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On Tap Sports Cafe - Lakeview

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BA SCORE
87
very good

15 Ratings
Ratings: 15
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 17.72%
Taps: 52
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

727 29th St S
Birmingham, Alabama, 35233-2809
United States
phone: (205) 320-1225

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @ontapsportscafe

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: StevieW)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sanmn420
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Sanmn420, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of KMitch
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

KMitch, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of markjarema11
3.25/5  rDev -14%

markjarema11, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of meigs3
2.65/5  rDev -29.9%

Sat outside with my dogs. Place is reasonably dog friendly. Got pitcher of Yuengling Octoberfest, first time I had seen it. The waitress apparently had her head up her ass as she made 3 errors in trying to deliver our order of food correctly. TV was too loud and a semi-street person sitting at another table was very intrusive.

The waitress first came out with the wrong hamburger and delivered our appetizers with the sandwich. Finally got the right hamburger but the pitcher was empty and time to leave. The worst dining experience I have had in two years. The On Tap at Inverness is pretty good.

meigs3, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of hutch121
5/5  rDev +32.3%

I have lived in the Birmingham area for over 5 years. On Tap is by far my favorite sports bar since moving here. The downtown On Tap (Lakeview) is probably the smallest, but that doesn't mean it isn't the best. They have 52 drafts and over 60 bottles of beer for their selection. They seem to rotate drafts pretty regularly with most of the big "brands" & well-known "micros" remaining a constant on their wall. They also stay well stocked (unlike some bars in town) but even if you are unlucky enough to order something they are out of, they have great servers and bartenders (Lesley, Courtney & Rebecca) that will help you find something similar with free samples, which is great.

On Tap Lakeview is the closest thing to Cheers you can find in Birmingham. The managers (Todd & Jake), staff, & bartenders all remember your name, have your favorite beverage ready when you sit down and generally talk to you like one of their "friends" which has always won me over.

As everyone that lives in Birmingham already knows, they have KILLER WINGS. They have an awesome patio, covered, with three televisions outside. They have a family of beers on special every day of the week. PS I LOVE SCAVENGER HUNT ON FRIDAYS. If you don't know - you gotta see it.

I highly recommend On Tap Lakeview if you enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with good people and good brews.

hutch121, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of thbeegle
4.95/5  rDev +31%

There aren't that many sports bars in the Birmingham area. Most are pseudo sports with one television or your typical franchise place with little character (aka BBW or Hooters); then there is On Tap Sports Cafe. It's locally owned and operated and been around for about 15 years. They currently have three locations and the downtown/southside has always been my favorite. Their menu is best described as "pub far," aka mostly fried food - but their wings are to die for. Their beer selection is very great. They have 52 on draft and about another 65 in bottle. They carry most of the "big brands," though only three taps are domestic. Their prices are reasonable considering the wonderful pub atmosphere and the amount of flat screens they have on the walls. Plus the servers are always nice, the bartenders knowledgeable and if you come in enough you will sure to be addressed by your name and have your favorite beer sat infront. The crowd is older (not a college bar) but I think you can understand when you see the service. It very much reminds me of Cheers. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a close knit place where if you're lucky you feel a part of something more than a hang out.

thbeegle, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of MisterStout
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

On Tap has three locations in the Birmingham metro area. I go to the Lakeview ("Southside") location frequently because of its proximity to my apartment, and I also drive out to the Inverness location quite a bit. I'm not familiar with the Hoover location...I'm just not a Hoover kind of guy.

On Tap has, by Alabama standards, a really great selection of draft beers. The place in Inverness is much bigger than the Lakeview location, allowing it to expand its selection to more than 60 taps in the last few months. I'm told there will be close to 80 in the near future.

Lakeview is a bit smaller, but they still have 30 or 40 on tap...maybe more. You won't find anything really surprising on the menu, but they have a pretty good selection of regional micro's and the usual suspects from the west coast and up north. The one area I find the most lacking is stouts and porters. Guinness, Left Hand, and Rogue Choco Stout are the only draft offerings, and there was not a single porter on tap the last time I went there. I should qualify this remark, however, by saying that they have an extensive bottle selection that includes several of each type. I suppose the tap selection is composed of beers that reflect what the majority of the locals enjoy--amber lagers, american ales, wheat beers, and IPA. No offense intended.

