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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Tap Restaurant + Brewery Has Taps at the Tables

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

       Inside The Tap. | Jerry Berhorst
  •        Inside The Tap. | Jerry Berhorst

The Tap Restaurant + Brewery is hard to pin down. The 6000-square-foot space at 3803 Elm Street is a restaurant, a microbrewery, a lounge with bottle service -- the list goes on. One thing is for sure, though. There's nothing like it in St. Charles. Owners Maria and Jerry Berhorst wanted to create a local institution.

See also: Sugarfire Smokehouse Expanding to St. Charles

"It's unique but not crazy out there," Jerry Berhorst tells Gut Check. "It's a great place to get some kick-ass food and have a good time afterwards."

The Tap has three main parts: the restaurant, the microbrewery, and the After Dark Lounge. Berhorst says you'll be able to tell it's something unique when you pull in the parking lot. The mailbox is made out of a keg. It also has an outdoor smoker, which Berhorst says is the largest keg smoker in the world.

The menu will be "classic American fare" but with twist, like pork steaks that are smoked and chicken wings complemented by over 100 hot sauces. There will be a few fondue tables with actual fondue pots with flames, local favorites like Italian crack bread and hot bacon dressing salad.

       Bringing in the keg smoker. | Jerry Berhorst
  •        Bringing in the keg smoker. | Jerry Berhorst

On the bar side, The Tap will have 28 beers on tap, plus its own brews, over 150 craft bottles, six wines from Les Bourgeois on tap by the glass, as well as margaritas and Old Fashioneds on tap. OK, we're starting to get why it's called the Tap. Two six-person tables will also have four self-serving taps.

To the right of the bar area will be the Tap's three five-barrel tanks, plus a separate brewing room and lounge area. After Dark will feature a Jack Daniels stage, a Skyy Vodka lounge with bottle service, and a fully heated patio with competition-grade corn hole and washer pits.

The Berhorsts are planning to open the restaurant and lounge February 1, but anticipate that the brewing license will probably take a bit longer, although they've already applied.

Maria and I grew up and were raised in this area. It's our business. We're not investors, we're owners. It's a local place developed by us," Berhorst says. "It gave us the opportunity to look back through our travels and think, what were the cool things we've seen, and could we incorporate them into our own restaurant? We've been able to incorporate every one of those elements."

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.


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