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Heard on the Street: Counting down to new Tap House opening

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Heard on the Street — Jeff Kiger column sig
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Look for the beer and food to start flowing soon at the new Tap House West End in Northwest Rochester.

The dynamic Med City restaurateur duo of Natalie Victoria and Christine Stahlsay the construction of their new 6,200-square-foot Tap House West End at 52365 Commerce Drive NW is starting to wrap up. 

"Everything is on track. We hope to open for business on March 3," said Victoria. "It's been a good experience. Now comes the fun part for us ... and the hard part."

While the pair launched the original downtown Tap House on Historic Thirdin 2012 , this project is much most ambitious in every way. It is their first built-from-the-ground-up project. The new Tap House will have twice the capacity for customers with seating for 300 inside compared to 150 in the downtown location.

West End will also have 100 beers on tap, the most ever seen in Rochester. That's double the 50 taps downtown.

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Victoria and Stahl were on the front end of the craft beer craze in 2012 when they hooked up the then-record 50 taps downtown.

"We got lucky," said Victoria. "We were blessed with good timing to be on the cutting edge of the craft beer trend."

Now they are doubling down with their second location to book-end the Med City.

While the new place will follow in the footsteps of the original, with things like Taco Tuesday and live music, look for the West End to offer some new twists.

The menu will be much larger and more family friendly. West End will also serve lunch, which the original location doesn't.

As the opening date looms, Victoria and Stahl say they have lined up most of the team of about 60 employees for the launch, which is about double the team that staffs the downtown location.

They are now working on the final touches, with the seating, decor and two large fireplaces.

"We want it to be approachable and casual. We both have an eccentric side, so we want it to be fun and appeal to everyone," she said.

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One thing West End will have in common with downtown is a lot of competition.  Five West, Smoak, the Crooked Pint, Zen Fusion, Mr. Pizza Northand possibly a future International House of Pancakes location are just a stone's throw away.

Heard on the Street — Jeff Kiger column sig

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