Bartender’s Corner Review:
Dave’s Southside Tap
Location: 803 Belsly Boulevard (Moorhead)
Phone: (218) 477-1010
Food: Bar Fare (Pizza, Burgers, etc.)
Gambling: Pull Tabs
Live Music: No
Outdoor Seating: Limited
You have to have some serious chutzpah to open a bar in an area already saturated with them. To make it work, you need one of four things: 1) a catchy gimmick; 2) some serious smarts; 3) some serious luck; or 4) some combination thereof. It certainly isn’t easy, but if you can pull it off and do it right, the gamble can pay off much sooner than anyone expects. Case in point: Dave’s Southside Tap.
Though this establishment opened less than two years ago, its success has already led the owners to open a new bar (The Bulldog Tap in the Osgood area of south Fargo) at a time when most new bar owners are still seeing globs of red ink all over their books. It really isn’t that hard to see why Dave’s has done so well where others often fail: the owners know what Dave’s is, and they don’t try to make it something it’s not. Dave’s is a sports bar, pure and simple. If you need evidence, just look to the mammoth-screen TVs hanging from every bare patch of wall, or their second-to-none satellite sports package. Seriously, if you want to watch any game from any major sport (and even some minor ones), you can bet Dave’s will get it.
The menu at Dave’s isn’t expansive, but why should it be? This is a sports bar. The food might not be five-star quality, but it’s certainly better than anything you’ll get from, say, a Buffalo Wild Wings. Dave’s also doesn’t offer much in the way of outdoor seating, as its ‘patio’ is little more than a smoker’s corral. They do, however, offer a side room that can be reserved for parties of anywhere from 20-50 people.
Unless your establishment has outstanding name recognition, you won’t last long in the bar business without a solid staff, and Dave’s Southside Tap is no exception. Though it has experienced its fair share of the turnover common in all bars (especially new ones), management has done a nice job of keeping a solid core of bartenders on staff to help cover up the growing pains of the new employees. The fact that the bar itself is not set up to hold a large volume of people certainly makes life easier for everyone involved. In summation, while Dave’s bar staff is by no means a polished product, it is certainly a solid one, and more importantly, it appears to be heading in the right direction.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10