7 West Taphouse is my new favorite place. I have a feeling I'll be saying that a lot throughout town.
The beer selection is among the most comprehensive that I have seen in Superior, and includes a Bent Paddle selection of a brew stored in casks used for brandy. It's like if you had a brandy old fashioned and a beer at the same time, and just as glorious as that sounds. (The Spirit Room has a brewski old fashioned, and now a life goal of mine is to stop by both places on the same night and have these drinks back to back.)
And the beer menu pulls no punches on what's "real" beer and what is not. Once at a craft brewhouse in St. Paul, my dad who is not a beer snob in the least, looked at the menu and after some consternation said to our waitress, "You know what? I'll just have a Miller Lite." Her perfect response was, "No you won't," and she proceeded to give him their bar's closest proximation to a lite beer. On the house, to make up for her abruptness. So I brought my folks here too.
|Want some flavored water, Dad?|
The staff is friendly and fun, and plenty of big-screen TVs are tuned in to important sporting events but aren't overbearing in their presence. Every aspect of the bar is a solid experience.
On to our series of questions.
Why is it called 7 West Taphouse?
The owner tends to name his bars after the addresses where they are located, and though this one is on Tower Avenue the original is at 7 West Superior Street in Duluth. As a point of Superior pride, we really should convince them to put our street name out there. I'm going to start a change.org petition for this, just as soon as I have another beer. Hey, did you know that Duluth sometimes has TWO directions on their street names? Like, North 50th Ave West, as if they were naming Kardashian kids instead of streets, and man this beer is good and what was I talking about again?
Is there anything interesting about the business or building's untold history?
The location used to house a dentist's office, and one window in the rear is left over from their remodeling of the spot. I pointed out that the ceilings look like those in plenty of other bars that were built in the early 1900's. The server and I couldn't decide whether these were part of the original structure or a feature of the renovation to turn it into a bar. Better architectural eyes than mine could probably determine that for sure.
Is there a specialty drink or menu item?
The taphouse sauce is what they brag about. I tried that as a dipping sauce on their french fries and cheese curds and found it to be good but not great. But their taphouse burger has the sauce mixed with a cream cheese topping and THAT is a party for your mouth and everyone's invited. Superior is home to a lot of great burgers, but this one quickly goes somewhere near the top of my list.
|The cream cheese on a burger is not common outside of the Twin Ports. |
You've been holding out on me, Superior.
Last Dance With Mary Jane running tally: 1. There is no jukebox here, but the song has come up once in my visits.
Update: And within minutes of publishing the post, it was confirmed that the ceiling and other parts of the bar were added or upgraded as part of the remodel. Finding out this kind of information is one of the reasons behind the "every bar in Superior" project.