By far the best night of the week to go to this place is Thursday. Every beer they have on tap is just $2.00 all night long. Everything is still pretty reasonable during the normal happy hour the rest of the week.

The food is good, but nothing to write home about. If you're into wings, they are a hell of a lot better than the stuff over at Buffalo Wild Wings.

The quality of service ranges from slightly bad to extremely good. Most of the "bad" service I've received has been from the occasional ditzy college girl who spends too much time talking to her friends. This is a rare and unfortunate occurrence. Nearly everyone working behind the bar is a pro...no complaints there.

I really enjoy going to On Tap most of the time, but it does on occasion fill up with a bunch of wifebeater-wearing rednecks who play arcade games and drink nothing but Bud Light. Such is life in Alabama!

MisterStout, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of jim102864
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%

Visited while on business last Wednesday night, heretofore referred to as the night before the tornadoes by me, but given the apparent frequency, not by the locals.

Small sports pub in a tiny neighborhood of them in Burmingham. Suprisingly good selection of micros/macros by Alabama standards. Approximately 30 taps. I tried the Sweetwater 420 and Left hand Brewing's Milk Stout (a pleasant suprise). Both were fresh and free of beer line "twang". Other fairly common micros like Rogue and Sierra Nevada. It's a sports bar, with several tvs over the bar and taps lining part of the wall. Don't recall what the bottle selection was like. Pleasant barmaid who provided efficient service to the bar patrons including myself. Philly cheesesteak wrap was somewhat forgetable as were the fries, but not awful. Smoking is allowed but mercifully not present, 'course the place was only half full. Worth the trip if in the area.

jim102864, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of llitsua
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

Since I’ve moved into the Highland Park/Lakeview district of Birmingham in fall of 2005, I’ve come here several times, mainly for the abundance of TV’s and proximity (less than 2 miles and on the same street as where I live), assuring one that they won’t miss any football games on a Saturday. I don’t know why, but I’ve never reviewed it, but since no review has been done since the change in ownership/draught selection, I will now.

The atmosphere is somewhat cozy, but not overly packed (although always crowded on Saturdays in the fall). Not too many decorations or anything on the walls, since there are so many TV’s. I usually sit at the bar, where you have as many as 4 TV’s (about 25-in) right in front of you, two plasmas (42 in I’d guess) over your right shoulder, and 3 smaller TV’s behind you. One of the weekends I was here recently happened to be the one where half of the top 10 in college football lost (Florida to my beloved Tigers, Oklahoma to Colorado, etc), so having all of the TV’s was a definite plus.

But the thing that will keep me coming back is the beer selection, which has stepped up since the start of this football season. While there used to be only 10-15 taps, there’s now about 40, and the quality of the taps has improved. Off the top of my head, I remember: Rogue Brutal Bitter and Chocolate Stout; Sweetwater Roadtrip, Blue, Hummer, and 420; Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan; Sam Adams seasonal and Boston Lager; Terrapin Rye-PA and India Brown Ale (perhaps the Golden, too, can’t remember); Leine’s Sunset Wheat; Atlanta Red Brick Ale; and Brooklyn Lager and Brown Ale, as well as a few Macros and common imports (Miller Light, Guinness, Urquell, etc). All are served in Imperial (but unfortunately, chilled- I would have specified room-temp, but it was so busy I figured I’d just let the beer warm a little) pint glasses. In my recent trips, I’ve had Terrapin IBA, Lazy Magnolia Pecan, Brutal Bitter, SA Oktoberfest & Lager, and all tasted fine, except for them being a bit cool at time of serving. They also have about 100 or so different bottled beers, as well (keep in mind the AL restrictions- none over 16 oz, as well as 6% ABV). Even though the place was crowded, the bartender was attentive to making sure my glass wasn’t empty. Overall, I was very impressed with the beer and service, and may have to start becoming a regular on Thursdays if they keep the $2 pint deal that they had under the previous management.

Now comes the negative part- the food. I’m not going to rate them too low, because I only had one thing, but I’ve had better burgers at fast food chains. I had ordered mine medium, but it arrived well done, and was extremely bland (100% Angus, if you’re wondering). As for my side I chose fries, and they were cool, and EXTREMELY over- seasoned. So over-seasoned, in fact, that I had to use massive amounts of ketchup to drown out the salinity. FWIW, the wings are supposed to be the best in Birmingham, so I may go that route next time.

