Adam Frager

Co-Founder, Blood & Sand


Photography by R.J. Hartbeck

Adam Frager is the co-founder of Blood & Sand, and Death In The Afternoon. Blood & Sand is a private membership bar and restaurant, and Death in the Afternoon is a beautiful lunch destination. Both are located in downtown St. Louis. At Minimums, Blood & Sand is our favorite restaurant. Literally everything on the menu is remarkable. The experience Adam & co-founder TJ Vytlacil have created is something truly special.

Backgammon Set

My dad taught me when I was very young, and have played many, many, many hours with my business partner TJ…which has led to many incredible conversations. It’s everything you want in a game…strategy, luck, and gambling!

When TJ and I started our first company (a clothing company called zrodfx) we would spend hours playing each other as we discussed a lot of our ideas and plans. Many of the philosophies for the kind of culture we wanted to create were discussed over backgammon.

Much like your professional career (and life in general), there are:

  • Ups and downs. Even when it looks bleak, you’re never out of the game. Comebacks are as common as easy victories. Because this ebb and flow is a given, you quickly develop patience and perspective. You understand that highs and lows are part of the game and to take them both in stride.
  • Constant calculation of risk vs. reward. Every turn you are forced to make a choice that carries some element of risk. Because the landscape is constantly changing, you are always evaluating your options and trying to make the best decision possible while trying to maximize your chances for success and minimize your risk of an undesired outcome.
  • Infinite options. There are many strategies and ways you can win at backgammon. There is no 1 way to succeed.
  • Your energy is a tangible thing. Although there’s no proof to this, TJ and I had a crazy experience one day playing backgammon that convinced us our mental energy has a direct affect on the roll of the dice. (This is similar to the “cooler” concept at Casinos). Because we were astonished at what was taking place, we decided to go to the Casino and see if our crazy good energy could continue. We walked in with $100 each and left with almost $2,000 each after 4 hours of the most unbelievable rolling I’ve ever seen at a craps table. Now if I knew how to harness this energy consistently, I’d be telling you this story from a yacht in the Caribbean.
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Wedding Ring

My wife Lorena is the most phenomenal woman, so there’s not a day that I don’t think about how lucky I am. But I accidentally got a ring that was a little to large which means it constantly slips off. Not that I needed any reminding, but my loose ring is a wonderful reminder of how grateful I am about our relationship.

I purposefully bought a cheap ring because I was convinced I’d lose it at some point. I’m coming up on my 3 year anniversary and despite it being extremely loose at times, amazingly I’ve yet to misplace it.

Shop Rings on Amazon$50+

North Face Beanie

I lived in Colorado for 6 years and love the mountains. Although I don’t wear it very often, it always brings back some exciting memories from living in Breckenridge. I was 23 when I started a live music venue..which was the best thing for me at that age. Also, there aren’t many things better than having a drink after a day of powder skiing.

Shop Beanies on Amazon$9.99+


Speaking of drinking….this herbal liqueur is probably my favorite spirit of all time. It’s also one of the main ingredients in my favorite classic cocktail of all time: Last Word.

Even when my palette was non existent 15 years ago, I still remember my instant love affair with Green Chartreuse.

In 1605 a group of Carthusian Monks were given a secret manuscript that was revolutionary for its time. Containing 130 different herbs, roots, and plants, it quickly become one of the most prized and sought after spirits. It’s popularity led to a second version that was created in 1764….which contained sugar and brought down the proof to a more manageable 110 😉

I’d like to say it’s a metaphor for who I am (multi-faceted, mysterious, profound depth, timeless), but it’s really only because I think its delicious.

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Franmara Wine Key

Easily the best wine key ever invented. I carry a wine key every day, because its astounding how often I use it for things not related to opening Wine. I’ve actually had 4 confiscated at the airport because I forgot that it was still in my pocket.

The problem with most wine keys is that the knife dulls quickly. This wine key solves the problem for good with an ingenious design. The first time a server discovers this wine key, they all have the same reaction: relief that they no longer have to be embarrassed at a table because they’re fumbling with cutting the foil.

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Think and Grow Rich

I read this book by accident when I was 24, and it introduced a concept that was completely new to me…that our thinking directly affects the quality of our experience. It sounds simplistic and obvious, but it changed my entire outlook once I gained this insight.

At the time I discovered this, I was trying to figure out a way to improve my businesses financials. I thought making more money would be the answer. Instead of getting a “how to” on generating more income, I learned something far more valuable which was discovering the power of thought.

Although it was written in the 1930’s, much of the wisdom written then is just as applicable in today’s world.

Buy Now$6.39


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