Tapped – Taphouse and Kitchen, at 210 S. Main St. in Moscow, opened in October after about five months of construction, and is owned by Cohen and nine others. But the idea for a nicer pub in the Palouse town had been brewing in Cohen’s mind for about 10 years.
Cohen, who is the managing owner of the business, first moved to Moscow in 2005 and noticed that there wasn’t a bar that didn’t feel like a place for college students. He was looking for someplace that fell between higher-end restaurants and pool halls where he and his wife could have a night out or grab a drink with friends.
“I always just felt there was a hole in the market for that place,” he said.
The exact idea for Tapped came after Cohen moved to Eugene, Ore., and began working with brothers Dan and Stephen Hughes, who started ColdFire Brewing Co., in 2011. He said that was how he got into brewing craft beer, and initially wanted to open a ColdFire brewpub in Moscow when he returned in 2013.
But Cohen said the brewery was still a work in progress and he didn’t want to miss an opportunity to open any kind of a pub so he scrapped that idea and decided to go with a taphouse. The difference, he explained, is a brewpub involves selling the beer crafted in-house and a taphouse brings in a variety of craft brews to have on tap.
Tapped started coming together after Cohen mentioned the idea of a taphouse to Caleb Applegate, who asked a while later when they were going to start one. They teamed up, started looking for locations and secured the current building last December.
Cohen said they began renovating inside the building in January, then contracted with DK Mullin Architects in Moscow to create a design. It was through that process that Cohen’s vision of a metropolitan, industrial bar came to life. He wanted to create a place in Moscow similar to a taphouse found in Portland or Eugene.
Tapped has a minimalist interior design that utilizes reclaimed wood, natural colors and metalwork. The walls are made of red brick with a buffed, concrete flooring and handcrafted tables. Tables of varying heights are situated around a central, square-shaped bar featuring a row of taps for regional craft beers and wines along the back.
The taps include 25 for regional beers and hard ciders and 10 for wines, as well as one for craft root beer. The full menu is handwritten on a chalkboard, as well as displayed on a couple TVs that list the brewery or winery name, where it’s made, glass style, alcohol content and keg level.
“The idea is to be Northwest centric, but not exclusively,” Cohen said of the tap selection.
Cohen said he wanted Tapped to be more like a big city establishment. He also didn’t want it to be a sports bar, which is why there are only a few TVs inside. It’s also considered a “public house,” meaning children are welcome like at a restaurant, but it’s seat yourself and approaching the bar to order is acceptable.
“That’s kind of the place I wanted to create because they’re (public houses) a lot of fun — more casual than a typical restaurant,” he said.
Tapped also takes a different approach to traditional bar food, Cohen said. The menu has items like hamburgers, sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as a list of appetizers and desserts. The food is prepared fresh daily, using local ingredients and foods, like bread, whenever possible.
Cohen said they took this approach with Tapped and hired a chef, as opposed to using pre-packaged and frozen foods, to be unique. The kitchen staff also make all the sauces used at the eatery, including ketchup, chocolate syrup and a cheese dipping sauce.
“We wanted to serve pub food, being a pub, but we wanted to do it well,” he said.
A complete and current list of craft beers, hard ciders and wines on tap at Tapped – Taphouse and Kitchen can be found online at moscowtapped.com. Information on weekday specials and upcoming events are regularly posted on the Tapped – Taphouse & Kitchen Facebook page.