Since the shuttering of the seemingly notorious Taps some time ago – a bar known for not having Taps, owners getting into back alley brawls and pub crawl stabbings – an inordinate amount of interest has been generated regarding the future of the establishment, especially since Ropewalk manager Marc McFaul purchased the building and all associated licenses back in August. With a group of people seemingly knowing what they’re doing at the helm, Nü Taps went from Catherine’s Irish pub to Delia Foley’s Pub and Eatery (1439 South Charles St., Riverside) and opened as promised and on time this weekend, to a packed grand opening on Saturday.
And boy howdy, the interior is very nicely polished.
The cosmetic changes from the dingy interior of Taps are numerous. A new mural adorns the barside wall, where there were once Buck Hunter and boxing simulator games (pictured). The new paint job, a muted red and green scheme (without feeling like Christmas) sets the backdrop for a myriad of statues, figures, sculptures and flags that make the place feel like your straightforward Americanized Irish Pub. The bathrooms have all been updated and cleaned, a problem that Taps never seemed to care to address.
The bar itself features 16 beers on tap on a daily rotation and a really decent selection of ales, stouts and lagers, with the ubiquitous Jameson being the whiskey of choice. Happy hours feature $2 domestics, $3 wine and $4 Jameson, with Sunday being the greatest day for knocking them back, as their special runs all day.
The most notable thing about Delia Foley’s, other than the really decent happy hour, is their menu. It features a myriad of “Irish fusion” cuisine with some interesting items like Corned Beef Egg Rolls and Shepard’s Pie Cupcakes. The main menu was unavailable during their grand opening, but their absolutely insane selection of wings was. Delia Foley’s has a whopping 25 varieties of chicken wings, with some gonzo flavors like peanut butter and jelly, maple butter (think: chicken and waffles), and nacho cheese. We tried out five of the varieties and they tasted great, however a few of them were a bit short on the sauce, as if they hadn’t been tossed in their respective coating for long enough. But seeing as how the establishment literally just opened, I’m sure this will be adjusted soon enough. Regardless, for the price – less than $8 / person for 10 wings and a beer – it’s a great place to check out if you’re a fan of the glory that is the chicken wing.
Delia Foley’s is a great neighborhood bar, great place for wings, and a quantum leap in quality over Taps, and I don’t want to jinx it but they’re certainly in the running for best new bar of 2011. Be sure to check them out!