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Joe Robinson On Bailout Productions, Whiskey Rebellion, And His New Restaurant, Antietam

Photography by Chris and Michelle Gerard

This weekend Joe Robinson, Coordinator and Drink Specialist of Bailout Productions is hosting the second annual Whiskey Rebellion at the soon-to-open two-story bar Cornerstone Barrel House on Woodward, with food from the also soon-to-open Rubbed in Corktown. Joe spoke to Eater about his company, upcoming events, and his restaurant project in Eastern Market, called Antietam.

Eater Detroit: Bailout Productions. What is it exactly?
Joe Robinson: Well, it began as an idea that my partner, Travis Fourmont and I had. We were working at [Michael Symon's] Roast at the time and really wanted a place with the same drink quality but different atmosphere. We launched our first pop-up event last year at Green Dot Stables, featuring a few of our own cocktail creations paired with charcuterie from Rubbed. We had no idea how many people the event would host and when 500 people attended, we were beyond shocked.

ED: Does Bailout only do pop-up events?
JR: No, we're currently working with restaurants as consultants on spirits, cocktails, bar training, and menu designs. We also spend a lot of time at the top bars in New York, Chicago, and the major cities researching and even more of our time is taken up by the trial and error of new drinks. But, we have another pop-up event planned on January 19th.

ED: What's the scoop on the pop-up event?
JR: It's taking place at Cornerstone in Detroit and is entitled The Whiskey Rebellion. We've created whiskey cocktails with our own Whiskey and Rubbed is bringing an 8ft long charcuterie board will endless refills, so we're prepared for a huge turnout. Plus, Jug Band Shine On Kentucky Moon will be playing- they're really a unique band, and Billy Spencer will be DJ'ing later in the evening.

ED: Do you and Travis keep Bailout Productions as a full time or part time gig?
JR: Well it really is a full time job with all the research and testing we do. We visit the top bars in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and all the major cities doing research. After, we test out our own recipes, causing a lot of trial and error. By day though, Travis is the Cocktail Ambassador at Great Lakes Wine and Spirits and I'm working on opening my restaurant.

ED: Cocktail Ambassador? Restaurant?
JR: Travis' official title at Great Lakes Wine and Spirits is Cocktail Ambassador. He's one of the main spirit aficionados and consults with restaurants on their cocktail menu, spirit selection, and provides staff training. I'm currently working on Antietam, my restaurant in Eastern Market, which has plans of opening in the near future.

ED: What kind of restaurant?
JR: Well, I centered the restaurant around the draft handles. My own crafted cocktails, house made sodas, and local beer will be tapped and late night happy hour will be the huge draw. The menu will feature small plates and I'm currently looking for a chef. Saturday and Sundays will be huge brunch days, featuring my "Absolute Best Bloody Mary In America." That's a real award I've won.

ED: Any other events happening for Bailout Productions in the future?
JR: We're going to be creating all the cocktails for 555 Art Gallery's opening on February 22nd, running a spot in Whiskey Business at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, and also in the market, hosting our own cocktail event with the best bars and bartenders in Detroit. All the bartenders we work with are members of the US Bartenders Guild Greater Detroit Chapter, and are the most passionate individuals. [by Courtney Ochab]
· The Whiskey Rebellion 2 Official Event Page [Facebook]
· Bailout Productions Official Page [Facebook]
· All Joe Robinson Posts [-ED-]


1428 Gratiot Avenue, , MI 48207 (313) 782-4378 Visit Website


2015 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48216

Cornerstone Barrel House

1456 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 338-3238 Visit Website