New bar offers beer taps at table

Ben Lippert

Ben Lippert

Tappers Bar and Grill is celebrating its grand opening this week in Brookings. Tappers offers a laid-back, casual setting with features completely unique to the region.

Tappers is located at 1104 S. 22nd Ave. in the Shamrock Convention Center. Mike Bailey Jr., the founder and owner of the Shamrock and Tappers, said he had always planned on building a restaurant and bar in the Shamrock.

The project began more than two months ago around New Year’s. Bailey and a crew of between 10 and 12 people have been working tirelessly on it since.

A unique feature of Tappers is that it offers taps at the table. Not only is Tappers one of the only bars in South Dakota to have this, it is the 19th bar in the nation.

“Brookings is unique in having all the bars in one location,” Bailey said. “We are going to have a completely different atmosphere than downtown. It’s going to be a little nicer than most of the bars down there.”

Guests no longer have to wait for waiters or waitresses or long lines at the bar, and can now choose from four different brands of beer located conveniently within arm’s reach.

Rachael Body, a senior advertising major, thinks the table taps will be very successful. She said it will speed up the drinking process and be easier for guests.

“I think it’s an epic idea,” Body said. “I’m very impatient when it comes to waiting for beer, so Tappers sounds like the perfect solution.”

The table taps are controlled by an electronic touch screen that shows how much of each beer guests have drank. When finished, the tab can be split up depending on the number of patrons at the table.

Tappers is a spacious, two-story bar and grill that has much more to offer than beer and taps at the table. Downstairs is where the main bar and a majority of the tables are located. Upstairs, there are pool tables, dart boards and a lounge. There is also a second bar on the top floor, as well as private party rooms.

In the spring, construction on sand volleyball courts will begin in preparation for summer leagues. Other leagues and activities are already in the making.

“In the summer we are going to have sand volleyball courts for volleyball league,” Bailey said. “We will also have pool leagues and dart leagues.”

Starting this week guests can register their bracket for March Madness through the bar. Tappers also has daily specials including two-fers during the week.

Tappers has a full menu, and all of the items are less than $10. It includes appetizers, chicken wings, burger baskets, flatbread pizzas, prime rib sandwiches and many other American food options.

Bailey said Tappers is one of the biggest, if not the biggest bar in Brookings. Because it is located in the Shamrock, it has the ideal setup for large parties and concert settings.

Although Tappers is designed for large events, it is also intended to have a chill, easy-going atmosphere. Bailey said they will play alternative and alternative rock music, and the lounge upstairs comes complete with a fireplace. There will also be more than 20 TVs throughout the building which will broadcast different sports via paid package programs.

“It’s going to be like a sports bar, but not like Cubby’s,” Bailey said. “We’re not going to have all the jerseys hanging all over the place.”

There are many things that make Tappers different than other bars and grills in Brookings.

Bailey is not concerned about going face first into Brookings’ already crowded bar and grill market. He said being close to many residential housing and apartment buildings is a big help for generating business. He also said they specialize in catering to large group parties.

Bailey closed with a pitch to students and the Brookings community saying, “Come try out the tap tables, and the alternative to downtown.”

TapZ, a bar in Aberdeen, was the first bar in South Dakota and only the fourth in the nation to feature taps at the table. Located inside the Aberdeen Ramada Inn, TapZ has seen tremendous success and created lots of talk since its opening one year ago.

“People like the concept of pouring their own beer just like you would at home,” said TapZ manager, Kyle Malson. “We’ve gotten a lot of buzz ? we are busy every night.”