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Commercial Taphouse & Grill
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
111 N Robinson St
phone: (804) 359-6544
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vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
One thing I hate about bars in the south these days is the overwhelming and prolific smokiness of every restaurant bar that serves alcohol. I cannot detract points per se, but, it is really a nuisance. However, in the south, this is standard operations so I cant complain too much. Small and cozy bar with about 10 bar seats and about 10 tables along the right hand wall.
Beer seemed fresh. Service was pretty good. It took awhile for the initial interaction but once the server and I became acquainted, things went smoothly and the beers and food were sent expeditiously and with a smile.
One thing I did like was the variety of beer sizes: They had either a 12oz pour, a 16oz pint, or a 20oz imperial pint, all priced on the menu. Most of the Imps were around $6 and the american pints were about $5. However, on Monday (when I visited), everything is $1 off between 4:30 and 8.
Pretty good selection. At the time they had about 15 drafts and about 15 bottle. I really love cask beers and they had an IPA on cask which was okay (the lines seemed to be a bit unclean, if you ask me).
Food was great. I had a chicken salad that was really good. I cant say I would come back here solely due to the smokiness but if that doesnt bother you, this is a sweet bar.
01-27-2009 01:07:18 |
More by SaCkErZ9
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Nice little place recommended to me by DrewS (who met me and Artied2 there for some brew). A bit dark, rustic-looking.... Long from front to back, with a decent bar along the left-hand side of the place. Fairly crowded, with loud rock music playing. Very nice bier menu (though unsure of the draft to bottle ratio). Hey, they had Spaten Maibock and HopDevil on tap, so there you go! A great time was had...thanks, Drew!
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: n/a | $$
07-06-2002 18:14:04 |
More by Bierman9
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: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Back before we moved to Boston in 2001, this bar was about 4 blocks from our place in the Fan and we were in here at least 3 times a week. OK, bull$#!+, more like 5...I remember getting my Diners' Club bill one month and realizing what a large percentage of the total the Tap House made up. I walked in and saw Jim the owner and said, "Geez, Jim, I got my Diners Club bill today. It was about $450 and probably $350 was from the Tap House." Being a gracious and generous host, he said, "Well, I'll buy you guys a couple of pints - it's the least I can do. It's probably ALL I'll do, but it's the least I can do."
We get back here a few times a year when visiting family in RIC and C-Ville. I enjoy the vibe of the old metal bar with all of the funky fixtures and kitsch up top, including a Sinatra poster, an Elvis statue and a Sit & Spin (maybe a Homer poster too). They always have good stuff on tap - locals are featured as well as a nice selection of rotating taps to match the season. Not a huge selection but definitely one that can keep you busy for the evening - there used to almost always be at least one thing on cask as well. A lot of the staff is actually still there from when we lived there (and so are the regulars), so there's nice continuity. The owners recognize us from several years ago and are always friendly and helpful with the list. James seems to be the owner we see most now - he and the staff know their malt & hops. He still gives us $#!+ about our intermittent habit of ordering Purple Haze as the last pint of the night when we were ready to pack it in after a particularly long evening at the bar.
We don't usually eat there but the food is a decent notch above standard pub grub; the Baja chicken was always one of our favorites. Service at the tables during prime time can be a little spotty as with anyplace else. Pricing on our most recent visit (update 3/21/2008) seems to have increased - $5.95 for most on tap if memory serves me right. Craft beer prices tend to be a bit inelastic from region to region in comparison to overall cost of living and the Tap House is no exception; looks like the hop shortage isn't helping either. Tunes are solid and eclectic. It's my favorite bar in Richmond and a necessary stop for us when we're back in town.
02-11-2008 15:34:00 |
More by IBUnit63
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: 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: 4.5 | 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: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
I stopped in with a co-worker while in Richmond on business. The place is a local hangout in the downtown area. It has a laid back and easy going feel to it. The bartender did a very nice job of greeting us as soon as we hit the stools. He offered food and beer menus for us to peruse as he finished pouring a few more beverages. They offered an IPA on cask, which I found to be rather unique. I sampled it and it was smooth as silk. I also enjoyed a Oak Aged Yeti on draft, and it was perfect. My co-worker ordered a pizza with shrimp and andouille sausage. He gave me a peice, and I gotta say the wheel was great. As for the prices, this place being near the VCU campus I anticipated the prices being in the near expensive to expensive range. However, the prices were just right. If you get the chance, you should take a visit to this place and be sure to get the pizza.
03-16-2011 23:52:11 |
More by cdkrenz
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 | 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
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Commercial Taphouse & Grill in Richmond, VA