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VOL. 128 | NO. 55 | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Coffee, Beer Bar Slated for Downtown

By Sarah Baker

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Downtown residents soon will be able to grab a cup of Joe, locally brewed beer and a fresh sandwich or salad in one fell swoop.

Taylor Berger, partner in YoLo Frozen Yogurt & Gelato, along with partners Mitch Buckner (of Bella Café in Pink Palace) and Daniel Flanagan (of Chiwawa, the newly opened Southern-inspired eatery near Overton Square), have signed a lease for 2,755 square feet of retail space in the ground floor of Van Vleet Flats, 122 Gayoso Ave.

The bar, scheduled to open in May, is tentatively-named Tamp and Tap Room. It’s a play on espresso, which is tamped for compression before going into the machine, and also kegs of beer, which are tapped.

Berger said his group saw a gap for “a lounge place” Downtown.

“We’re envisioning folks who are going Downtown for a game, to see a show, or who live Downtown, wanting a place that’s not as wild as a bar,” Berger said. “Somebody in their group can have tea, somebody could have coffee, somebody could have a beer, snacks and things, and just hang out and be together in a little more low-key environment than a bar or restaurant.”

Tamp and Tap is working with Tony Dreyfuss from Metropolis Coffee Co. out of Chicago, which Berger said “works with the growers to source really awesome coffee, and then they roast it really to perfection.”

Tamp and Tap will also have affordable sandwiches and salads similar to what Cheffie’s Café in Highpoint Terrace offers.

“Coffee is the focal point, but we also saw a need Downtown for a lunch option,” Berger said. “With all of the good greens and ingredients real fresh and right there for people to select.”

Tamp and Tap will have a vintage kegerator that will source at least two craft beers “from some of the new guys that are coming online” and be changed out often to “keep it interesting.”

Breweries expected to open this year are High Cotton Brewing Co. in the Edge district, Memphis Made Brewing Co. LLC in Cooper-Young, and Wiseacre Brewing Co. in the Broad Avenue Historic District.

Alex Stringfellow, associate with CB Richard Ellis Memphis, represented the landlord, Henry Turley Co., in lease negotiations. Tamp and Tap was not represented.

Graham Reese Design Group is designing the space. Berger is also using his other business, Memphis Contract Furniture, and its relationship with Woodland Tree Service to source local slab wood for Tamp and Tap’s bar, tables and accent work.

“It relates to my feeling that live-edge wood and slab wood used in restaurant space looks beautiful and it’s going to be very popular if I can market it,” Berger said. “The idea is that we use this space as a test for it, photograph it and everything, hopefully, it’ll become something that restaurateurs think about when they’re considering the design of their bars, tables and other ascetics of their places.”

Hutzel Construction Co. Inc. on Monday, March 18, filed a $47,500 building permit for tenant improvements for the café. Berger and his partners intend on keeping Tamp and Tap’s renovated space “relatively simple.”

Tamp and Tap will have six to eight employees. Follow the lounge bar on Twitter @tampandtap for updates.

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