Thursday Doors – TapRock

Welcome to Taprock

Last week, when I was staying overnight with the boys, I decided to check out a new bar / restaurant in their town. Actually, the place has been open for almost a year, but Faith hasn’t been, and neither has a coworker of mine, who lives nearby. She, the coworker, encouraged me to be the guinea pig – “go try Tap Rock and let me know what you think.”

When I arrived, there were three men who were up to their elbows in a discussion of beers, beer making, beer selling and beer drinking. I left a few vacant stools between me and them. I don’t know much about beer, other than that I tend to prefer Lagers, but IPAs are all the rage, so I didn’t want to get dragged into that conversation.

I don’t often write reviews of any sort, and restaurant reviews would be low among the reviews I’m capable of offering. If I’m dining alone, I always eat at the bar. If I’m dining with someone, I will try to talk them into eating at the bar. A good bartender is one who does a quick nod-check before putting the second beer on the tab but asks about any beer after that. There are rarely more than two, and usually only if I’m in a hotel. Given that as the criteria, Tap Rock’s service was excellent.

The food menu wasn’t nearly as extensive as the beer menu. Craft beer houses are popping up like dandelions in April around New England, and they seem to be characterized by lots of beer and limited food. I found what sounded like a nice Lager. When I ordered it, the bartender apologized and said: “we only have that in bottles” which I knew, because it was on the menu under “Bottled Beer” but I appreciated the confirmation. It was excellent. He handed me the food menu, and I found something I really liked:

All of their burgers and sandwiches are available in “slider” form. I had a pulled pork slider, a slider-sized crab cake and a bacon-cheddar slider. All three were very tasty and that pacific northwest lager washed them all down easily.

Two of the three men I passed on the way in left, and the third man moved down and sat next to me. We got off to what I thought might be a rough start:

“What are you drinking?”

“Session Lager.”

“Is it any good?”

“Yes, I like it a lot.”

“Next, you should try the …”

I don’t remember what he said, but this is where I got a little nervous.”

“Actually, I’m not big on experimenting. I like this, I think I’m going to have another.”

“A man who knows what he likes, I like that.”

Crisis averted, we started talking and, it turns out that his father and my father were both in the Philippines during World War II. Neither of us knew many details about their service, but we had enough stories to support the order of a second beer. I excused myself for a moment to snap a couple of pictures of some interesting doors. The man asked: “are you involved with doors for a living…are you a decorator?

No, I participate in a weekly blog series called Thursday Doors.”

Really? That’s fascinating. When we were growing up, could you ever have imagined that you’d be sharing photos of doors on the Internet?

He was about eight years older than me, but we agreed that such an idea in the 60s would have seemed far-fetched.

He asked more questions, so I told him about Norm, the brew master at Thursday Doors Suds & Grub, and how his brew had spread south, east and west (I’m not sure many people are north of Norm) and how it’s almost as popular as IPAs, but how it’s only available in bottles…unless you’re in Montreal where it’s probably available on draft. He asked how he might find more information, so I pointed him to the bar at the brewery, and I explained how it’s open Thursday morning until noon Saturday.

A bar that opens Thursday at 5:30 am?

Well, it’s in Canada.”

Oh, that explains it.”

Look for the blue frog, he’ll let you in. You can see all the doors, and add your own if you like.”

The barn doors in the gallery are used to close off a private dining area. A young woman was setting the tables in that room and opened the doors just as I was trying to get my photo. She looked at me with that curious look you would expect from a young woman when some old guy points a camera at her. I explained that I was only trying to photograph the doors. She said: “story of my life, no one wants my picture.” I thought of a hundred things to say, none of which seemed safe.


  1. I love barn doors too and this pair is quite handsome. The stripes from the different wood really work well here.

    I smiled at the line “I thought of a hundred things to say, none of which seemed safe”. Yes, I have to censor my inside voice quite often for the same reason 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Joanne. I figured anything I said to try and compliment her looks would have moved me into ‘creepy’ territory.

