Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cellar & Loft's beer taps are flowing, and the pizza kitchen is open, too

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

click to enlarge Six of Cellar & Loft's taps are now pouring draft beers. - CELLAR & LOFT FACEBOOK PAGE

As of Saturday, Cellar & Loft's beer taps are flowing. Six of the 24 taps are ready to pour at the River Market wine and beer shop (525 Walnut). Later this week, that number should be around 10. 

The first six on tap are Green Flash Black IPA, Green Flash Double Stout, Southern Tier Eurotrash Pilz, Bell's Oarsman and Perennial Black Walnut Dunkel, according to Josh Davis, Cellar & Loft's resident beer expert. 

Davis says Founders Imperial Stout, New Holland Night Tripper and New Holland Blue Sunday should be online later this week. 

So how did the Saturday debut go?

"Our member base here was really expectant, waiting with bated breath for the taps," Davis says. " And we delivered finally. I think people were excited."

Davis, who used to work at Green Room Burgers & Beer and Beer and Beer Kitchen, says the taps will rotate "every time we blow a keg."

"We're not going to do a full-size keg, so they'll be sixth, and quarter barrels, maybe a half here and there," he says. "Ideally, once that's gone, we bring in something completely different and new. We will try to have staples as far as breweries go, like something from Bell's on all the time and Founders as well.

"We have 24 taps to play with," Davis adds. "It's open market, basically."

The store is treating February as a "beta test," Davis says, with a "hard open" on March 1 with every tap filled. Cellar & Loft was already selling anywhere from 260 to 270 beer labels in its basement. 

Cellar & Loft's assistant manager and wine specialist Eric Taylor says the groundwork for installing the taps started in June.

"We already have a large beer following with our beer membership, and we had a few taps beforehand, but we wanted to expand that to offer beer members a wider selection," Taylor says.

Cellar & Loft is also offering pizza as of just before the new year. The shop bought the neighboring space that was once home to Original Antonio's Pizzeria and Walnut Deli. The wall between the two businesses was torn down to expand the "loft" portion of the business. 

"We do different pizzas and appetizers every night," Taylor says. "We're not quite open for lunch - at least not early lunch - but mid-afternoon, like a late lunch, we're open. We currently have one chef on staff, so he works mostly from 2 until close every day that we're open. He was actually the original chef [at Antonio's, Mitch Mey]."

But lunch is coming soon, Taylor says. A second chef is joining Mey, and Cellar & Loft will soon be serving lunch when the store opens at 11 a.m.

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