My On Tap
On Tap Sports Café opens at Liberty Park.
By Jan Walsh
Today we are among the first in the door as On Tap opens at Liberty Park. The restaurant is situated across the street from the Founder’s Gate. So, we drive out the gate and into their parking lot at 11967 Liberty Parkway.
On Tap Sports Café was established in 1996. And today Craig and Elaine Beegle, and son Todd open their fourth location. Other locations include the Galleria, Inverness, and Fultondale.
The new 6K square foot restaurant at Liberty Park is a lovely English Tudor with a color that boasts multiple indoor and outdoor spaces. And tonight, the Beegles treat me to a behind the scenes, private tour. Entering the restaurant there is a small lobby with an English country club ambience of paneled walls, leather furniture, custom artwork, and a color scheme of forest green and burgundy, which will be repeated throughout the restaurant.
A massive room to the left is dotted with tables for large and small groups, surrounded by exposed brick and paneled, walls lined with TVs galore. French doors lead to an expansive open patio where outdoor games await the young and young at heart, flanked by covered two-story porches to the right. Back inside, we take a seat at a booth, in the room to the right of the entry, which is a more intimate spot with cozy, green leather booths and a large gathering spot in the center of the room. This room is also lined with TVs. And at the end of this space, it leads to both a staircase and into the bar.
We head up the staircase to the u-shaped balcony with seating wrapping around along the balcony. On the far end are classic leaded windows, keeping the English theme—traditional and timeless. All seats overlook the bar and a gigantic laser TV, centered on the main wall.
Also, down an upstairs hallway, Elaine unlocks the Bourbon Room and opens for us to enter. I am Wowed by the country club ambience with rich paneled walls. An English oak bar boasts a fine selection of whiskies. Leather club chairs flank a chess set, and are centered around leather Chesterfield sofas, overlooking the patio below from a lovely, large leaded window. I could settle in here for the night. But time to head down to the bar below, which is the two-story heart of the place.
The same massive TV viewed from above is centered in this space. The bar itself lines the entire, outer wall. And craft draft beer taps, along with some wines on tap, line the back wall. Behind the taps is the temperature-controlled barrel room in front of the kitchen. Here things are beginning to heat up. Tonight, we toast our new neighborhood pub with a Blue margarita and beer. In addition to our tasty app of the Wing Sampler of five jumbo and five boneless wings, Kev opts for the Old Time Club sandwich. And I order the Ravioli Squares, which on the menu is listed as a sharable dish. Yet I do not plan to share but make a meal of it, instead.
The club is sliced into four large pieces. The toasted bread is piled high with thick generous layers of smoked turkey, ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato. The flavors and textures synthesize into a light yet hearty meal, which is accompanied by piping hot French fries. My raviolis are more than expected in both quantity and their tasty crusty coating. Each is filled with melted ricotta, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheeses. I dip each into the marvelous marinara until I can eat no more.
After this soft opening last week, Liberty Park’s On Tap is now open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. until late night.
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