Standard Tap

Last night, I got to go out and meet up with some friends from GSI. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the folks from there (with the exception of running into Doug at the Happy Cog open House), so it was good to catch up. Teil, Mike and his girlfriend Katie all came by for some brews and beef (or beets, in Katie’s case).

We had originally made plans to do this the week after Christmas but work schedules, the occasional office fire and other circumstances conspired against us (I blame Bush, as usual). But, finally, we arranged to meet at the The Standard Tap on 2nd and Poplar Streets. Teil had been talking the place up for months, so I was glad to finally get to try it out. To be honest, I liked it.

A Higher Standard

It’s a great cross between a neighborhood bar and an upscale Center City hang-out. Dark and without pretention, but clean and well-kept. A chalkboard above the medium-sized bar announces what beers are available and provides the menu. A kegerator dominates the backbar, while two hand-pumps are front and center in the bar itself (each offering nice beers: the Troegs Nugget Nectar and a nice ESA that was mighty tasty. The service was pleasingly surly, although they lightened up in later conversations – no small talk to be found at this place. And no TVs either – the whole place is devoid of the ubiquitious bar television scene, forcing people to actually talk to each other, albeit over the widely varying volumes of the eclectic jukebox. And to add another touch, in the main bar room is a wonderful painting of the leaves changing in the fall … over a concrete drainage ditch culvert. You have to like that touch.

I got to try a good number of different beers, too – always a good night in my book. I started with a Sly Fox Dark Lager which was a tasty beer, a little bitter on the initial sip and definitely an American-style dark lager more than a German one. I followed that up with the Appalachian Ale, which was a refreshing German Lager-style that the bartender was reminiscent of a German Pilsner. Despite the odd description, it was a good, tasty and easy-drinking beer. When we had dinner, I enjoyed that previously mentioned ESA who I can’t remember the brewer for the life of me – but it was mighty tasty.

I was a bit surprised by the prices for this place, but the food was fantastic – hanger steaks, tuna steaks ($22), calamari ($8), octopus ($9), bratwurst and sauerkraut ($20), mussels and smelts … not your normal pub fare by any stretch, but all delicious.

Among Friends

Anyway, it was good to see all of the folks from ‘the day’ again and catch up on what was going on at GSI and in general. I won’t share their comments, but it was interesting to hear that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It sounds like some good things are happening over there, which is good to hear – I still wish them well and think that they are really going to make quite a splash.

Teil was telling me about his latest work, on the new Ace Hardware site that they’ve been working on for a while. I had done a lot of the original IA work on it, but when the project lagged for a while, I went on to other things and someone else took over. Visually, I think it’s a great site and definitely incorporates a lot of the things that myself and others in the department were stridently pushing for in terms of usability and accessibility. Be sure to check out the store locater – good stuff.

And Mike and Kate seem to be doing well, too. Mike’s always been a good guy, and it’s great to seem him enjoying the stuff he’s doing there. Now he just needs to get himself either a Nikon D80 or Nikon D200 so that he can become a photography nerd like me and we can talk more photography when we get together.

I need to do this more

This is the second time I’ve been able to get out in recent weeks for some beers with friends – it’s seemed like forever since I’ve done so, and now I’ve been able to do it twice in two weeks. Last week, I checked out National Mechanics – my friend Jody helped create the site – which is another bar that has some cool charm to it. Now, I just need to convince my wife she wants to come into the city more often to join me … or at least understand when I’m always later than I say I’ll be.

More good stuff


2 Responses to “Standard Tap

  • I’ve had so many people recommend TThe Standard Tap to me it’s amazing.

  • That sounds like quite a bar — but too rich for my blood! $20 bratwurst? Ouch! I’m sure that it’s delicious, though.

    I’m not a big fan of bars, they just seem too impersonal and noisy to me in general. That, and you can usually buy a six pack for the price of two beers in a bar. The downside, I guess, is that you can’t taste several beers.

    That said, there are several places around here that I go to even though I don’t care for the atmosphere, because the food is so good.

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