The Tap reopens under new ownership
WORTHINGTON -- The Tap is back.
The establishment originally known as the A&T Tap is up and running once again and has returned to the short version of its former name. After a change in ownership last summer the place was called Boondocks, but new owners Rick and Heather Steele of Worthington have decided to call it The Tap.
The bar-restaurant was closed for a couple of months during the transition, but now is open for business seven days a week.
"We're just trying a new adventure," explained Rick Steele. "I owned a trucking company for 15 years. ... I thought I was going to be home more getting out of the truck, but it's probably the same, because I'm here every day, open to close."
Along with the name, the Steeles have returned much of the original atmosphere and classic menu to The Tap.
"It's more of a family atmosphere during the day," Rick emphasized. "I told my employees that we're running a restaurant during the day, and at night it turns into a bar."
Rick's nephew, Greg Lupkes, a kitchen veteran who formerly worked as a cook at Taste of the Big Apple restaurant in Sioux Falls, S.D., has taken over The Tap's food service. Rick himself also has 10 years of restaurant experience and works alongside Greg in the kitchen.
The menu will be familiar to The Tap's former clientele, including such selections as the Minnesota Burger and Tap Combo appetizer basket.
"We're running daily specials every day," said Rick, who on this particular day was offering meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
Those specials also serve as trials for possible new menu items.
"We've got some other stuff we're going to add on slowly, some larger food items," said Rick. "We want to get away from the bar-type menu and offer more of a restaurant-style menu, but we will still keep all the bar menu stuff."
One of the new items already on the menu is Moe's Burger, a selection that has been popular because it's a good deal, Rick noted.
"It's just a regular burger, a plain burger and fries, but it's really cheap," he said.
So far, the only physical change the Steeles have made -- besides giving it a good cleaning and changing the sign -- is the paint color on the outside of the building. During the Boondocks era, it was a bright green, but now they've given it a coat of a more classic cream to complement the original siding.
Eventually, they have much bigger plans for the building, but a possible addition is still in the dream stage. For the moment, the Steeles are focused on growing their business by returning many of The Tap's popular former offerings. Dart and pool leagues have already resumed, and they plan to schedule tournaments. A meeting for the sand volleyball league is scheduled for Wednesday, and the league will get under way on May 21. A dodgeball league will also be offered on the outdoor patio/volleyball court.
A grand opening event is planned for late spring or early summer.
Located at Second Avenue and 12th Street, the Tap is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. For more information, phone 376-6556.