Venice

Fall 2015

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TAPPING INTO BOCA Tap 42 expands its fun—and enough beer and bourbon to match—to Palm Beach County. BY SUSAN BRYANT PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELIPE CUEVAS 110 Venice Let's get this straight: Despite the expansive patio overlooking an alluring courtyard of tiered fountains and palm trees spiraled with white lights, don't expect to have a romantic date at the new Tap 42 gastropub at The Shops at Boca Center. It's social frenzy—chatter punching above feisty tunes, witchy laughter and King Kong chest thumping at high-top tables—pumped up by crisp beer and cocktails being dispensed from 42 different taps (plus 25 kinds of bottled beer, 50 types of bourbon and handcrafted cocktails such as The Big Easy with bourbon, watermelon and basil). "While there are certainly somewhat subdued times, like weekday lunch, we think the high level of sound is really just a byproduct of, and contributor to, our guests having such a good time," says Doug Rudolph, one of several partners that also includes son, Alex. Apparently, it's addictive. During its opening weekend in July, 100 guests lined up for the hallmark "Bottomless Brunch," which includes $15 unlimited mimosas, bloody marys and Funky Buddha Floridian beer amid reclaimed wood and an indoor/outdoor bar with garage door features. Fort Lauderdale locals have piled into the original Tap 42 location—just as boisterous and industrial looking—for three years, awakening the Poinciana Park neighborhood near Davie Boulevard. Now, the owners have captured that same vibe in Palm Beach County with its second location. Another draw for locals: the gluten-free and vegetarian options. Two years after its founding, Tap 42 launched several healthy options, such as the Falafel Veggie Burger, the Grilled Salmon Zen Bowl and the Superfood Lettuce Wraps—a move even more appealing to a health-conscious Boca crowd. "Roughly 70 percent of the items we serve can actually be prepared in some form of these categories with just minor modifications," Rudolph says. "We are all just as committed to, and obsessed with, making sure these options taste just as great as all the other items. We certainly feel they are a contributor to our success, as it really opens up our menu to everyone." Other factors to their success, says co-founder Blaise McMackin, are four core values: fast, friendly, focused and fun, plus "great design and space flow—and commitment to quality food at reasonable prices." McMackin, who was new to the restaurant business from the real estate world, brought on experienced partners at the original Tap 42 location such as Rudolph, who introduced Wendy's to Miami-Dade County in 1977. "Together, we believe we are presenting one of the most exciting restaurant-bar experiences that South Florida has ever seen," Rudolph says. "And our ever-growing customer counts continue to reinforce that belief." Make that ever-growing locations, too. A third Tap 42 is in the works for Coral Gables, and the company's Mexican-themed Bar Rita will debut this fall next door to Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale. 5050 Town Center Circle, Suite 247, Boca Raton, Tap42.com v SECOND CITY After the success of their original location in Fort Lauderdale, Tap 42 business partners Doug Rudolph, left, and Blaise McMackin bring their energetic gastropub to Boca Raton.

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