By Stacey Shannon—
MUNCIE, IN—Mike Robinson has been anxiously awaiting the opening of his latest restaurant in Muncie—the Adams Street Chophouse located at 617 Adams Street. But the seasoned restaurateur, who also owns Amazing Joe’s, wanted to make sure everything was well prepared before the doors opened.
When it worked out for Adams Street Chophouse to open on Dec. 12, Robinson was delighted, because it’s the same day Frank Sinatra was born back in 1915. Robinson is a huge fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes and has themed his restaurant very much around Sinatra and his era.
“Frank Sinatra is my idol,” he said.
In fact, the upstairs of the comfortable fine dining restaurant includes a large print of Frank Sinatra, which came from Robinson’s personal collection. The restaurant also serves a Jack Daniels Sinatra Select whiskey and softly plays music from Sinatra and other similar artists throughout the dining rooms.
The atmosphere is a throwback to post-prohibition with dishware and décor that are somehow both classic and modern. Tables are spaced apart to provide privacy for diners.
“This is the kind of restaurant I’d like to go to,” Robinson said.
Robinson wants guests to feel at ease and enjoy their dining experience in a comfortable environment.
While atmosphere is important for a restaurant, the keys to success lie in the food and service. Robinson has worked to ensure both are top-notch at Adams Street Chophouse.
The chef, Dustin Harris, came from osteria32, which closed after a fire in May this year. Harris worked with Robinson and his partner, Chad Massoth, to develop a menu made with quality ingredients for a variety of prices.
The menu, in fact, includes everything from an $8 prime rib slider to a $90 ribeye. It also includes an orange chicken bowl that Robinson himself created one day for his own lunch.
“There is a $90 steak on my menu,” Robinson said. “It is absolutely the best ribeye I’ve ever had.”
He traveled throughout the Midwest to source ingredients and settled on a family-owned butcher who’s been around since the late 1800s in Chicago. Robinson worked with the butcher to get only the best meat, no matter the cost.
The seafood options, which include shrimp, scallops and salmon, are delivered fresh to maintain a high quality. The entrees include a wide variety of dishes along with steak and seafood, such as grilled meatloaf, pesto chicken linguini, pan seared duck breast and burgers, including a black bean vegan burger.
With a full-service bar, Adams Street Chophouse offers a variety of beverages. Robinson said he’s stayed with a 1930s flare for alcohol to include martinis and old-fashioneds and has selected an array of options and price points.
For service, Robinson looked for experienced people who he could pay well enough that working at Adams Street Chophouse can be their only job.
“My goal when I did this was not to get rich,” Robinson said. “I want all the staff to make money…If I get to make some awesome, if I don’t, I’m still proud of what I do.”
Robinson plans to keep the environment as stress free as possible for the team and take care of his employees. Overall, this extra care for personnel increases their level of service.
Adams Street Chophouse is open with or without reservations, but reservations are preferred. The restaurant is booked for opening night and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Robinson plans to spend the first couple of months not seating the restaurant at capacity and keeping the largest table size to six people to ensure his staff has time to get their systems in place.
Overall, Adams Street Chophouse is another restaurant for Muncie native Robinson who is thrilled to continue opening new businesses in his hometown. Living just five minutes from the restaurant, Robinson is dedicated to the community and has had good experiences.
“Compared to a lot of cities, Muncie is very user friendly,” he said. “They really want more businesses, and they are very helpful. I like Muncie.”
Book a table or check out the menu online at www.adamsstreetchophouse.com or call (765) 283-4838.
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