Bartender George Williams pours a glass of one of Taps’ 14 draft beers. Stephen J. Kotz
By Genevieve Kotz
As the owner of Studio 89 gym, Rich Decker is no stranger to making over clients’ bodies, but his latest project was his own restaurant.
Mr. Decker recently gave his North Sea Tavern a complete renovation, doubling both the size of the bar and the number of draft beers available, and renamed it, appropriately, Taps.
Taps, which is located on North Sea Road in Southampton, opened on April 10 and is the kind of place that caters to customers who want to stop in for a beer, grab dinner or enjoy live music.
“We have the number-one beers in the world and we have local IPA’s,” Mr. Decker said of the restaurant’s extensive beer offerings.
At Taps, there are 14 different draft beers offered, including but not limited to Lagunitas, Miller Lite, Guinness, Lager, Blue Moon, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Peroni as well as eight different bottled beers. A pint of beer is between $5 and $6, which is “ridiculously priced for this area,” according to Mr. Decker. The restaurant also has a full bar and specializes in mojitos and margaritas.
With entrees ranging from $8 for a burger to around $25 for higher priced entrees, customers can expect good food and beer for a good price, according to Mr. Decker.
“It’s a very friendly restaurant,” Mr. Decker said, “We are kind of like a Hamptons-style restaurant without the Hamptons prices.”
While the sign above the door boasts “Brews, Burgers and Wings,” Taps also serves a full menu of pastas, steaks, seafood and other American pub-style dishes.
The restaurant has seven big screen TVs with surround sound, making it an ideal location for watching major sporting events like the ongoing Stanley Cup finals. Soccer fans will be glad to hear that Taps will be showing all of the FIFA World Cup matches this summer.
Besides catering toward sports fanatics, Taps regularly features live music and other musical performances. Every Friday night, it has live music with different performers booked until the end of summer. On Wednesday and Saturday nights, there will be a DJ, and it will host Reggae on the Deck every Sunday afternoon. Starting in July, they will be hosting a new music venue, Summer Acoustic, from 9 p.m. to midnight on Thursday nights.
Mr. Decker, who has been on the East End for the last 30 years, has made a career with nightclubs, health clubs and restaurants. Five years ago, he opened Studio 89, a private fitness studio in Sag Harbor that offers one-on-one training as well as fitness classes such as TRX, Spin and Zumba.
Because of his experience with fitness, Mr. Decker made sure that his menu allows people to enjoy their meals without having to sacrifice their health. Most of the meals are based on proteins and complex carbohydrates and Taps also serves plenty of chicken and grilled vegetable dishes for people that want to eat on the leaner side. There are also plenty of gluten free and vegan options. The restaurant is also willing to substitute menu items with something healthier, at no extra charge.
“If it’s not on the menu, just ask and we’ll make it for you,” Mr. Decker said, “We’re very customer friendly.”
Taps is open seven days a week. It opens Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. for late lunches and dinner, Fridays at noon for lunch and dinner, and it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 9 a.m.
For more information, check out its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TapsSouthampton.