Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of Highland Tap and Burger -- but you'll have to wait until October 5 to really celebrate. Although the party was originally scheduled for September 17, the start of football season and events booked during the Great American Beer Festival with the likes of Left Hand, Avery, Ska and Odell breweries have swamped the joint.
Not a bad problem to have.
"There was a huge learning curve," says co-owner Juan Padro. And that curve includes how huge the initial response to Highland Tap turned out to be. "When we first opened this place up, we thought we're going to open up the bar side and the outdoor seating and that'll be enough, and it'll look full," he recalls.
They figured they'd open up the dining area later, after they worked out the kinks in service and in the kitchen. "Well, three days into it, we had to scrap that idea because the neighborhood just came and opened up the other side on their own," Pedro says.
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The owners -- Padro and his wife, Katie O'Shea; Kevin Eddy, Kris Slocum and Brad Beale -- had to borrow tables, or find them wherever they could. That meant that the tables didn't match, some were crooked and most weren't very aesthetically pleasing. To disguise this problem, Padro threw some white tablecloths over them -- which led to one Yelp reviewer saying that the restaurant looked like a wannabe trendy L.A. burger joint.
"I'm like, man, little does he know, I'm from Massachusetts so I don't like anything L.A. And you know, it's like, our tables just didn't get here on time," Padro says. "We had a lot of issues when we were first opening up, and those just didn't seem to matter."
Although the food and drink specials have yet to be decided for the October 5 celebration, you can count on live music from Garrett Sayers, tasty bar food and over twenty beers on tap.