On Tap Grille & Bar Lives Up to Its Name
Staff Review, 07-23-2018

Stephen Mulé
On Tap Grille & Bar has been a Cuyahoga Falls institution since it opened in 1982. Although it may once have seemed to cater to a particular sort of clientele, this year’s impressive renovations to both the building and menu have brought the establishment beyond the typical sports bar or cliché burger joint.

It comes as little surprise that the renovations to the space at the Cuyahoga Falls On Tap location on State Road are as impressive as they are. A mere six years after opening their flagship store there, On Tap’s owners opened a second location in Medina, which moved into a new space just four years ago. Where that move may have been the warm-up act to the Falls location renovations, the execution of those renovations makes it the headliner for sure. Still another location opened in Stow in 2005, and the jury’s out on whether any renovations will take place there anytime soon.

The Cuyahoga Falls location, meanwhile, now boasts a large, well laid-out patio area with a giant beach chair just outside the entrance, inviting patrons to get a selfie on their way in or out. The main seating area inside has the atmosphere of a fun place to watch a game on TV and hang out with friends. It’s bright, airy, open, and inviting, with a large bar that nearly runs the length of the restaurant. It is a great example of what a classic modern sports bar should look like.

This newly redesigned interior of On Tap is split into two distinct spaces—the large front area and a smaller more intimate space in the rear. The front area has a modern open floor plan with too many big screen TVs to count. Upon entering the restaurant, the rear seating area is not even visible, which creates a separate space for those who may not want the sports bar experience—even if does have a beautiful classic modern style. The rear seating area has more typical booth seating and is significantly quieter than the larger front seating area, but it still has plenty of TVs.

Thanks to the open layout in the front main area, it can become pretty loud when crowded, especially when big sporting events are being broadcast. The gaggle of loud, raucous, beer-drinking fans watching, cheering, talking, and laughing in a large open space could be overwhelming, depending on your mood.

The vast and varied selection of draft beers is one of the most pleasant surprises at the aptly named On Tap. Many of the beers are priced lower than many other local establishments, and they are served fresh and cold, the draft lines clean. Craft and domestic beer fans alike will find what they are looking for.

The food at On Tap is on par with or better than most typical sports bars and inexpensive family restaurants in the area. Items from the sizable menu are tasty, filling, and well-prepared, and come at reasonable prices. The appetizers are based on well-worn pub food standbys, but some have a fresh twist, like loaded Greek sweet potatoes and stuffed Hungarian peppers. The burger menu features 12 options plus a turkey burger, and vegetarians can sub a black bean patty on any burger creation. There are also wings, dinners, salads, and chicken dishes, plus paninis and melts. Even the best meal can be ruined by crummy service, though, and On Tap’s service is excellent—even when the restaurant is busy.

At the new On Tap in Cuyahoga Falls, the impressive beer selection and tasty food are great accompaniments to a fun night out watching sports with friends or family. The new renovations really round out the experience with a classic modern take on the typical sports bar, and the rear seating area provides an alternative atmosphere for those who would rather skip the sports bar scene. If you are longing for a romantic evening or gourmet meal, however, it wouldn’t be the best choice, but the name gives that away.

© 2020   Falls Free Press