Tapping into a love of beer

In a perfect world, parents can grab a beer, sit down to watch a game with friends while their children are perfectly entertained and well-behaved without them.

Restaurateur Jeremy Foti can't guarantee a child's manners, but he is trying to provide the entertainment.

Opening in about a month, Tapshack in Newport Beach and Taphouse in Huntington Beach will offer a wide array of draft beers, lunch and dinner menus, plasma-screen TVs and video game consoles.

"It was sort of trial and error with my own three boys," Foti said of coming up with the concept behind the sports-themed bar and grill. "What I tried to do is create a mutually beneficial relationship of where I can go get a burger and a beer, and the kids can go play Xbox."

Tapshack, at 1617 Westcliff Drive, will feature 26 draft beers, including self-pour taps on an outdoor patio that will dispense measured amounts of beer using electronic key cards.

The cards will keep track of who is drinking what and how much, Foti said.

A separate game room will house multiple screens, where PlayStation and Xbox consoles can be hooked up and rented by the half hour. The room will have a security camera feed into the main dining room, so that parents can keep an eye on their children.

The new eatery is taking over the building that formerly housed the Arches Restaurant, which closed last year.

The location has seen many restaurants come and go over the years, despite its close connection to both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa diners, said Jim Walker, president of the Newport Beach Restaurant Assn., an official city Business Improvement District.

While Walker, who also owns the Bungalow in Corona del Mar, did not know the details of the soon-to-open sports grill, he said that brewpub concept eateries are among the safest bets in the restaurant industry.

"Hopefully, they do well," Walker said. "People are always anxious to see a new restaurant open and to have it become successful and reliable."

However, he expressed concern about the potential noise that could affect surrounding residential areas, particularly during the peak of game seasons.

Huntington's Taphouse, which will be Tapshack's larger sister location at 8901 Warner Ave., will feature about 70 different beers. It opens around June 1, Foti said.

Both locations are hiring for front-of-house and kitchen positions. Applications can be downloaded from http://www.taphousehb.com and emailed to info@taphousehb.com.


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