Pubs on the Palouse: Tapped has a strong focus on hospitality

The taproom strives to make every body’s day just a little bit better through their services



Customers enjoy food and beverages at Tapped, Nov. 1, in Moscow, Idaho.


A group of 16 girls were celebrating their best friend’s 21st birthday, and sitting across the taproom, a different group of 14 were celebrating their great-grandmother’s 85th birthday.

Two women, 64 years apart, both wanted to celebrate their birthday at Tapped with their friends, said Tyler Antkowiak, Tapped general manager and co-owner.

“For me, that’s the sweet spot where we’re doing things that everyone in this town wants a part of where there’s no limit on who we get to take care of,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or if you’re 85, we have something to offer and you’re going to feel like you’ve received hospitality.”  

Chris Nelson, a regular at Tapped, said he goes in about 2-3 times a week.

“My first impression was that I just thought the food was really great, and the staff were really friendly,” Nelson said. “It was really easy to connect with staff members and have a really good time.” 

Nelson said, a few times that he’s visited Tapped, Tyler would sit down with his family, sometimes for a few hours and share each other’s stories showing interest and care in them and their families. 

Tapped first opened in October of 2015 with the goal of being a high quality and creative taproom and kitchen, but also affordable, he said. 

Before working at Tapped, Antkowiak spent a number of years teaching and working in the food industry, he said. He eventually felt more called to pursue hospitality and turned his goals into a career at Tapped. 

At the time there seemed to be a big gap in the market with these types of restaurants, he said. So that’s when they came up with the idea to develop a taphouse that would feature a wide variety of craft beer produced in the Northwest. 

The taphouse has a total of 40 taps featuring beer, cider, wine and nonalcoholic beverages, Antkowiak said. Every time a keg empties they replace it with something new and that constant rotation is the best way for them to feature everything in the market that is worth pouring. 

Tapped really focuses on displaying what is new and seasonal while also incorporating breweries local to the area, he said. 

Unlike some bars, Tapped opened with the idea of having no target demographic, he said. They hope for students, professionals, families, large groups and date nights to all find their foothold at the taphouse. 

“Over the years we’ve felt like we’ve really refined and defined who we want to be, which has amazing, from-scratch pub food, a place that features the most diverse representation of craft beer produced in our area and a place where everybody is really comfortable,” Antkowiak said.

The name ‘Tapped’ came from the inspiration of a hip and modern style tap room that they were working to create, he said. The entire character of the business is built around taps and so they wanted to focus on the idea that everything they do is defined by the character of the beer they’re pouring. 

Weekly specials have also been a really important part of Tapped business model, he said. They call it the ‘Rotating Tap Burger’ where every week they circle in a new burger and occasionally rotate in the most popular ones. 

With 32 items on their menu, they have ensured that they are very proud of the level of effort that goes into each and every dish, he said. 

Beer tends to be mildly bitter and acidic, he said. So they’ve built their menu around foods that pair perfectly with mildly acidic beer such as their southern chicken sandwich.

The sandwich is made entirely from scratch. They breed, par fry and freeze the chickens overnight, he said. Then they fry them to get them super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with a pairing of their house-made pickles, and their maple cayenne aioli. 

Antkowiak said selling Budweiser is easier and money is made quicker. But craft beer is all about pursuing quality and creativity and those brewers really want to make something worthwhile and beautiful. 

Since it’s harder and better to brew craft beers, Tapped really wanted to take that idea and apply it to everything they do. They built a beautiful space that’s rugged and modern, yet warm and inviting, he said. 

“I have a heart for taking care of people, most businesses are like this, but with the food and beverage and hospitality in particular,” he said. “This is a business that has treated me well, and I get to treat a lot of people well in return.” 

Tapped is located at 210 S. Main St. in Moscow.