A new concept headed to Maplewood this spring invites you to be the bartender.
This April, Ryan and Lindsay Reel plan to open Tapped, a self-pour bar and restaurant, at 7278 Manchester Road in Maplewood. The space was formerly home to A Pizza Story; a second location of Smitty's Food & Drink was then slated to open in the space, but plans fell through.
The Reels have made a few changes to the space itself, including gooseneck lighting outside and a new door. Inside, the bar has been shortened to allow for flow around it, with 40 beer and cider taps located on the wall behind the bar. Tapped uses the iPourIt tap-control system, which allows customers to serve their own beer and wine. Ryan says they plan to start out with a selection of strictly local craft beers – look for names like Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., 4 Hands Brewing Co., Schlafly Beer and Cathedral Square Brewery, among many others. That lineup might be expanded down the line to include craft breweries from around the country, but don't expect to see any macro brews. Another eight taps for wine will be located in the back corner of the space.
"A customer will walk in, and we'll have someone there to greet them at the front door," Ryan says. "They'll get their ID and credit card to open up a tab and then they'll be issued an RFID bracelet, which looks similar to a watch. Then, they're able to go up to the bar wall with the taps. There will be an iPad for every tap with information about the beer or wine. If they decide they want to try it, they hold up their RFID bracelet, it will activate that tap and then they can pour as little or as much as they like."
On the restaurant side, the couple says they felt the fast-casual model best fit the concept, so customers at Tapped will order food at the counter. Pizza will make up the bulk of the menu, as the Reels purchased the wood-burning oven and Neapolitan-style pizza recipes from A Pizza Story. The rest of the menu is designed to pair well with beers and wines.
"We don't want to have a typical taproom or bar menu," Lindsay says. "We're trying to make it a little more gourmet and fresh; a more fun play on some of your typical bar food."
To that end, don't expect to see any burgers. Instead, the menu will offer a range of appetizers and plates including mussels, sandwiches, a spin on crab rangoon with spinach artichoke dip, and beer-battered fish with Cheddar-jalapeño hush puppies. "I could see people coming for dinner, but I could also see people who are coming to Maplewood stopping by before or after dinner for a few appetizers," Ryan says. "You can try a few different types of beer or wine and enjoy at any time of the day."
Tapped, 7278 Manchester Road, Maplewood, Missouri, 314.899.0011, facebook.com/tappedstl