A new bar-restaurant opening on Cedar Springs will add two things the street seems to lack: a sport bars with many TVs and craft beers on tap. Called Cedar Springs Tap House, it will open on the ground floor of the Ilume building, in the space that briefly housed Monica's Nueva Cocina.
The tap house is owned by a Houston-based company that also owns a concept called Luke's Ice House, which is half ice house, half sports bar. Tap Room manager Matt Dunafon says that the Cedar Springs spot will be "like an upper-class tap house."
"We'll do an outdoor grill where people can walk right up," says manager Matt Dunafon. "It's a walkable neighborhood."
"It'll be good food and about 20 beers on tap," he says. "You can sit down and eat, or come in for a few beers. You can bring your dog; we'll be dog-friendly. It'll have about 15 TV sets."
Dunafon says that the popularity of sports bars peaked a year or two ago. "What is hitting now is tap houses," he says. "Younger customers, 21 to 30 years old, are experimenting with craft beers."
The wall of taps will include but not be exclusive to Texas beers. There'll also be frozen drinks such as a frozen Bellini, and the menu will be new American. "It's a little bit Italian, a little Mexican, white chicken chili, family-style spaghetti and meatballs," he says. "We'll have some neat desserts, including a 'Pop tart' ice cream sandwich."
Dunafon has been in the bar business for 17 years, working mostly out of Denver for a strip club chain called Shotgun Willie's. He moved to Dallas to run the club and says he hopes the Tap House will be a resource for the neighbors.
The space, which has been empty for more than a year, is being reconfigured to elongate the bar, reposition the entrance to the side, and build an enclosure for the patio. "We'll do an outdoor grill where people can walk right up. It's such a walkable neighborhood," he says.