Niagara Tap Serves Spirited Friendship 18-Hours Each Day
This neighborhood bar and grill on Seminole Boulevard has found its niche featuring a mix of entertainment offerings, along with a dash of savory bar food and spirited drink specials.
Niagara Tap Bar and Grill, at the Largo Village Shopping Center on Seminole Boulevard, serves as a home away from home to the many regulars who stop in, at least once a day, for some gregarious camaraderie, along with good food and spirited drinks.
The business day begins earlier than most bars at Niagara Tap. Some regulars start arriving at 9 a.m. to share an early morning beer, chat with friends, or enjoy a beverage from the full service bar.
It gives people a chance to get out of the house in the morning to just talk and meet with their friends, said longtime waitress Kendra DeSimone, who has entertained at Niagara Tap for eight years. With locals sharing good cheer, companionship and a few jokes to start the day, there are no requests for a traditional breakfast. This is good because The Tap doesn't serve breakfast, but of course a brew has malted cereal grains and hops.
“We are a friendly neighborhood bar, where everyone knows each other. There are no strangers here. We call it the Niagara trap, because once you come in you ’re trapped by the place and have to come back. Regulars share their lives, or a drink, offer advice, reminisce about the old days and celebrate birthdays and holidays,” DeSimone said.
In recent years, the poor economy has not hurt the bar business, said DeSimone. A local bar actually provides many with a place to commiserate and
"drown their sorrows. Having a beer is the last thing people cut out," from
their expenses, DeSimone said.
Niagara Tap’s kitchen serves up a lunch menu starting at 11 a.m. until near closing at 3 a.m. After 11 a.m. regulars begin arriving for brew or drink specials. Along with their favorite menu item like; half-pound Angus Beef Hamburgers with fries, 10 different varieties of chicken wings, 8 different kinds of sandwiches, chili dogs, 18 different appetizers of sampler baskets.
The trio who has owned the bar for the last nine years, husband and wife Greg and Liz Sonner and partner Chris Seefeldt, kept the name when they purchased it. Originally a Buffalo Bills bar, over the years Steeler and Bucs fans were welcomed. The Tap serves up sports bar entertainment on wide screen TVs that include NFL ticket, Direct TV and other sporting events. Most nights it also creates its own blend of local entertainment, ranging from live bands, karaoke and specially scheduled comedy nights that regulars say fill the house.
The Tap is one of the few remaining local bars serving food that also permit smoking indoors. Florida law permits any bar establishment that predominately serves liquor to incidentally serve food, if it does not derive more than a certain percentage if its gross revenue from food sales. As for the atmosphere, two large air purifiers circulate the air to keep things fresh. DeSimone said she thinks it would hurt business if Niagara Tap prohibited smoking. Because some people who don’t even smoke as a regular routine, enjoy having a cigarette with their drink, she said.
Seasonal regulars have started returning. For many the first place they will return to is The Tap. Once someone comes in they can’t stay away long, DeSimone said, and "everyone will know their name."