Duluth Tap Exchange owner Jordan DeCaro credits the establishment of his self-pour taproom to a lot of sleepless nights.
“Three years ago, I was building my house and I was living in a little garage on my property,” DeCaro said. “I would stay up at night and Google different concepts and came across the I-pour-it concept.”
After clicking on a link to show his interest in the concept, DeCaro had the opportunity to visit a self-pour establishment in the Twin Cities.
“The minute I walked in there I was like, ‘This is coming home with us,’” DeCaro said. “It was awesome. People love it. You get almost any kind of option that you like.”
Now, the doors will soon open to a second self-pour taproom in the Twin Ports, this time in Superior. The Tap on Tower was slated to open Friday, Oct. 15, at 1106 Tower Ave.
After a delay in gaining occupancy of the remodeled building, the plan now is to offer staff training the week of Oct. 18 and host a previously planned wedding Oct. 23, DeCaro said. The establishment will open after that.
DeCaro said he didn’t really plan to open a second location, but the building became available, and the popularity among Wisconsin customers seemed like an opportunity to expand on.
“We get a lot of ongoing support from Wisconsin residents,” DeCaro said. “This fit the concept and all the new development in this area kind of drives you. Once you do one, it’s like you get that hunger to continue to bring this concept to different demographics. It’s very unique. You can drink one ounce; you can have 30 ounces. It’s really up to you.”
Here's how it works: Customers will check in with the hostess, who collects credit cards and IDs and scans them before providing customers with a wristband.
A variety of glasses below the taps will be available for customers to use. They will grab a glass and then tap the wristband to the logo for the beer they want to drink. A light will turn green, allowing them to pour their selection.
DeCaro said older customers enjoy the variety of beverages available and younger people like to being able to get their own drinks when they want them.
The Tap on Tower will offer ciders, craft and domestic beers and white wine on tap. Options will include Earth Rider, New Glarus, South Shore, Duluth Cider and Bent Paddle. He said 10-12 of the taps will offer local varieties and three to four will be domestic options.
“We really want to support people in this demographic and this area,” DeCaro said.
It will also feature a full bar where red wine, whiskey, vodka and other liquors will be available.
Customers can pour just a little to taste something new or fill up a glass and relax.
“There is a 44-ounce check point,” DeCaro said. “Once you hit 44 ounces you have to check back in with the beertender. It’s just a good way to not over-serve.”
Like the Duluth Tap Exchange, the décor consists of brick and barn wood, but the Superior location is a little bigger, DeCaro said.
In addition, the Tap on Tower will have food options — Shelton’s Pizza of Saginaw and ice cream from Love Creamery in Duluth.
But food options don’t stop there.
“You can also bring food in,” DeCaro said. “So, if you want Anchor or Thirsty Pagan, those are also options.”
DeCaro said he anticipates the Tap on Tower, like Duluth Tap Exchange, will evolve over time.
“It’s our stamp” DeCaro said. “It’s not like a franchise.”
This story was updated at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 15 to reflect a change in plans to open the Tap on Tower. It originally posted at 7 a.m. Oct. 13.