This lively beer bar could stay plenty busy just serving beer, but the food keeps it really humming. Seats fill up just as soon as they are vacated. There’s a little something for everyone in this place. You have a dining atmosphere in the front, billiards and sports on the tube in the back, and a long, gregarious bar wedged in between. The service is warm and familiar and the happy hour specials are a magnetic pull for return visits.
The Groveland Tap is a standalone bar, and very much a neighborhood, joint, but it’s part of a Twin City-wide restaurant group of other endeavors with higher-end ambitions. This would spoil it for us if it felt corporate or slick, but it does not. It is simply a neighborhood bar with polished management.
Groveland Tap is known to have one of the best juicy lucys in the Twin Cities: runny with burger juices and molten American cheese. It is served on a soft, eggy bun with a few slices of pickle. Exactly right.
However, the all-you-can-eat Friday Fish Fry might even overshadow the famous burgers. Delicate breading on the made-to-order fish is the opposite of everything we’ve come to expect from fried food served in unlimited portions. The fish is fried to a custard-like texture with the crunchy breading encasing its juices. Had we not filled ourselves on burgers, we would have eaten a school of this flaky fish.
The fries are quite ordinary crinkle cuts — disappointing considering the high quality of the burgers and fish. We highly recommend upgrading to sweet potato tots. They are served with thick chipotle aioli that adds spicy counterpoint.
The large selection of taps to imbibe was fairly well-selected, but given the high quality of the food, this as one of the few self-styled beer bars where the grub is actually more a draw than the suds.