Everyone's favourite neighbourhood watering hole in Maadi, The Tap, is getting ready to head East. Opening in New Cairo this March, we get the exclusive first look at what is destined to be the district's hottest venue and coolest brunch hangout.
When The Tap opened in Maadi it promised to be a completely different kind of pub-going experience in Cairo. Delivering on their promise right from the offset, The Tap almost instantaneously created a strong brand synonymous with being the different, cool, effortlessly hip spot to hang out with friends on its mission to become Maadi’s best neighbourhood bar. Looking to bring this experience to a neighbourhood near you, The Tap announced that this March they will be launching their second location in New Cairo to be known as The Tap East. Rejoicing at the news, our beer bellies wanted to learn more and reached out to founder Galal El Kerdani and new The Tap East partner Tito El Kachab, who graciously gave us the grand tour of what is destined to be the best bar experience to open in New Cairo.
Students at international universities like AUC and GUC are about to save a lot of money on cab fare as finally one Cairo’s coolest nocturnal venues branches out on their latest mission of becoming New Cairo’s ultimate pub destination. The idea of opening a new location is not a new one nor is it a spontaneous gamble, but rather part of The Tap’s initial strategy of becoming known as the city's preferred neighbourhood bar. According to El Kerdani, "Our plan has always been to make The Tap known as your neighbourhood bar. The original goal was to open three locations by 2016; Maadi which is the central Tap, then Tap East in New Cairo, and Tap West in Sodic later this year."
Upon arriving at The Tap East, a number of exciting and inalienable truths become instantly noticeable that suggest that this will be a bigger and better Tap. The first thing catching our eyes is the massive graffiti wall, emblazoned with the spirits of Jim Morrison and Audrey Hepburn, as a backdrop for an elevated stage viewable from any table or bar seat. "The only issue with the Tap Maadi, is its size. It’s just not big enough to meet the demand. As you can see The Tap East is more spacious, has indoor/outdoor seating and high ceilings, so you won’t have that problem with smoke that most venues in Egypt suffer from," strongly believes El Kerdani.
Although The Tap East plans to deliver everything you have come to expect from the Maadi branch, the new location will also allow them to expand, and attract a clientele that has been missing from their first location. "Something we are missing in Tap Maadi branch, is the ability to attract a strong afternoon crowd. We believe that having an awesome outdoor terrace will be a great spot to hang out in the sun, grab a beer, and even enjoy a Friday brunch with eggs Benedict and Mimosas," excitingly exclaims El Kerdani. Looking to expand their menu and bolster the dining experience, The Tap East will be launching with a brunch menu that will include unique dishes like a lobster Benedict, in an openly green environment that will have you clamouring for a thirst quenching signature cocktail or beer on sunny days.
For those who fear any changes to the Maadi menu, rest assured that all your comfort favourites ranging from wings to ribs, will still be available but may include a bit of a new Tap twist. According to El Kerdani, "We hired a professionally trained Belgian chef, and we have worked closely together to elevate and create signature Tap dishes." Wanting to authentically deliver comfort foods, The Tap East will not shy away from using alcohol in their dishes as El Kerdani adds, "We use beers in the batter of our fish and chips, and have a Jack Daniels sauce we serve with steak, and use white wine in our shrimp linguine."
Opening a location called The Tap comes with the expectation of having an awesome selection of beers and cocktails. From day one this has been a priority for The Tap, and with The Tap East the selection is expected to grow. ‘‘Right from the start we wanted to have the best beer selection in all our establishments, however we were set back by sorting out the paperwork and importing issues and we decided to start off with flavoured beer made in-house. Now, we have managed to secure the import of beers like Kronenbourg’s 1664 (a French pale lager), XX Dos Equis (an amber lager from Mexico), Desperados (an American tequila infused beer, Sol (a Mexican Lager), Murphys Stout (an Irish stout), Newcastle (a British brown ale), and a variety of Strongbow fruit-based ciders. Now we are looking into securing the import of underground European craft beers," describes beer enthusiast El Kerdani. Equipped with a squared island bar set-up right in the middle of the establishment, The Tap East will effectively eliminate the long wait for a beer, as patrons will be able to get their drink on four different sides.
If you have ever visited The Tap, then you know they are serious about their beers, and their iconic The Tap ‘Tower of Beer’ has made for plenty of memorable nights, often forgotten the day after. Aiding this rare but enjoyable memorable loss, is the beloved beer pong table that always draws a crowd on Monday game nights. Most of the theme nights will remain the same with a few slight changes and the introduction of a fun new twist on Karaoke. "Friday is Funk night, Saturday’s is Hip Hop night, and Sunday will be our acoustic night, with solo guitarists performing. Mondays is games night revolving around beer pong, foosball and our free arcade games. Tuesday is Nu Disco/Indie Dance night. On Wednesday we will be introducing 'bandeoke', which will allow people to sing their favourite songs with a full band backing them. The only real change to the schedule is that Thursday will be our live band night at The Tap East instead of the usual Friday live show at The Tap Maadi," explains El Kerdani about the slight schedule change. The changing of the live band night is part of the overall goal of creating a mini circuit that will help develop local musical talents, while attracting international acts by giving them as many as three Tap stages to perform on in the near future.
Joining The Tap team as a new partner and with plenty of experience in brand marketing and booking musical talents, is none other than the infamous founder of Nacelle, Tito. "I have always wanted to be part of a venue that has a unique environment, giving me the chance to promote the venue and not a DJ. By focusing on promoting the location and its environment, our guests can come to expect that on any given night they will be entertained. However, The Tap’s strength isn’t solely the entertainment booked, but rather the whole package it delivers as an always fun place to go with friends," describes the newest Tap partner.
Launching in March, The Tap East is set up to become the place to be on any given night in the New Cairo area. With many universities relocated to this part of Cairo, The Tap East will be a welcome addition to a nightlife that barely exists in the area, and will also be holding special student promotions that will entice students in establishing this new location as the coolest hangout spot off campus. The diversity of nightly events and the expansion and development of an afternoon brunch menu, are added bonuses to a brand formula that has already proven successful, and will continue to reaffirm that The Tap will always be your friendly neighbourhood bar no matter where it opens.
For further information about The Tap East visit their Facebook page by clicking here
For further information about The Tap in Maadi click here
Photography by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.
Photographer: Mahmoud El-Beleehy