The latest addition to Des Plaines' downtown Metropolitan Square development is open for business -- and quite a different concept from the restaurant it replaced.
Tap House Grill's ninth suburban location, at 1472 Market St., opened in place of the former Jimmy Buffett-themed Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, which closed about two years before.
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Business partners Scott Ward and Mark Zych decided Des Plaines would be a good fit for their "American gastropub" concept, which relies on a heavy emphasis on craft beers (48 are on tap), and beer-infused upscale bar food, like Drunken Shrimp or the Tipsy Stout Burger.
Tap House doesn't have a blender, or serve "foo-foo" drinks, Ward said.
The Des Plaines location is the sixth Tap House restaurant owned by Ward and Zych, who decided to create the concept after spending years in management at Bar Louie.
"(We thought) we could do better food, and hit on this craft beer craze," Ward said. "It would be the wine craze of the 80s and 90s."
Ward and Zych are planning to open another Tap House location at 56 W. Wilson St. in Palatine at the site of the former Mia Cucina restaurant. It will be their largest, at 8,000 square feet. They hope to open by mid-May, though architectural plans are still under review by the village.
The owners have hopes of expanding in the northern suburbs, and eventually Wisconsin and Indiana. But they plan to stay out of Chicago.
"Main Street USA is our concept," Zych said.