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Commercial Taphouse & Grill
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
111 N Robinson St
phone: (804) 359-6544
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I'll be honest... I loved this place the first couple of times I went there. They have some absolutely amazing brews on tap you will literally not find anywhere else (e.g. '02 Bigfoot for $6, '96 Gales Prize Old Ale in bottle for $10). These brews are served in the proper glassware at the proper temperature... and the 12 or so taps rotate fairly frequently. You can tell that the owner is a beer lover.
That said, the last time I went opened my eyes a bit. Perhaps it was because for once, they didnt have anything spectacular on the beer list, and so I took some time to examine other aspects of this establishment. First, it's tiny, which would typically not bother me. But being tiny + everyone around you smoking + poor ventilation = painful experience. Coming from an ex-smoker, when I say it is smoky, I mean it is pea soup fogginess in there.
Second, unless you're at the bar, the service is ATROCIOUS. The bartenders / waitresses might come around once every 45 minutes or so, and you better know exactly what you want when they get to your table. Also, while not exactly rude, they are certainly not friendly.
A positive note: I have never had the food here, but I have heard it is good, for bar food.
In summation, go here and pray to whichever god you please that there is something interesting on tap, because that is truly the only reason to frequent this establishment.
06-08-2007 15:06:22 |
More by nickss
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
You can always get a good beer here. I have had meals here only three times, avg/avg/good. The "beans and rice" was quite good, I need to try more of their dishes. But you can always get a good beer here, the staff are knowledgeable, and the place is cozy. I prefer coming here to other larger places because it is more intimate (I can walk in here alone and feel comfortable), and prices are compatible or slightly lower. Unlike other "Fan" bars they close at 0100, something in their lease.
10 taps, all quality, and 10 or more bottles to choose from. I suck at remembering names, but I have had Delerium Tremens, Duvel, Sierra Nevada IPA, Victory Hop Wallop...they have some regulars and some that they rotate in and out. I know I can come here and get a good beer (if I don't get here too late and not get a seat).
05-20-2007 17:17:19 |
More by stonewall2
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in last night for a couple pints, as it's a decent walk from my place. Had yet to check it out, but on the recommendation of a friend decided to go. Enjoyed a cask-conditioned Victory Hop Wallop, as well as some of the Taphouse brew specials, which were okay. The place is not very spacious, but the lighting and atmosphere make for a comfortable, rather than closed-in, experience. The waitress was somewhat attentive, as there were about six of us, some of whom ordered food that came quickly, and the glasses (beers, anyway) consistently stayed full. Okay in this department. The draught and bottle selections were pretty good, not a whole lot of variety in comparison with other beer bars, but at least a solid 10 choices in either form. Overall, I was impressed for a neighborhood hangout/bar, and will likely return as new beers come in and the weather warms up. Definitely worth checking out.
03-01-2007 22:44:01 |
More by CharlieMopps
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Taphouse (it's the real one, too, IMHO) is a wonderfully ecclectic place to meet with friends and enjoy a diverse selection of beers.
I am fond of it for many a reason: (most importantly) it almost always has an exceptional selection of draught beers, it's incredibly cozy, warm and relaxed (there's something in those wood walls, eh?), it's an experience every time (I once went there and it was flooded with singing British football fanatics) and the waitstaff care about beer.
Though it does not have the same enormous selection that a larger venue such as Capital Ale House has, it has a great draught and bottle list and an ecclectic uniqueness that is unmatched by any such place I have happened upon. Highly recommended.
12-01-2006 01:37:35 |
More by 3toed
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I love commercial tap house. It's about a block from my house, and always has a good selction of beer that rotates constantly. The service is quite slow, despite the fact that the place is tiny. I'd recommend ordering 2 beers at once, because you'll probably finish the first by the time the second arrives. The owner is very knowledgable and quite nice, and also likes to buy things specifically to cellar. This past winter, he had a keg of 2002 Bigfoot on cask, and was selling it for only $5.95 a glass. Truly amazing. The food here is also pretty good, and usually has a beer on the menu that pairs well with it.
While the place is loud and dark at night, I find it very cozy, and the back booth is a great place to hang out with friends. The only problem with this bar, is that last call is at midnight. Some wierd ancient law about being across the street from a hospital.
06-05-2006 04:04:44 |
More by phisig137
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is a nice place to go for a few drinks before or after eating in the area. There are some pretty good places around, including Konstas right around the corner. They do have live music occasionaly. Theres also an upstairs hangout with some couches and tables.
The beer selection gives you about 12 taps. They have a hand pump that changes out frequently. They also had a Bigfoot barleywine vintage 2002 on tap which was excellent. The server took her time pouring and served in the correct glassware. She was also knowledgeable about lots of craft beers.
