Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2022
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- 3LECHE Cooperative; Bittercube Bitters; Restaurant Alma; Martina, Colita, Grand Café
- Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
- Chicago, Illinois, USA, raised in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
Sometimes all it takes is one seemingly innocuous moment to change the course of someone’s life. For Beverage Director Adam Witherspoon, that moment happened at Eat Street Social, heralded as one of the local pillars of craft cocktails. Without any knowledge or aspiration of doing so, the bartender there and the glass of Le Tigre by Bo Fontana made an indelible and lasting impact on Adam. This exchange became one brick along his unconventional path to hospitality.
Adam grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and though he dreamed of being the next Kobe Bryant, he discovered a passion for acting and went to college to study theatre. He was weeks away from moving to Los Angeles when a hospitality opportunity fell in his lap. He scrapped his moving plans and began working in the industry, at first to support his acting career, but after meeting the right people — and having the right inspiring cocktails — he quickly became a lifer.
“At first it was just a cool craft,” he says. “I wasn’t aware of what hospitality actually can be. But if you’re lucky, you find the right people — or the wrong people to drive you into the right people’s hands.”
For Adam, the right people have included some of the brightest lights in the local and national culinary scene. One of his first jobs was for Bittercube, an artisanal bitters company. Grinding through the bartenders’ version of the old school French brigade system, he learned the art of handling accounts, throwing events, and how — when made precisely and with care — a seemingly minor ingredient like bitters can make a major impact on a cocktail.
From there, he gained front-of-house experience at award-winning restaurants like Restaurant Alma and Grand Café. Along with his mentors Marco Zappia and Dustin Nguyen, he started the innovative bar programs at Martina and Colita, where he learned to think outside of the glass. The trio also simultaneously launched 3LECHE, a collective that focuses on the regional terroir and bounty of the Midwest and how that simultaneously bridges and differentiates the market from the coasts in which the city dually admires and aim to set itself apart from.
Adam’s approach to his bar program at Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis is simple: have fun, meet people where they’re at, and always keep one’s water full. “The water pitcher is the best tool we have as bartenders. The best thing I can do is give someone water. I see them, I acknowledge them, remind them they’re supposed to be here, and this seat is your home until you decide it’s not anymore. The water bottle is the best representation of hospitality.”
While off the clock, Adam likes to connect with friends over drinks at humble, honest, and authentically Minneapolis establishments like the Northeast Yacht Club (note: not a yacht club) and 19 Bar and lean into his more gluttonous side at places such as The Food Building and Restaurant Alma.