New Tap 65 concept to open in former White Star Market space with Bistro Byronz 

The owners of Mid Tap are planning a new restaurant and bar in the former White Star Market location.

Rick and Needhi Patel, husband and wife co-founders of Tappin’ Brands, say Tap 65 is slated for a late July or August opening. It will share the Square 46 space with the new Bistro Byronz location, also set to open later this summer. A wall will separate the two restaurants.

Tap 65 will be a self-pour concept like Mid Tap, this time with 65 rotating craft brews on the wall. Between the tasting nature of the self-serve taps and bartenders with a knowledge of craft beer, the goal is to create an educational experience for those who want to learn more about beer. The bar, which Rick Patel says will be twice the size of Mid Tap’s, will feature signature cocktails, 65 different types of bourbon and new spins on Mid Tap’s signature Bloody Mary Meal Mugs. Tap 65 will also offer a selection of cigars for guests to enjoy on the patio.

While the food menu will carry over Mid Tap’s wings—the restaurant’s most popular item—the rest of it will be new, focusing on small plates and shareable dishes.

The menu will draw influences from the Patels’ Indian heritage alongside a variety of other cultural cuisines. During brunch, guests can enjoy bottomless mimosas and dishes like chicken tikka naan with a fried egg.

“We wanted to create something new from scratch,” Rick Patel says. “We want to bring something that is different and approachable to Baton Rouge.”

Inside the restaurant, Rick Patel promises a “trendy, urban style with lots of photo opps.” Think: a design driven by murals and art, plants and cozy seating.

“We were able to learn a lot in the first couple years after Mid Tap opened,” Rick Patel says. “We listened to customers and made changes, from incorporating greenery to comfortable seating. We expanded Mid Tap’s menu four different times since conception. We really got a feel for what’s needed in a bar and restaurant.”

Tap 65’s branding materials offer a preview of the style of art patrons will find inside, Rick Patel says. The Patels wanted it to give a nod to Baton Rouge, incorporating elements like flamingos inspired by the nearby Spanish Town neighborhood and bikes to represent the city’s growing bike culture.

An elephant featured prominently in the design pays homage to India, where Needhi Patel was born and raised and where Rick Patel’s parents grew up. References to craft beer culture are hidden throughout the artwork. On a flamingo, beer hops stand in for the bird’s wing.

And, Rick Patel adds, the restroom’s design will be “insane,” though he says he doesn’t want to give much more detail away yet.

In the meantime, keep an eye on Tap 65’s Facebook and Instagram for updates and announcements.  

This story was first published in 225 magazine. Subscribe to the free 225 Dine e-newsletter to keep up with Baton Rouge food and events.