We grabbed the wings which were excellent. The quesadillas looked like they were pretty good and the best deal for your money.
Overall I would come back here if in the area but wouldnt make special trips here unless there was something special on tap. With its vacinity to Capital Ale House and Legend, this would be a pick only if you wanted a quiet night out or eating in the area already.
As a side note parking is a pain. Street only and smack in the middle of a residental area.
03-01-2006 14:03:44 |
More by nriech
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I always make a point to stop here when passing through Richmond. A small dimly lit bar, this little palce has a great selection of beer, a friendly staff and excellent food. Eclectic atmosphere, wood-paneled walls.
Each time I've been there, only a few patrons are present, so the service has been fast and the barstaff has been helpful; even eager to let you taste a brew you're not sure about. They offer different sized beers, based on how much you feel like drinking, how many different kinds of beer you want to try, etc. I've had the club and some kind of wild chicken sandwich with pineapple and gorgonzola(I think) cheeze....sounds awful but is superb. Match that with a Dogfish head or Imperial Stout and you've got yourself a good time in a fun bar/restruant. Make a point to go here if ever in the neighborhood.
11-03-2005 18:59:41 |
More by sinistrsam
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
I've been here about three times in the last 8 months or so, and I've been pleased every time.
The atmosphere is very dive bar-esque, which I personally love, sespecially since I'm from small town Western Pennsylvania, originally. You have everyone from college kids, super trendy business suit folks, and bikers, and it's all a pretty harmonious mix it seems to me.
The quality outdoes the atmosphere in that if you walked in without knowing anything, you may not know how good their selection is for such a small bar. More on that in a bit.
The service is always decent. Since it's so small, they usually have one waitress, but for dinner time it's not too hard to get a table as long as you don't have a party bigger than 4, as the tables aren't really all that huge.
For how small in size the bar is, the selection is always great. You can usually get 12 oz. glasses to pints to Imperial pints, except with the more rare Belgians and specialties, which are in 10 oz. glasses. Prices are pretty decent, ranging around $4 for a variety of taps: maybe 12-15, and all of them are pretty stellar. Also they have a wide variety of bottles. And you can see clearly on the top of the menu when they change their rotation; the numbers change, so it's fun to visit weeks or months later and see how many times the selection has changed.
I've had three different dishes in the 3 times I've been there, and all have been great. Once again, it ain't bar food, though it seems like it would be.
Overall this is a great place to have your dive bar atmosphere with the beer and food flair that many smaller bars not only don't care about, but certainly don't have. Check it out if you get the chance.
03-22-2005 03:22:45 |
More by asabreed
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Finally made it to the Taphouse today. A snow-shortened day seemed like the perfect subtle suggestion to stop for a pint.
The physical layout is quite small. About 12 x 4-seat tables line the wall on the right. A 12-ish seat tin-covered bar on the left. 2 restrooms and a small kitchen and that's it. Very cozy. Very dark. Very "pubbish". Music is on the soft side in terms of volume (which is a big plus for me). 14 taps here plus a beer engine, no macro. About 20 bottles beers listed, including Westmalle Double, some Gale's Old from 1996 and 1998 jumped out at me. An interesting mix on the taps, with locals like Legend and Starr Hill plus some other notables like Fuller's ESB, Sierra Nevada, Snow Goose, and Guinness. Patrons were very friendly...struck up a conversation with 4 others around me who appreciated a good beer. BA.com was recognized as a place they've all visited at one time or another (gotta spread the love). A different group that what you'd see at Capital Ale House.
Staff was extremely friendly and attentive. I sat at the bar and ended up chatting with James (owner?) who spent many minutes with me discussing his operation and what was soon to be put on as well as what I'd sampled. James also is cellaring some bottles as well and will offer them up at various times once they've had a chance to age. Bottle prices are very fair.
I think they open around 4 each day.
Pints run $4.25. Mondays are half-price pints, which was a nice surprise. Live music is also on some nights.
Of note are several "mixes" they sell:
Shandy - 1/2 Legend Lager + 1/2 lemon-lime
1/2 & 1/2 - 1/2 Legend and 1/2 Guinness
Overall, a friendly and nice place I'll visit again. Great service, good selection, and good prices. What more can you really ask for?
01-27-2004 02:16:13 |
More by OldFrothingSlosh
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
Small place with about 12 taps. Generally, their taps are pretty good, no swill beer taking up room. Neighborhood tavern. Good wings. Overall, a place I would recommend on a pub tour. Right across the street from Retreat Hospital. I wish they would get a little more adventuresome with their tap selection, including having a few more stouts (Guniess is generally the only stout they pour from my experience).
03-13-2003 10:35:39 |
More by EricP
Commercial Taphouse & Grill in Richmond, VA