TAPS Fish House & Brewery Expands Brand with 2 Streamlined Concepts

TAPS Fish House & Brewery, riding the success of its first-ever tasting room, is opening two new restaurants in north Orange County as it embarks on a plan to expand its 21-year marquee brand in Southern California.  TAPS Brewery + Kitchen in Yorba Linda and TAPS Great American Brewery in Anaheim Hills will both open this summer, said Joe Manzella, founder and proprietor of Manzella Restaurant Group, which also operates The Catch in Anaheim.

Both new TAPS concepts are a departure from the brand’s three dinner houses in Brea, Corona and Irvine, as well as TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room in Tustin, which opened in July 2018 with a full-scale production brewery, tasting room, patio, and dedicated food truck.

TAPS, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, is set for an even bigger 2020.  In addition to TAPS Brewery + Kitchen and TAPS Great American Brewery, the popular restaurant group is scheduled to open its first restaurant later this year at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.

“This exciting and strategically planned expansion has been in the works for over two years,” said Manzella, who with his father and sister opened the first TAPS Fish House & Brewery in 1999 in what was then an underserved dining market in Brea Downtown.  Similarly, Manzella said, the new Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills locations, both of which will serve TAPS beer produced at the Tustin barrel room and feature full bars, will open in areas where locals will appreciate the TAPS brand in a simpler iteration.  The new restaurants replace eateries that have closed.

Spearheading TAPS’ expansion and running the operations is longtime industry expert Randy Teffeteller, who assumed the position of CEO of the Manzella Restaurant Group in 2019.  Teffeteller initially served as an advisor to Manzella to assist with potential acquisitions and expansion financing.  His impressive 30-year track record includes serving as CEO and Managing Partner of Hospitality Management Group and West Coast Ventures & Resources.

“We feel we have the right model for the California market that combines award-winning craft beer with long-recognized quality food, ambiance, and service,” said Manzella. “Randy’s contacts and expertise have brought so much to the table; we wouldn’t be in this growth mode without him.”

Manzella envisions brand expansion of TAPS beers through tasting rooms rather than distribution and retail and the two new locations reflect that strategy.  Here’s a closer look at the three TAPS restaurants opening in 2020:

In this quintessential “TAPS light” model, TAPS is teaming up with longtime Los Angeles restaurant chain Alondra’s, known for its handmade pizza and hot wings. The concept found within TAPS Brewery + Kitchen will serve its specialties in a comfortable, relaxed, family-friendly setting that also will help meet the demand for quality takeout food in east Yorba Linda.

Founded in 2002 by brothers Harout (“Joey”), Garo and Danny Kazarian, Alondra’s has four locations in southeast L.A. County and is making its O.C. debut with the TAPS joint venture.

“The relationship is beneficial on several levels—besides partnering in Yorba Linda, Alondra’s is a great outlet for us to expand our craft beer presence in the Los Angeles marketplace,” said Manzella, a fan of Alondra’s breads and pizzas, the creations of a fifth-generation family of Armenian artisan bakers.

TAPS Brewery + Kitchen will have a tasting room inspired by its Tustin location, but with a more comprehensive menu, including TAPS Fish House & Brewery classics such as its original brewer’s fish and chips, blackened fish tacos, and New England clam chowder, as well as the most popular items from TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room, including Electric Taco, Royale Burger with Cheese and warm Bavarian pretzels.

The Alondra’s side of the space will feature abbreviated offerings from the restaurant’s full-size locations, with handmade artisan pizzas, hot wing creations, hand-battered onion rings and Alondra’s famous cheeseballs.

An island bar will serve as the center of the restaurant.  The restaurant’s full-service bar will offer 16 beer taps, wine and classic and signature cocktails.

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