- Annette Pendilton
Euclid Avenue is a mixed-use district that is extremely walkable and offers a unique range of amenities and attractions! Global cuisine, retail spaces, coffee houses, gyms and a diverse range of residential opportunities - Euclid has it all! For the month of September, we decided to sit down and chat with Amanda-- the Assistant General Manager at International Tap House (iTap for short).
Owners Brad Lobdell and Sean Conroy opened the first iTap location in Chesterfield, Missouri. The pair went to college together and were first introduced to the craft beer scene in the late 90s. Thinking, "what if we did it?" Lobdell and Conroy wanted to give owning a bar a try themselves.They decided that they wanted to open a place where the main focus is beer--a place to get people interested in the world of craft beer with a knowledgeable staff and specialty hard-to-find products available. While the Chesterfield location is now closed the bar has since expanded into five, and iTap has been influential to the beer culture in St. Louis, Missouri and the Midwest.
iTap opened in the Central West End in July 2013. The owners liked the location because of its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, which seemed like a great spot for a beer bar where people can hang out. Amanda sees the establishment as a hub for the international community given its proximity to the medical corridor. The 3-story bar makes a great place to hang out after work, and has all the local and international beer in one spot. While their focus is on beer, the company has recently started diversifying and now carries wine, cider and craft cocktails.
Although there are five iTap locations, the company prides itself on being a small, family-owned business. Each location has its own unique personality.What makes iTap CWE unique is its super friendly, knowledgeable staff and expansive beer collection. The bar currently has 61 draft beers and 350-400 canned options. iTap staff see themselves as "tiny tour guides" for visitors to the area, and they are happy to give travelers recommendations when they come into the bar. While the beer selection might look intimidating at first, staff are happy to answer questions and help you to find something you'll like. They strive to create a welcoming atmosphere to help people get into the world of craft beer.
In the next five years, the owners plan to keep expanding and opening up locations. Current iTap locations are in the Central West End, Soulard, Columbia, KC Crossroads and Louisville. The business also wants to use their space for more events. The third floor of the Central West End location is available for large and small events.
Recently, iTap staff participated in a 5k/10k with a portion of the proceeds going to Girls on the Run, a youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. They also organize a Galentine's Day every year, which happens the day before Valentine's Day and features a supply drive and donations for Haven House, a hospital hospitality house in St. Louis. Once or twice a month, iTap hosts Kegs For A Cause, where an organization chooses a beer and part of the profits from that beer go directly to their cause.
Stop by iTap CWE Thursdays at 8 PM for trivia night! Each week features a different brewery.
For more information about iTap, visit their website here or check them out on Instagram and Facebook @itapcentralwestend.