Review: T&P Tavern
We like pubs that exist for more than themselves. You should too. And T&P Tavern is one of those pubs.
Even from the first glance, T&P is a cool place to be. It's in the ground floor of T&P Lofts, on Lancaster in the heart of downtown. A massive patio with an awesome, industrial fan greets visitors , once you've made your way around the corner from the free reserved parking (which is a huge perk in downtown - and seriously, the fan's as big as a small town). Once inside, original 1931 marble, two-story high ceilings, and old school chandeliers accompany the original bar and refurbished swivel stools from the diner that inhabited the space until the mid-1970's. The non-bar tables are a little like a cheap 1950's diner, but there was a great music mix, and the TV's were silently sporting ESPN. There was a photo history of the space hanging on the the entry wall, including the fact that two presidents and Elvis had eaten in the diner.
The barkeep, Andrew - also the manager - was a wealth of knowledge, both about the place and the beer. He spent awhile with us, freely gave more than enough tasters, and just before we left, introduced us the owner. Nate is an engineer at Lockheed by day, with a passion for beer that prompted his bulding remodel and equipment installation (all by hand!) - Andrew called it "a true labor of love," and that certainly proved true. The space, described above, is great... But the beer - for the number of taps (23 beers & a cider) and the age (they celebrate their first year in Sept 2011) - was absolutely amazing! Again, 23 beer pulls, and only one single tap was domestic. That's a win. But here's a bigger win: the other 22 largely departed from the "typicals": instead of multiple Shiners, Stellas, Blue Moons, and Fat Tires (some of which are good & fine!), most of the pulls were rarities, like Fuller London Pride, three Rahrs including an out-of-season but tasty (=rare) Iron Thistle, Boont Amber, Bear Republic Rye, and our choices, Van Steenberge's Piraat, Rare Vos Amber, and Southern Star Waloon. Nate, the owner, hand-picks his ever-changing selection, which served in chilled glasses, varying by beer type.
Finally, while T&P's happy hour prices are already good, we went on a Wednesday, which means $3 draft. Any draft. Thus, even Matt's Piraat (a $6+ beer, was $3 - along with everything else on the menu). So T&P got high marks on atmosphere and higher marks on beer. But what truly stands out about this place is that they're truly a business "for Fort Worth." They could easily overlook the fact that the building's been there for 80 years, but they instead use that fact as a basis for investing well in the city and its unique culture. Here are a few examples:
- On Sundays, a portion of proceeds goes to a local charity
- They have a food menu and "mug club" in the works, for building residents and other regulars (the mug club will include a T-shirt and exclusive events/first tastings, in addition to the pint-and-a-half stein that you can leave behind the bar)
- They're throwing an Oktoberfest party this fall, and inviting local German restaurants to sell their brats at no upcharge - not so T&P makes money, but so that multiple local businesses will
- They promote Rahr
- They host charitable events
- And the local homebrew association, Cap & Hare, meets there regularly to share their brews, and - how cool is this? - the winner gets to choose which commercial beer fills one of T&P's 24 taps for the following month
That's how you become a tavern for the city. You think bigger than yourself, and invest in your community. And T&P gets that.
Now to close, here are a few stats that didn't seem to weave nicely into the post. And it's late, so my creativity's gone. I'm just gonna list 'em; enjoy: smoking is allowed on the patio, but not inside (due to historic regulations). They have a dartboard, but nothing to keep score - and it was outside in 236-degree heat, so we didn't play. There's a cool outdoor service booth, for patio-dwellers. They have a decent selection of wine and cheese plates, and are rolling out a mixed drink menu soon, each of which will be given railroad-themed names to honor the history of T&P's location.