For small business owners, the first sense of relief comes on opening day. The time leading up to that point is another story and one that will no doubt show the testing of their endurance. For husband and wife, Rick and Needhi Patel, the effort was well worth the wait as they will soon officially open the doors to their new establishment, MID TAP. Located at 660 Arlington Creek Centre Blvd., this self-serving bar is the first of its type in Baton Rouge and will no doubt have you talking about it just as soon as you leave.
Rick’s smile is genuine when he shows his excitement for the new space. Designed by Plus One Design and Construction and furniture by Glenn Duncan of Red Stick Salvage Art, MID TAP is more than proud to have gone local in creating this minimalist, industrial vision. All the wooden furniture produced by Duncan has been made from local reclaimed cypress and birch once used in homes and industrial settings throughout Louisiana. All the few standard electronics that are seen out in the open – such as the few televisions, lights, etc. – were all controlled by one device. For something so minimal, there sure was a lot of technology involved.
“I’m a big fan of innovation. Especially with technology,” says Rick, “This is something Baton Rouge needs – Something new to add to the culture.”
And we haven’t even gotten to the technology used to get your beverage.
The concept is simple. Upon entry, patrons receive a wristband that is connected to all 48 taps at MID TAP – that’s for 39 beers, 6 wines, 2 craft cocktails (from the 10 made in house), and a nitro coffee. Beer enthusiasts will be pleased with the selection, as it ranges to all sorts of IPAs, stouts, ciders, blondes, ales, and more. In keeping true to his love for going local, Louisiana’s own Nola Brewery, Tin Roof, Abita, Revivalists, and Gnarly Barley are all here along with several other microbreweries throughout the country.
Once you’ve decided what beverage you want, you place your wristband up to the MID TAP logo and once given the green light, you can begin to pour! If you have little to no experience with this, don’t panic as MID TAPs staff, and some handy guides found on the taps’ screens can help you pour the perfect beer. Get it while it lasts, because as soon as it runs out, a new keg of a different variety is installed, keeping everything fresh each day.
As much passion as Rick has for the drinks, his love of what his kitchen staff provides is measured equally. Their menu has several small bites to munch on as you enjoy your beverage, and it will have you wanting to try what’s in your neighbor’s plate. His chef is a culinary perfectionist, and it shows in the meticulousness of both presentation and flavor with their foods.
The pulled pork sliders, for example, with its apple and cabbage, are absolutely exquisite in providing the right amount of salty, sweet, and crunch. Their culinary influences show as he masterfully blends both Southern and Asian flavors and brings it all together beautifully for their boudin gyoza. For vegetarians, there is a buffalo cauliflower that tastes almost like having the wings as well as providing the finger licking rewards.
The big feeling Rick wants from all this is a sense of community. The tables are long and open, and the railings found inside and outside are not sectioned off, both encouraging close quarter seating. Many board and card games are offered to help get the interactions going! For Rick, it encourages people to get out of their comfort zones and interact. More importantly, it creates a bridge between the many generations who love beer. “We want different generations to be able to come in here,” said Rick.
“The other day we had a grandparent, his son, and grandson, all having a beer before going to Alex Box for the LSU game. Afterward, they came back and brought more people to experience this and partied until closing! And that’s what we want. A place where everyone can hang out, no matter what age group, can take it easy, and try out some great beers.”
Although MID TAP has been having a series of soft openings and walk-ins after 4 p.m., their Grand Opening will take place this Friday, April 26th! Be sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram to see all the new and exciting events taking place at this revolutionary establishment.