A new venture by Elliot Hughes and the team behind the Porterhouse Brewing Company and Dingle Distillery, is bringing life and energy back to the section of Dublin city centre that was once Judge Roy Beans. Hospitality Ireland reports.
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Hospitality Ireland Magazine, in October of 2022.
The landmark Dublin bar that was formerly Judge Roy Beans and the Porterhouse Central – closed since early summer – recently reopened after a complete transformation. The new sustainability-focused late bar, Tapped, will offer the country’s largest number of taps along a 15-metre bar. It will specialise in local and international craft beer and organic and sustainable wine, with bespoke cocktails also on tap.
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Tapped has also partnered with the Dublin Pizza Company to provide a smart food offering. The bar has been opened by the team behind the Porterhouse Brewing Company and Dingle Distillery.
We spoke to managing director Elliot Hughes, son of Porterhouse founder Oliver Hughes, about the latest addition to the Dublin bar scene.
Tell us about Tapped.
Tapped is a new, innovative bar that puts the tap front and centre. With over 20 draught beers available alongside 50 different cans and bottles – as well as a strong spirit and wine selection – Tapped will have one of the best drinks offerings in Dublin. We have also teamed up with the Dublin Pizza Company, to ensure customers have great food to go along with their drinks of choice.
At Tapped, we think sustainably, and that is why we prioritise the more environmentally friendly practice of multi-use kegs to dispense beer, wine and cocktails over traditional single-use formats. Tapped’s focus is on using Irish ingredients and promoting local suppliers, and further limiting our carbon footprint through doing this.
Tapped will host some of Dublin’s best DJs, as we aim to cement ourselves within Dublin’s late-night scene.
Why is now a good time to introduce a new bar to Dublin?
Dublin has changed over the last two years, with the sad loss of a number of late-night bars and clubs, which, unfortunately, has reduced people’s choice of where they want to spend their time. We think Tapped is what people are looking for in an ever-shrinking nightlife and after-work scene, locally, while we also believe that the change of direction that we have taken with Tapped is what people are looking for, with a greater environmental focus alongside a more premium drinks offering, giving consumers greater choice than in any other bar around.
What will Tapped bring that is not already in place?
Our main focus is on what we provide on tap. Our range of cocktails – made in house by Dingle Distillery’s global ambassador, Alan Glynn – is something that won’t be available in any other bar, and while this may initially take people aback, who are used to seeing cocktails prepared, we are confident that the consistency, quality, and environmental footprint of these tapped cocktails will win people over after their first one.
How has the fit-out been?
It has been relatively straightforward for us, thankfully. We started work on the overall project in April and have opened less than six months later. To go from concept to opening within that time over a significant rebuild is a testament to our design, construction and in-house team.
Tell us about the Porterhouse Group.
The Porterhouse Group consists of a number of bars in Ireland, as well as London and New York, alongside the Porterhouse Brewery and Dingle Distillery.
What are the major challenges at the moment?
Understanding and adapting to the new ways of working, particularly in our city centre locations, is challenging. People have changed their approach to how and when they go out, while city centre bars have had a tough time over the last couple of years. We’re adapting to this, and Tapped is part of this adaptation, and one which I’m confident will meet people’s wants and needs in a postCovid world.
Tell us a bit about yourself – your background/career so far.
I’m currently the managing director of the Porterhouse Brewing Company and Dingle Distillery. The Porterhouse Group is a family business, and one which I run alongside my business partner, Liam LaHart, MD of the Porterhouse Group. Liam was the founder of the Porterhouse Group alongside my father, Oliver, who passed away six years ago, which has seen me step into the business alongside Liam.
Any other plans on the horizon for the next year or so?
We are hoping to see a successful launch of our bar, Tapped, and our initial workload will be on ensuring that we understand how the bar fully operates, with customers enjoying themselves. Our brewery is also an area where we have some significant plans in the coming months and will take up an ever-increasing amount of our focus, going forward.
Read More: Hospitality Ireland Autumn 2022: Read The Latest Issue Online!