VIDEO: Humble Tavernkeep By Day, Ninja Warrior By Night?

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Adam WinansWe were surfing the interwebs recently when we stumbled over a video featuring a local face we knew. You might recognize him also as he’s a long-time fixture at Elliott Bay Brewing where he can be found dispensing friendly advice about their various elixirs.

His name is Adam Winans and he’s applying to compete on the American Ninja Warrior television show.

We were curious so we arranged a chat with Adam to learn more about this aspiring local ninja:

Hi Adam, we watched your video and were intrigued to say the least. What motivated you to audition for American Ninja Warrior?

I’ve been looking for a chance to fulfill my lifelong dream of crying on national television for awhile, so this seemed like an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

And I’ve been watching both the Japanese and American version of the show for years, and just so happened to come upon it the day that the application process was beginning. It might’ve been something in the air — or the four beers I’d had — but I was suddenly overly confident in my ability to scream loudly and climb ropes on television. Plus, it seemed fun.

When does this all happen? Are auditions underway now?

They are – applications were open from February 1st to March 15th, with the actual preliminaries taking place sometime between undisclosed in April and something something in May. They’ve been… incredibly vague on the when and where of everything that’s going on. I’m still trying to decide if that’s due to some mythical ninja code of ethic, or some mythical code of lazy television execs being jerk faces.

If you make the cut and get to compete on the show, what do you hope to get out of the experience?

I believe that personal growth is found through continuously pushing yourself both physically and mentally, and this seems like a wonderful opportunity to do so; to exceed my limitations and prove to myself what it actually is I’m capable of. That being said, I’m really hoping that doesn’t involve the discovery of how capable my face is at breaking itself, or the superhuman ability of peeing myself in front of everyone I hold dear.

Oh, and I suppose there’s that whole $500,000 prize thing, too. That’d be pretty neat.

If I win? PONIES FOR EVERYONE. You can quote me on that, caps and all. I will purchase a pony for everyone in Burien, and we’ll have the most darling get-togethers that B-Town has ever seen.

We noticed in the video that you’re pretty good at that climbing stuff. Probably useful for a ninja! How long have you been climbing?

I’ve been bouldering (a form of rock climbing without ropes) for about a year now at a wonderful gym called The Seattle Bouldering Project. Rock climbing had always been something that piqued my interest, but it had always seemed like such a hassle with the ropes and the driving and the potential for dying alone on a rock face somewhere, so I had always allowed my laziness and aversion to sharp, gravity-driven rocks to win over the curiosity.

When I was introduced to bouldering, which only required shoes and chalk, it became an instant obsession; I’d been climbing trees and buildings and people much taller than myself for years, and this finally gave me a place to do it where it was… socially acceptable to climb(apologies to anyone reading that attended the 2005 Big and Tall convention). Really though, the big lowdown on bouldering is this: it combines intense physicality with mental acuity and puzzle solving (certain routes can take up to a few weeks to figure out), and is one of most rewarding and cathartic activities out there. It’s fantastic.

You’re a local boy aren’t you? Where were you born?

I’m a Rat City kid, born and raised, which, for those of you unaware, is the loving name we give to the area known as White Center. It’s a place where Pho shops and Mexican food is born. Currently, I’m residing near The Junction in West Seattle and loving every minute of it – other than the ones that suck, of course. Those minutes are the opposite of the bee’s knees. They are wasp elbows. I’ll be here all night, folks.

Anything we can do to help you on your quest? What can our readers do if they want to support you?

A week or so ago I deftly orchestrated (made a Facebook event) a flash viewing of my video on YouTube, in hopes that I could bolster the views enough that it’d catch on and be blown up all over the place the next morning. Ellen. ABC. NBC. Comedy Central. Food Network. They’d talk about my staggeringly impeccable comedic timing and the stroke of brilliance that was that “scene where he eats an entire box of Trix with a ladle.”

