UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Craft beer bar iTap is in negotiations to open at The Link in the Loop after closing its longtime location in the Central West End last week.
Co-owner Sean Conroy said iTap signed a letter of intent to occupy about 3,500 square feet at Pace Properties' new development at Skinker and Delmar boulevards and could open in the first quarter of 2021. This location is slated to mirror the narrow, rectangular style of iTap's popular Soulard location and employ up to 15 people.
iTap had been approached over a year ago to open at The Link in the Loop, a roughly $30 million mixed-use development with office space and a CVS pharmacy on the ground floor. Developer Pace Properties tapped S.M. Wilson & Co. for the build out, which it recently completed. Pace's Mark Dorsey is handing the office leasing and his colleagues Lauren Berry and Kate Grewe are representing retail leasing.
Conroy and his partner Brad Lobdell had thought they could make both their Central West End location, at 16 S. Euclid Ave., and the Delmar Loop location work. They and their Euclid landlord, Pete Rothschild, had been in negotiations over a new lease rate and Rothschild later offered to keep rent the same for a few years as the pandemic began, Conroy said.
But the Central West End space, what Conroy said had been iTap's "Taj Mahal" and its biggest investment, relies on big groups to make money, and the uncertainty of the pandemic and the time it will take for customers to feel comfortable in group settings ultimately led to their decision not to renew the lease. The neighborhood's lack of convenient parking also played a role, he said.
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