Coffee and beer - not two flavors, or two genres of drinking, that one would necessarily put together. But that's the charm of Memphis restauranteur / fooderati Taylor Berger – he thinks up the stuff we only wish we had thought up. Berger - the founder of YoLo, the force behind Chawawa (yet to be reviewed) and now the guy downtowners can count on for a killer cup of Joe in the morning - has combined grounds and grains in an innovative new coffee/beer bar called Tamp & Tap.
The bar, named for the tamping of coffee grounds and the tap through which beer flows - occupies an industrial chic space on Gayoso, between Main and 2nd. Although tucked away on this street, "T&T" (as it is more familiarly known) has a loyal coffee drinker following, and its night-time offerings are starting to gain more attention as word spreads.
Local products plus local beer equals local fun — Photo courtesy of I Love Memphis Blog
The coffee menu is large, with all the usual suspects - lattes, mochas, cappuccino of both the frozen and warm variety - and a few unusual ones, too. There's pour-over coffee, which is brewed to order; the coffee grounds are placed in a cone, then hot water is poured over it and into a flask.
Then there's the cold-brewed coffee, in which cold water drips v-e-r-y slowly into the container of grounds, which then drips v-e-r-y slowly into a spiral glass tube into a flask and is then served. Sounds like chemistry class, right? Way better buzz than chemistry class, however.
There's a nice list of teas, smoothies and other perk-you-up beverages, too. The beer menu is all craft and primarily local, with both tap and bottle options.
There's trivia on Wednesdays, while Thursday is pint night. On the last Friday of the month, to coincide with the South Main Trolley Tour, there is a Kill the Keg party. And, given that there is coffee and beer, there are two happy hours, with $1 off drinks from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., and again from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The food menu is still evolving at Tamp & Tap; for now, a short list of breakfast items and a handful of salads and sandwiches are offered. Sandwich offerings are the favorite, with great, crusty breads and fillings from local producers that include heirloom tomatoes, house-pickled onions and more. Most everything seems to be named after vintage cars - there's a Rambler, a Dusenberg and a Hudson - but no Edsel, yet.
While the Tamp & Tap is open only until 9 p.m., that closing time is fluid; the folks make a point of saying if there's a crowd, then the bar is open.