In actuality, it probably only helped some guy named Carl in New Jersey accidentally find my video while searching for Jessica Alba(I made her one of my keywords), but the overwhelming support and encouragement from friends and family is what really made it worth it. Sometimes it takes something like a silly little social-networking event to realize how fortunate you are to be surrounded by so many wonderful human beings that are made of happiness. Like, they were put together with pancakes and Labradoodles and stuff.

THINGS I’D BE TOTALLY COOL WITH THEM TRYING, THOUGH: Use their birthday wishes in my favor. Voodoo majicks. Cross their fingers like nobody’s business. If they happen to come upon a wishing well, dump like five pounds of quarters in there for my sake. Got gold doubloons? Get down on yo’ dumpin’ selves. A lucky cat? Scooter really needed a bath, anyways. I think they sell water-wings at Petco.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I just started my own self-operated miniature cupcake catering business, formerly “Adult Male Making Miniature Cupcakes for Middle-Aged Women Catering,” now “Some Dude Catering/’Supcakes,” and am looking forward to making large parties of people unhealthy simultaneously.

I make pizza so good that it should require a Surgeon General’s Warning to account for the possibility of having blown the eater’s mind.
I’m obsessed with dinosaurs.
Uncle Jesse is my favorite Full House character.
My left foot is slightly bigger than my right

Aaaand, I’ll close with this: Most of what I do in my life boils down to one singular intention: to make someone laugh and/or happy. It’s the reason I love making terribly unhealthy cupcakes and pizza for people, as well as why I attempt to write things that make people smile. So, with that in mind, I’d like to thank everyone for reading, and hope that my silly little video manages to impact your day positively, even if it’s in the most infinitesimal of increments. Even [] this much counts.

Can I give shout outs? Are shout outs even a thing anymore? If so, I’d like to send one out to my buddy Justin Lapriore, who made the entire video possible. He’s an immensely talented guy that — even through his severe character flaws — can make anything watchable for extended periods of time while simultaneously inspiring the ever-living awe out of you. He is the actual bee’s knees. You can find him at

And finally, this is Adam’s audition video so give it a watch!

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8 Responses to “VIDEO: Humble Tavernkeep By Day, Ninja Warrior By Night?”
  1. Vera says:

    Wow! so cool! He’s just an all round great guy!
    He’s been a customer here at Village Green perennial nursery for years! Our family enjoys visiting with Adam when we go out to Elliot bay for a bite.
    So fun to see him going after this kind of adventure! Go Adam!

  2. Mykal says:

    Oh my god – that is so funny / awesome. Here are some words of motivation for you Adam: Kick their ass, SEA BASS!

  3. Diane says:

    I’ve been enjoying Adam’s bartending for years. Apparently I’ve missed out on the Ssecret ninja supcakes. Color me intrigued! Hi Adam! Can I get extra pickles on the side for my Plain Jane!

  4. Michele Smith says:

    Fantastic! Adam is one of THE nicest people. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Sara says:

    Great article! I look forward to hopefully hearing more about Adam on the blog down the line. Hopefully if he does make it on the show, he will follow up with B-Town Blog to keep everyone posted. I wish Adam the best of luck and thank him for the smile he put on my face today!

  6. Patrick says:

    I was designated driver last Saturday and was moping down 152nds sidewalk from the insane dance floor at Mc Kellys. I walked in and Adam promptly made me a fresh pot of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Her grinned and said “I know right?” When I motioned my approval. I felt much better and my drunks were ready for home when I returned. Thanks Adam I appreciate your friendly way.

  7. Joy Fisher says:

    I recognize Adam from EBB. Love the video. A bit on the serious side, though. He needs to lighten up a bit, but other than that – awesomeness. (By the way, you did a great job of staying in the lines on your “writing.”) Good luck to you, Adam!

  8. G & S says:

    My wife and I have been regulars at Elliott Bay for about 5 years now. We’ve had the pleasure of being served by Adam as waiter, and bartender, and must say, he is great at both jobs. While he no longer has his “Making People Fat Fridays’, we do miss his mini cupcakes, cookies and baked goods. Good Luck Adam! but whatever you do,.. don’t quit your day job 🙂 lol… we’d miss you.

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