If you’re looking for authentic food, a quality beer selection, and a sense of community at a local bar, look no further: Kid Rip’s Tap & Tavern is the place for you. This small, but intimate, gastropub is not just a place to drink beer, it’s a place to experience.
The name Kid Rip’s is from the owner, the Ripa brother’s father, who served in the army during the Korean War. He was a boxer known as (you guessed it) Kid Rip! The logo for the restaurant is a tattoo found on their father’s arm. The restaurant is a homage to their father’s caring and influential personality. The impression that the Ripa brothers father left on people is what they want to convey through Kid Rip’s restaurant. Michael Ripa, Dino Ripa (partner/brother), and Joe Garagozzo (partner/cousin) are pleased to share Kid Rip’s legacy through authentic food and good beer.
As you pull into the parking lot you see what resembles a house. Windows lit up with neon signs, brick walls looking like it could be your neighbor’s house, and an extravagant front door that has you guessing what’s inside. Once you walk in, it’s like you have entered your uncle’s newly renovated basement with the latest bar setup that everyone wants to be at. You feel at home.
That’s the feeling managing owner Michael Ripa wants to convey. The setup is open, you walk right in facing the bar, and you’re immediately welcomed by the bartenders. There aren’t any walls separating the areas of the bar, keeping the atmosphere inviting and engaging. After all, who wants to go to a bar and sit on their phone? A bar is for interaction, and that’s exactly how the bar is laid out.
If you’re looking for what beers are on tap, you won’t find them on the handles. The sleek silver design makes for an opportunity to talk to the employees, ask them what’s available or what they suggest. Maybe you’ll even talk to the person sitting near you to see what they recommend. Kid Rip’s has 32 draft lines with around 100 bottles to choose from and they’re here to help you find a new brew that you’ll enjoy.
You might be wondering what makes this bar different from all the rest. Ripa doesn’t stock up on what he likes. He meets up with his Kramer Beverage rep, Nina Custode, and chooses a wide variety of beers. He says “even though I might dislike one beer, it could be something my customer wants. I don’t buy based on my needs, I buy beer with my customers in mind.” Although he is a fan of stouts and porters, he makes it a point to try every drink that comes into his bar. Kid Rip’s doesn’t want to compete with bars by selling the same old products. They want to compete by offering the same product, just different beers that you won’t get anywhere else.
Food plays a major role at Kid Rip’s. You can go almost anywhere and get burgers and wings. But are they made in-house, or are they frozen? You don’t need to question this at Kid Rip’s. The sauces are all made in-house and their burgers are ground on the spot, ensuring not only freshness, but you’ll get it exactly the way you want: bleeding or burnt. They want authentic, fresh food to complement their larger craft selection. Good beer + good food = happy customers.
Kid Rip’s changes the menu seasonally here, but they also have their employees create menu items. Chefs can create new appetizers, while bartenders can mix up an original cocktail. Customers have the chance to get items that can only be found at Kid Rip’s. The classics will still be on the menu, but the bartender pouring you your glass might just be the one who made up that particular recipe. This creates a special relationship between the employees and the customers at Kid Rip’s. Not only are the employees happy to be a part of this bar, but Kid Rip’s is proud of the employees that work here!
Even though Kid Rip’s is still working on their “keys to success”, they are no stranger to sharing it. Giving back is an important part of the experience here. Whether it be food drives for local families, raising money for St. Jude, or holding holiday parties for the public, Kid Rip’s wants to not only be involved, but they want their customers to get involved as well.
With a knockout selection of food, beer, and a great staff you’ll be sure to enjoy Kid Rip’s and possibly make it your new go-to neighborhood bar.