Down At The Whiskey

A group of four friends rocked out together at Motley Crue’s farewell tour and ended up at a popular burger joint afterward to reminisce about the final show. They chatted about how one of the friends got to go backstage and meet Nikki Sixx, who gave her his bass guitar after performing her favorite song onstage. As the conversation continued, the friends realized how terrible their burgers tasted. The whiskey kept flowing, as it had all day, and they choked down those burgers while imagining a restaurant concept that celebrated everything they loved: flavorful food, whiskey, and rock ‘n roll.

While many alcohol-fueled ideas don’t come to fruition, the friends – Wild Bill, Chef Steven Flowers, Katie Walton and Michael Lassahn – used their backgrounds in hospitality and passion for their favorite things to bring The Whiskey to life. Located on Restaurant Row in Dr. Phillips, in the area that was once Cricketers Arms, The Whiskey serves big flavors with a side of rock ‘n roll. And the Motley Crue guitar? It’s hanging behind the bar in homage of the show that sparked their big idea.

When you’re hanging out at The Whiskey, sipping a whiskey or beer, you may not feel like stuffing yourself with a full meal. That’s where the small plates come in. The hand-battered Bangin’ Shrimp drizzled with a house-made sriracha and sweet Thai chili sauce is hugely popular, as are the Whiskey-Style Meat Balls that are made with freshly ground lamb, herb goat cheese and whiskey tomato sauce. Some of these small plates, the ones marked with an asterisk on the menu, are half off during happy hour twice a day – once from 4-7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to close.

While you can get a plain hamburger down at The Whiskey, why would you want to? With a variety of imaginative toppings – like crab cake, pork belly, poached bourbon pear or fried green tomato – plain just doesn’t cut it. The Southerner is full of comforting, down-home flavors with house-made pimento cheese, bourbon bacon, whiskey onions, fried green tomato and aged balsamic. On a much richer note, in more ways than one, The Vanderbilt is a $100 burger that Chef Flowers specially created to introduce the gourmet ingredients found at a steakhouse to their good friend, the burger. Meant to share, a wagyu beef patty is topped with butter poached lobster tail, pan seared duck foie gras, black truffle gouda, saffron aioli and is served with a side of truffle fries and a Moet Champagne split.

The Whiskey is known for its creative, gourmet burgers, but that’s not all this place is about. At the Chef’s Corner, you’ll find Fire Grilled Salmon, a grilled fillet that is topped with a pear bruchetta, served with sautéed asparagus and heirloom tomatoes and swimming in a sea of passion fruit rum glaze.

The Shrimp N Gritz are unique because rather than grits, the shrimp is served over smoked gouda polenta, so it’s not as overly filling as the grits version that expands in your stomach as you eat it.

If you haven’t found the common theme here yet, it’s that everything the kitchen team makes down at The Whiskey is freshly made, by hand, with love. You can just taste it. The meat for the burgers is ground in house and formed into 8-ounce patties by hand every single day. The sauces aren’t mass produced in factories and shipped to the restaurant but instead are produced fresh in The Whiskey’s open kitchen for all to see. Fried items are coated in batter with the chef’s own hands.

Tempting you to end your meal on a sweet note, The Whiskey serves Candied Pork Belly, Spiced Bacon Fondue with bourbon chocolate and whiskey caramel, and whiskey cupcakes. The latter is produced locally in flavors like Fireball, Jack Daniel’s, Black and Tan, and Nutty Irishman. You get the best of both worlds with a dessert and after-dinner drink all in one, but don’t hold back from trying a handcrafted cocktail or one of more than 100 varieties of whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and ryes at the bar. To bring The Whiskey’s concept full circle, there is live music during each happy hour every Wednesday through Saturday.

A small stage in the back corner of the room holds an acoustic show during the early set and a rock band for the late-night crowd. These four friends truly bring their passion to life every day they are able to spend feeding happy customers with rock music in the background.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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