New Tap 65 concept to open in former White Star Market space

The owners of Mid Tap are planning a new restaurant and bar in the former White Star Market location.

Rick and Needhi Patel, co-founders of Tappin’ Brands, say Tap 65 is slated for a late July or August opening. It will share the Square 46 space with the new Bistro Byronz location, also set to open later this summer. A wall will separate the two restaurants.

Tap 65 will be a self-pour concept like Mid Tap, this time with 65 rotating craft brews on the wall. Between the tasting nature of the self-serve taps and bartenders with a knowledge of craft beer, the goal is to create an educational experience for those who want to learn more about beer. The bar, which Rick says will be twice the size of Mid Tap’s, will feature signature cocktails, 65 different types of bourbon and new spins on Mid Tap’s signature Bloody Mary Meal Mugs. Tap 65 will also offer a selection of cigars for guests to enjoy on the patio.

Bloody Mary Meal Mugs

While the food menu will carry over Mid Tap’s wings—the restaurant’s most popular item—the rest of the items will be a fresh start. It will focus on small plates and shareable dishes.

The menu will draw influences from the Patels’ Indian heritage alongside a variety of other cultural cuisines. During brunch, guests can look forward to bottomless mimosas and dishes like chicken tikka naan with a fried egg.

“We wanted to create something new from scratch,” Rick says. “We want to bring something that is different and approachable to Baton Rouge.”

Inside the restaurant, Rick promises a “trendy, urban style with lots of photo opps.” Think: a design driven by murals and art, plants and cozy seating.

“We were able to learn a lot in the first couple years after Mid Tap opened,” Rick says. “We listened to customers and made changes, from incorporating greenery to comfortable seating. We expanded Mid Tap’s menu four different times since conception. We really got a feel for what’s needed in a bar and restaurant.”

A rendering of Tap 65
Artwork for the new Tap 65

Tap 65’s branding materials offer a preview of the style of art patrons will find inside, Rick says. The Patels wanted it to nod to Baton Rouge, incorporating elements like flamingos inspired by the nearby Spanish Town neighborhood and bikes to represent the city’s growing bike culture.

An elephant featured prominently in the design pays homage to India, where Needhi was born and raised and where Rick’s parents grew up. References to craft beer culture are hidden throughout the artwork. On a flamingo, beer hops stand in for the bird’s wing.

And, Rick adds, the restroom’s design will be “insane,” though he says he doesn’t want to give much more detail away yet.

In the meantime, keep an eye on Tap 65’s Facebook and Instagram for updates and announcements.

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