Pawleys Tap & Pour reinvents the bar and restaurant experience
The digital, self-pour beer wall. Where has it been all my life? The centerpiece beer wall at Pawleys Tap & Pour is the first of its kind in the area, and it’s magnificent. But there’s more to this three-month-old establishment than the lineup of around 40 taps on the southside, rustic, wood-paneled wall.
Choose to dine inside in the cool industrial farmhouse-inspired bar and dining rooms or alfresco on the wraparound porch that overlooks Ocean Highway. Hardwood floors are fresh and sleek, vintage black-and-white photos of local sites are charming, and lighting over the bar top is in the form of hanging glass beer steins. It’s a welcoming scene for any crowd, from friends gathering after work to families to couples looking for something different.
First thing’s first: the beer wall process. Your server will walk you through it, starting by presenting your driver’s license in exchange for one of the Tap & Pour’s RFID bracelets (think Disney’s magic bands, but for beer), which will unlock all of the taps. Grab a glass from the shelves next to the wall and browse up and down the wall to choose a beer to tap into.
Each tap has a digital tablet hanging overhead, which tells you the name of the beer, the brewery (local and beyond), the description and the ABV. Selections rotate to accommodate all beer tastes–from IPAs to lagers to ales to hefeweizens and more–and sometimes even wine. (On the night of our visit, there was Prosecco on tap.) There’s even a root beer tap for the kids! Choose one, touch your bracelet to the tablet, pour, and sip… You can pour a full glass or any amount; your bracelet tracks the ounces poured, so you’re in control every step of the way.
It’s probably best to fill up on some food to counter-balance the beer, and Tap & Pour serves up a menu of some tasty options handcrafted by executive chef Tracy Knox. We started with the Piping Hot Shrimp Dip shareable, a blend of three gooey cheeses, shrimp, and zesty spices with a side of pita triangles. It was divinely delicious. There are more tempting starters, such as the Freshly Baked Twisted Pretzels by Eljay, paired with beer cheese and stone-ground mustard, and the Angus Steak Bites with roasted red pepper sauce.
Lighter fare, like the she-crab soup and an array of salads, lead into heartier entrees like personal pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. Hubby went with the pan-seared triggerfish served with red rice and haricot verts, a delightful Southern dish. I decided on one of the pizzas, artichoke and spinach, and it did not disappoint.
Other menu highlights are The Big Tap, a sandwich stacked with a colossal, hand-cut pork loin that’s pounded and breaded with their special blend of seasonings, a thick slice of tomato, red onion, lettuce, and mayo on a brioche roll. There’s also The Brew Burger topped with onion straws, bacon, American cheese, bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mayo.
Tap & Pour’s daily specials are another layer of value on the menu, from Sunday’s lunch special, a Southern comfort spread of Southern fried chicken or homemade meatloaf, cornbread, and choice of three sides, to Saturday’s slow-roasted 12-ounce prime rib special with a salted baked potato, vegetables, and a house salad.
If you don’t like beer, never fear! They also pour a full bar of bourbons, whiskies, cordials, rums, tequilas, and more. Owners Guy and Debra Guglielmi also own Bourbon and Burnz, a whiskey (250-plus brands) and cigar bar next door, so they know a thing or two about cocktails.
They also know something about the catering business. Pawleys Tap and Pour boasts an in-house venue dedicated to catering, located off the main dining room, that can accommodate about 80 guests for special events, from birthday parties to weddings. The catering menu is provided by Debra G’s, Guglielmi’s off-premise catering service. Bourbon and wine tasting dinners are also planned for the future of Tap & Pour.
Pawleys Tap & Pour offers more than the coolest digital self-pour beer wall on the coast. Sip and sample, from tap to plate, all the food, fun, and drinks this south-end hotspot delivers now and in the future.
Pawley's Tap & Pour
13089 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island
Hours: Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday closed; Tuesday-Thursday, 2-9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.