By January 7, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

BarView – Tap Room

BarView New Year, New Bar: The Tap Room By Kate Serpa Photos by Philip Johnson

You see, my problem with New Years is the whole bit about resolutions. Around the 1st, people expect us to have some life-affirming statement as to what we’re planning on changing to better ourselves for the upcoming year. When someone asks you what your New Years resolution is, they are essentially asking what it is you hate the most about yourself; be it the extra 20 pounds, the cigarettes, drinking before noon, stealing quarters from public fountains — you know, the universal issues. Here’s the thing though, dear reader: your New Years resolution (just like your tombstone inscription) does not, in fact, have to be factual. You can make it all up! Just picture: “Why yes, (insert name here), for 2014 I’m resolving to finally stop mailing Johnny Depp locks of my hair.” Trust me, it’ll be fun.

All this being said, MY 2014 resolution (since you asked) is to try to be more honest. I have a big problem with little lies that tend to get me in trouble. For example, I hate Bloody Marys — all of them; even the one that you make that is ‘way better’ because you use bacon salt or whatever. I hate them, I lie about hating them, I end up drinking them, and then I’m miserable. I also steal olives from the bar caddy. Hooray honesty! I’m feeling better already! And without further ado, here goes an honest article:

The Tap Room is nowhere near any bar circuit — actually it’s nowhere near much, but that’s the beauty of it. When Phil and I pulled up on a Wednesday night, the entire place was (not exaggerating) wall-to-wall packed — on a Wednesday… for no reason. The Tap Room is obviously working some sort of beer magic.

Now a full bar is usually a turn-off for me; I like having my own space and a bit of face time with the bartender because I’m needy like that, but as Phil and I are standing at the packed bar, getting in the way of many beer tray-toting waitresses, the energy got a bit infectious. Phil started snapping photos of other patrons’ plates full of Chef Chow’s chicken and waffles, Cajun gumbo, deep-fried mac & cheese squares with bacon jam, Thai tacos, and heaping plates of fresh oysters (!), while I enjoyed a pint of Dust Bowl and looked over a faultless tap list. Tap Room’s beer list was like listening to a favorite playlist — every new bit made the whole progressively better. Firestone, Snowweizen, Anchor Steam, Langunitas, Dust Bowl, Arrogant Bastard, and 21st Amendment were my highlights of the 20 rotating taps offered.

Obviously, beer is not the only option; wine and spirits also flow aplenty. I enjoyed one of the more unique cocktails in my life — the Ellis Island, consisting of Jameson and straight pickle juice. My new go-to drink? Most probably not, but was actually — dare I say — good?

So the Tap Room, owned and operated locally by Randy Rocha and Nathan Wilson, has only been open for under two months. The natural initial reaction is — eh, no wonder they’re packed, it’s the honeymoon period. Normally I would be inclined to agree with you, reader, but I really do believe the Tap Room has real staying power. Tap Room’s Chef Chow is delivering fantastic bites and fresh oysters (I love oysters so damn much, people), I thought the beer selection was great, patrons seemed they had already been coming for years and easily struck up conversations with Phil and I — and with a big photo of the Modesto Arch on the main wall, it appears to me as though Tap Room is gearing up to be an exceptional addition to local dining and drinking. Good times were honestly had.

So I guess I have two resolutions: 1) Frequenting Modesto’s newest bar for the new year 2) Severing all postal ties with Johnny….wait, I mean being more honest. Yes, honesty. Happy 2014!

3948 Sylvan Ave, Modesto, CA



Posted in: featured, food & drink

About the Author:

Kate Serpa does not live in Modesto, CA, nor does she attend court-reporting school. She has not played for the piano for a number of years and she is definitely not excited about helping out at the McHenry Museum. She detests drinking, bar hopping, and late night adventures, and thinks girls who dye their hair red are disgraceful. She has absolutely zero sense of humor and is boring as hell.