After years of serving meals and drinks downtown, a pair of well-known restaurateurs are looking to Rochester’s new booming west-side restaurant row for their next project.

Christine Stahl and Natalie Victoria are building Tap House West End on an open lot along West Circle Drive Northwest, close to where a new barbecue restaurant called Smoak is under construction.

A groundbreaking for the project is expected this summer with the goal of opening Tap House West End before the end of the year or in early 2020.

The new, 6,200-square-foot Tap House West, their first built-from-the-ground-up project, is projected to seat about 250 people. Victoria said that while the new restaurant will follow in the footsteps of their successful downtown Tap House, with things like Taco Tuesday and live music, this one will have some differences.

“Tap House West End will be more food forward. It will have an expanded menu compared to downtown,” she said. “We want it to be approachable … casual.”

While it will have more food than the original, “tap” is still in the name. That means that Tap House West End will still offer a wide selection of craft beers — even more than downtown.

“We’re going to have 100 taps,” said Victoria. That’s double the 50 taps at Tap House Prime.

Why look outside of downtown, where they have had success with Tap House and Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar?

“We both love that area. We feel that’s where the growth is going right now,” said Victoria. “We hope to capture some of the traffic from the hotels, which are really popular with visiting sports teams, and reach local customers who can’t get downtown.”

Tap House West will join a collection of eateries in the West Circle Drive/ Costco area that includes Five West, the under construction Smoak, the Crooked Pint, the new Zen Fusion, Mr. Pizza North and more.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips or questions to

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