      I didn’t realize they were working doors at first, until she opened them. They are attractive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 👏🏻Oh yay! We always try to sit in or at the bar in restaurants. Duh. Sounds like a great place and the food looks tempting. We usually make a new friend every time we go to the bar. Thanks for sharing this one Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good stuff Dan. The swinging doors and those barns doors are both awesome. Sounds like you handled the photo of the young woman just right. As we get older we learn to recognize when it’s time to shut-up ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barn door, OOH, AAH!
    I enjoyed this tale of TapRock :)
    I’m not into lagers, but like you, if I’m drinking something I like, I don’t want to be pressed to choose another. If I wanna try stuff, there are plenty of places that offer samples. Glad the rough start smoothed out for you both. Always nice to find good company in a new place. Now you have a place there.
    I would like to eat all things small and slider-like :P Crab cakes are tops for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Barn door and sliders 🙂

      I think they have seven different sliders available. The crab cake was very good. When I go back, I think crab cake and two of the ones I haven’t tried. But, I hope they still have that lager, it was very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dan – I feature a beer at home in my latest post … just one of those weird tales … but I’d rather have your story line – I enjoy having a slider occasionally … especially as one can usually have different small items … but I’d probably have a cider with them … but interesting to see the doors and your TapRock place … glad you found the right way to give the poor girl some space … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like my sort of place. I love the proliferation of craft breweries and beers and that there are so many more really good dark beers. Good job on not replying to the young woman’s comment. This is the era of sexual harassment and lawsuits, a volatile combination. :-)


    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure how many of these were dark. I’m not a fan of dark beers but my daughter is. I do like places like this. It’s a nice change from the larger more corporate bars.


  7. I’m not a big beer drinker so if I found something I liked I don’t think I’d change either… why tempt fate? I’m impressed that your “could be creepy” filter worked so quickly – mine sometimes kicks in right after the words have left my mouth. Nice selection of doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Have read enough of your stories to ask, did it really go like you described it? (because I think I just have only seen the fringes of your imagination:))
    Am not a beer person – can’t stand the smell, and don’t like the taste (that probably goes often together) But I do like your doors:) Good choice not to say anything to the lady working there:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except for the conversation about Norm. I like to embellish those. The guy, our fathers and the almost embarrassing moment with the young lady are all as they happened. I did tell the guy about Thursday Doors, and we did discuss the change since the 60s.

      I didn’t like beer at first, but the taste grew on me.


      • Sorry, didn’t mean for you to give a report, but you are so good with words that I sometimes can’t tell whether it’s a make believe story or not (am complimenting on your writing skills)!
        I guess you have that friendliness over you that makes people want to talk to them, even when you want to stay at a distance:) It was the girl who was embarrassing, you did nothing wrong!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The front doors have real leaded glass, I think this is quite attractive, Dan.
    I liked the morning run for coffee and the way the Taproom looks with the stone half wall, simple but nice!
    The food looks scrumptious and the crab meat patty is what my grandkids and I would say, “Yes!” to eating. They like them since SpongeBob (SquarePants) does. 😀
    The “piece de resistance” was the beautiful and uniquely paneled barn doors! The other dark doors were great as well as the lighted area with brews listed, which seems like it may have glass doors but doesn’t, to enclose the liquor bottles.
    I’m going to bed now, getting up in 5 hours so this was my last stop and will check back over the weekend for missed posts. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting doors. I love the barn door look inside. Rustic charm for a rustic beer bar. Did not know beer bars were so popular. Thanks, Dan. 🍂🍁 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The beer and the food look delicious. I love the bottle the beer comes in! All the doors are swell, but the barn doors are my favorite. I also love that gray (or grey, if you spell Britishly) flooring beyond the swinging doors. Great find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked this. The bottle and the glass were both nice. St least in a bar like this, they understand that you want a picture of the bottle. Most people want it for their beer-tracking apps. I’m not sure what they thought of my taking a picture of the doors.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. the barn doors are super cool – and laughing at the comment from the lady setting the stuff up.
    also, we have another thing in common – I usually talk people into sitting at the bar – just fits my style more and usually is the better option.
    and I also think a good bartender checks before assuming.
    and guess what dan?
    we ate at a small place last night and I took some door photos – and grabbed one of the bar and told my hubs that there is a guy from blogland who writes some posts centered around having a beer at a bar – and I grabbed a photo to show ya…. and coming to read your post today I see you combined a few of your themes here for this week’s door post – you combined the doors, the bar chat, a bit of history and your little social intelligence nuggets like this: “I thought of a hundred things to say, none of which seemed safe.” ahhh
    oh and I like the term brew master for Norm – well tied in….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I love eating at the bar. I almost always find someone to talk to, or have a nice chat with the bartender. I think Norm fits that role pretty well.

      I young lady caught me off guard, but at least I didn’t say something creepy sounding. There’s a fine line between funny and dumb, and I didn’t want to risk tripping over it. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It sounds like a great place and like you made a good decision to not respond to the young lady’s comment. I commend your preference for eating at the bar, perhaps because I share it. It just seems easier and friendlier.

    Liked by 1 person

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