with a more fine dining experience in the Grand Fir Supper Club. West Coast Grocery’s former Bodega Barrel Room was used as a barrel cellar for intimate tastings, at Grand Fir Brewing it will be transformed into a 12-16 private dining room for ticketed dinners and a brand new menu each week serving some of his favorite steakhouse classics like smoked prime rib, and a slow beer braised elk made for the fall Oktoberfest season.
As personal as Grand Fir Brewing is to Doug and Whitney, they want it to be just as personal to the Buckman neighborhood. As a young cook, Doug lived up the street and got to know the area well. Both are live music fans and are excited to be next to Revolution Hall, and in the same building as Strum Guitars. From connecting to benefits for the local school, to partnering with other businesses, they want to show to the neighborhood that they are there to stay and serve their needs.
“I think people want to feel like they are welcome, that they are involved, that they can relate. And I think a lot of places don’t really have that feel, they feel kind of cold on that level,” observes Whitney.
“From the guest perspective I feel like Portland is looking for that neighborhood spot that makes them feel good,” adds Adams.