September 13, 2007
Sticking to the Formulas

Mike Adams is sinking his roots deeper into El Dorado County. Nearly 10 years after founding his Stone's Throw Vineyard & Winery on Apple Hill just outside of Placerville, he's become an increasingly active El Dorado County restaurateur. In January, he took over the German-oriented St. Pauli Inn along Highway 50 east of Pollock Pines, and in April he acquired the even more legendary Poor Red's in El Dorado.

Other than upgrading and expanding the menu at both establishments, including the addition of a New York steak at St. Pauli Inn and rib-eyes at Poor Red's, he's not tinkering much with the formulas that have made them landmark stops.

"The place is an icon. It's been around since 1948, and we want to continue the tradition," says Adams of Poor Red's. The emphasis on ribs remains, the staff is the same (including a cook that's been there 14 years and a bartender 36), and the Gold Cadillac remains the roadhouse's signature cocktail.

Changes at Poor Red's have been largely cosmetic, though Adams has added music on Sunday nights and now serves lunch at the bar.

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