Overall, this is the best pure “sports” bar in the Birmingham area (I have not been to the other locations since the management change, but I’d expect them to be similar)- the draught selection is unmatched anywhere in the state, and the abundance of TV’s assures one that they’ll be able to catch every game on TV at any given time. The only other beer bar I will compare it to On-Tap is the J Clyde (which I requested to be added to Beerfly months ago), which has much better food (more expensive food, too), and better care in beer serving- served at right temp, in correct glass, and a good draught selection, if not as expansive as On-Tap. As long as I live in Birmingham, I will be coming to On Tap pretty regularly, though.

llitsua, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of GPHarris
3.93/5  rDev +4%

this is the best sports bar in birmingham for craft beer. they used to have a lot more but it is still decent. they have about 10 taps that they regularly rotate. their list shows over 100 bottled beers but i think it is actually less than that. this has a lot of potential to be a good beer bar when the abv law passes.

usual sports bar fare and their wings are good. lots of tvs all over so there isn't a bad place to watch a ballgame. it always has a lot of people in there especially during football season. good location and never disappoints.

GPHarris, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of Poser
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%

I've been here many times. It's a great atmosphere for me -- it's not too clubby most of the time. You can just sit back and carry on a conversation or meet people. Their beer selection is very above average for the area. I think The Garage and Dave's are the only bars I've been to that compete. You still can't find some of the more rare selections available in Alabama, but you'll be sure to find something you enjoy.

I remember the food being excellent, but I was also starving at the time. It's typical bar food.

Having said all that, though, it's unfortunate that this is considered a beer bar in Birmingham. Free the Hops!

Poser, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of cyden
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Nice little sports bar that is actually in Lakeview not southside but thats just a technicality. As far as sports bars go this is one of the best in Birmingham, They have the NTN trivia which is always great for solo beer outings. The staff is reasonably educated on beer styles and selections offered at this location. The food is just standard sports bar fair but the meatball hogie is a standout in the food category. Plenty of taps and nice bottled selection. The have an extended happy hour on thursday nights last time I checked. Trying to watch a game here is a trial as the place does fill up early on game days and plenty of folks stay parked at table all day so get there early if you want a table.

cyden, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of DeaconBluez
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%

As far as sport bars go, this has the best beer selection for sport bars in town. Food is just ok. I pretty much just stick to the wings when I go here. They carry most of the beers that are sold in the state with some exceptions. Rogues, Samuel Smith's, and Sweetwater is what I usually stick to when I am in here. There are televisions all over the place, and they are all tuned to sports and news. Wait staff is usually pretty good, but when it gets busy in there it can be kind of tough to get a beer in there, which is normal of most places, but this place can get really busy on Thursday nights and weekends. The crowd in there can vary, but usually it is recent college grads. If you are looking to go out and have a brew with friends and not listen to a band, this is usually a good bet. They have Free The Hops stuff up too, so that is a plus in my book.

DeaconBluez, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of BurnsTau
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%

Went here on a tip from a friend. First thing I noticed was that it's a decent bar overall, the atmosphere is good and it's not a dirty place to hang out. The food was good, typical bar fare. The beer list is above average for around here, the outstanding beers on tap I remember (off the top of my head) were: Anchor Liberty Ale, Rogue Deadguy Ale, Abita Purple Haze, the run of imports (Guinness, Harp, Heinecken, etc...). A very large variety of bottled beers, and the prices aren't anything to complain about either. Overall a good place to hang out at.

BurnsTau, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of StevieW
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Right across the street from the better than Dreamland Rib place called Nick and Tom's or Tom and Jacks or something like that. We visited here back on a busy Friday night in August. The crowd was pretty young. College girls and frat boys. 2 young couples were having the Anchor Porter and Paulaner Wheat beer, this is noteworthy in the South. Every one seems to drink Budweiser.
The bar was set against the back wall, plenty of big tv's and ample seating at the bar, high top tables, and booths. Impressive tap list for the South, also a large bottle collection in a glass cooler behind the bar. They had several very good beers to choose from. Anchor Porter, all the Southern beers, Sweetwater, Abita, etc. Rogue was also present, as were a few decent imports. Really a hidden gem and a good place to get a beer in Birmingham. Skip the food and go to the rib place across the street. There's also a piggly wiggly down the street. Yep they really do exist.

StevieW, Oct 26, 2003
On Tap Sports Cafe - Lakeview in Birmingham, AL
87 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.