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Justin Diaz Takes Over Ox, Whey Bar Programs

With the recent departure of Jamal Hassan to the land of Tasty N Alder, the buzzy beverage program at Argentine grill Ox has named Justin Diaz its new bar manager. Diaz, an alum of Kask and Dig A Pony, will oversee cocktail operations at both Ox and its sister-in-waiting, the Whey Bar, and as to be expected, some changes afoot on both cocktail menus. Diaz cites Fernet cocktails, dessert flutes, and more flavors borrowed from Argentina as emerging possibilities (one new drink is a take on the "Death in the Afternoon" featuring anise sorbet) — though some Ox classic cocktails will remain, like the popular Dirty Grandma Agnes and La Yapa.

Over at the Whey Bar, Diaz plans to "change some aesthetics" over the next few months to make the spot feel like less of an Ox waiting area and more of a stand-alone cocktail bar. "I'm looking forward to adjusting the feel and attitude of it — when summer comes, ramping it up to be not only a neighborhood bar, but also a destination place," Diaz says. "I think the space is a really cool space, and we don't want it to be a waiting room. [We'll] make it more, I don't know — interactive maybe, bringing a levity [to it], instead of people sitting and waiting." (The whey cocktails remain intact, however — according to Diaz, "there will always be something that's using whey in different ways.")
· Ox [Official site]
· All Previous Ox Coverage [Eater PDX]

Image of the Ox bar courtesy Avila/EPDX

The Whey Bar

2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Portland, OR