International Tap House opened its first location outside of Missouri on Wednesday.
St. Louis-based iTap set up shop in a 2,400-square-foot space in Louisville's NuLu/Butchertown area, with 45 beers on tap and a selection of 250 cans and bottles.
The company launched in Chesterfield 2009 and has since opened locations across Missouri, including in Columbia, Kansas City and two in St. Louis: Soulard and the Central West End. Its flagship Chesterfield location closed at the end of 2018.
Company co-owner Brad Lobdell said iTap's newest adventure was a spontaneous one, coming after he and the other co-owner, Sean Conroy, visited Louisville for Conroy's son's hockey game. While in town, they explored NuLu and Butchertown, patronizing the local restaurants and bars along the way, and decided it would be a perfect spot for their first out-of-state location.
Lobdell referenced the neighborhood feeling of the company's Kansas City location, and said he's seen strong similarities between the neighborhood there and NuLu.
"We're confident that, when we pick neighborhoods, they're going through a revitalization, so to speak," Lobdell said. "I see the same thing happening in this neighborhood. [Market Street] is already doing really well, and I think Main is going to follow."
This location is different from the others, Lobdell said, because it will offer 90 bourbon selections and four signature cocktails on draft. (The cocktails — and the beer — will rotate.) Lobdell said he hopes to expand the bourbon selection further in the near future, paying homage to the tradition and bourbon history of Louisville.
The location has 11 part- and full-time employees. iTap signed its lease for the NuLu location with Nashville, Tenn.-based Bristol Development Group in 2017. Lobdell wouldn't disclose the rent amount, but he said renovations cost "in the six figures range."