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A second round on iTAP No. 2

March 3rd 04:03pm, 2010

030310_beerExcitement filled Brad Lobdell’s voice when he described the forthcoming second location of the International Tap House, which he co-owns with Sean Conroy. iTAP announced the June debut of that location – at 1711 S. Ninth St., a few blocks northwest of Soulard Market – yesterday afternoon.

“It’s got these cool punched-out box skylight things,” Lobdell said. “It was an old metal file cabinet warehouse. Everything inside, it’s all exposed brick, and the ceilings are exposed wood beams, so it’s got a lot of neat character to it.”

An iTAP employee led the owners to the new site, which contains roughly 800 square feet more than the original. “One of our managers out here [in Chesterfield] … lives down in Soulard, and he said, ‘Man, there’s this building down there, it’s been vacant for about a year, and it’s got a patio out to the side – you guys should go check it.’”

Beers at the second location will differ slightly from the first. “The bottle menu for both places will be the same, just from an efficiency standpoint,” Lobdell noted, “but the draft menus will probably be different. And that’s only because one place may go through a certain beer quicker than another, and we’re constantly rotating the beers.”

Although the initial announcement mentioned a World Cup launch, the Soulard operation may open somewhat sooner. “Now that we have the lease signed and we can get our contractors and the cooler companies moving, we’re hoping to be open before June 11,” Lobdell said. “We’re actually hoping to be open June 1.”

As with the original, the Soulard iTAP will serve no food, but will encourage customers to bring it with them or order from neighboring restaurants. “If people are walking around and want to pop into a sandwich shop and grab a turkey sandwich and bring it in,” Lobdell said, “they’re more than welcome to do that.”

Response to iTAP in its first year has thrilled Lobdell and his partner. “Obviously, we opened the business thinking it would be successful to a certain extent,” he said, “but we’re really pleased with how much people in St. Louis have embraced it – even more so than we expected they would. So it’s been really great, and we’ve enjoyed it. We’re looking forward to being in Soulard.”

Many city residents will share that sentiment, we suspect.

By Bryan A. Hollerbach

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