ABOUT US

CHRIS ADAMS

While Chris Adams can currently be found jetting around the world creating acclaimed bar programs for everyone from Steve Wynn to Marriott, he did not always know his career would flourish in the hospitality industry. Born and raised in Florida, Adams planned to be in the entertainment industry. While looking for a summer job, he found a part-time gig at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes as a pool attendant and was introduced to the hospitality industry for the first time. He quickly climbed up the ladder, and went from pool attendant, to supervisor, to executive in a short amount of time, and walked away from the entertainment industry all together. After completing the first levels of the sommelier certification program, he met master bartender and beverage consultant Rick Fogel, who took him under his wing and introduced Chris to the world of high end bartending. Chris quickly fell in love with the whole industry, particularly the creativity it provided.

After leaving The Ritz-Carlton, he went on to open concepts in downtown Orlando, including assisting with the development of the revitalization of Church Street Station. Two years after leaving, he was recruited back to The Ritz-Carlton to help revitalize the hotel’s Atlanta location. From there, he helped open the acclaimed Italian steakhouse Davio’s in Atlanta before being tapped to open the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. After six months in Vegas, he moved to Los Angeles and founded Ellis Adams Group. EAG is an international consulting firm that works in the areas of luxury branding, the hospitality industry, entertainment industry, fashion industry, and more. The group focuses on all aspects of businesses, including building brands, concept and design development, training, management, revenue generation, profit margin increases, and social media and digital presence. EAG’s current project list is dynamic and constantly growing. With over 30 active projects underway, some standouts include YNK, an ever changing bar experience tucked inside the Irvine Marriott; 1Kept, an Atlanta dining institution serving a blend of American Cuisine and southern influences alongside craft cocktails; and ONE118 Empire in Calgary, the premier whiskey-inspired bar and restaurant of Alberta. Additionally, Chris has played a key role in the continued evolution of Marriott’s beverage program, Bar Arts, by assisting in writing and teaching the trainings.

THADDEUS KEEFE

thaddeus-keefeIndustry veteran and hospitality pioneer, Thaddeus Keefe, is a bourgeoning force in the Southern dining scene, stemming from the success of his Buckhead concept 1Kept. As well, Keefe is a partner in the hospitality consulting firm, Ellis Adams Group, alongside founder Chris Adams. With over 20 years of experience, Keefe’s creative drive stems for a lifelong immersion in the industry.

Born in the South, with a brief stint in Stuttgart, Germany, Keefe spent his formative years in Atlanta. Keefe’s passion for exploration led him to live and work across the globe, in countries including Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Venezuela. Culling what he learned in each experience he returned to Atlanta to pursue a career in restaurants. In 2004, at just 22, Keefe opened Mosaic, a French-Mediterranean bistro in Buckhead. The following year, he became Director of Operations for Nan Fine Thai Dining under the Niyomkul Hospitality Group. His extensive travels through Thailand, and knowledge of the food & culture, lent credibility to the growth of brand. In 2009, Keefe opened Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft in the Atlanta market.

Upon partnering with EAG, in 2012, Keefe’s reach grew to include projects both nationally and internationally, as well as creating free-standing concepts in the Orlando market.

Eager to launch a project in his hometown, Keefe opened 1KEPT in Atlanta, in 2013. At 1KEPT, the focus is on the concept of a Collective Kitchen, with great ideas and flavorful food stemming from the kitchen as a whole, without having an executive chef at the helm. This unique set up has created an environment that encourages internal growth and incredible innovation. This firm believer in teaching kitchens has served Keefe well, as he sits on the board of directors for the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. There, Keefe helped create internship programs for Atlanta youth. His focus on community and philanthropy is evident at 1Kept, in the manifestation of the Charity Counter. The Counter is reserved for a tasting menu, where 100% of the meal proceeds are donated towards various local and national charities.

Keefe’s belief in and love of community, alongside his depth of creativity have made him a formidable force in the rapidly developing Atlanta and southeastern market. With numerous projects slated for 2017, and the coming years, Keefe is undeniably one to keep an eye on.

Ellis Adams Group (EAG) is an international consulting firm that works in the areas of luxury branding, the hospitality industry, entertainment industry, fashion industry, and more. The group focuses on all aspects of businesses, including building brands, concept and design developments, trainings, managements, revenue generation, profit margin increases, and social media and digital presence. EAG’s current project list is dynamic and constantly growing.

With over 30 active projects underway, some standouts include YNK, an ever changing bar experience tucked inside the Irvine Marriott; 1Kept, an Atlanta dining institution serving a blend of American Cuisine and southern influences alongside craft cocktails; and ONE118 Empire in Calgary, the premier whiskey-inspired bar and restaurant of Alberta.

Additionally, Chris has played a key role in the continued evolution of Marriott’s beverage program, Bar Arts, by assisting in writing and teaching the trainings.