Riverside Taphouse Opens on Light Street

| August 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Riverside Taphouse opened recently at 1542 Light St. in Riverside/South Baltimore. It was in a soft opening for the last two months doing carry-out, but its menu and bar has been at full operation in the last couple of weeks with some indoor and outdoor seating.

Riverside Taphouse is owned by former Social Pub General Manager Ryan Kehoe, an United States Navy veteran who has lived in South Baltimore for many years. He hired Justin Cox, who has worked with Kehoe as a manger at Social Pub, as the general manager for Riverside Taphouse; Chris Canty, who has been a bar manager at Wiley Gunter’s, Don’t Know, and Dock Street in Annapolis, as the beverage director; and Bobby Bassett, who put together the menu at Dock Street, as the chef.

Riverside Taphouse, like all restaurants in Baltimore, is currently limited to 25 percent capacity indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is offering outdoor seating along Randall St.

The first floor dining room and bar has a max capacity of 85, so currently 21 patrons are allowed inside. Kehoe said the team is currently renovating the second floor dining room and bar of the building and hopes to have it open by November.

The team took on a full renovation of the first floor which includes renovated bathrooms, updated HVAC, new kitchen equipment, new floors, the removal of a vestibule by the front door, new bar equipment, a new draft system, new televisions, new high-top tables, and cosmetic improvements. A portion of the brick wall facing Randall St. was punched out and a new glass garage door has been installed. Kehoe said this “really brightens up the space.” An awning to provide shade for the increased outdoor dining was also added to the Randall St. facade.

Riverside Taphouse has agreed to an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA) to keep the garage door and windows closed after 9pm.

The former wood trim work on the facade has been removed. A new LED Riverside Taphouse sign has been installed and a new mural by Brian Propst of Mad Propst was added on the facade facing Randall St.

Riverside Taphouse is currently open Monday to Friday from 4pm to 11pm and Saturday from 10am to 11pm.

The menu at Riverside Taphouse is Bassett’s twist on bar food. All the sauces and dressings are homemade and the rolls are made from local bakers such as Dough Boy Fresh.

Appetizers include seven types of wings, Dough Boy Fresh pretzels with beer cheese, ahi tuna tacos, and a selection of egg rolls. Soups on the menu are chili and tomato. The menu has five types of salads that can be topped with pulled pork, grilled chicken, Fat Boy fried chicken, steak, grilled shrimp, and ahi tuna. Riverside Taphouse has build-your-own single, double, and triple smash burgers served on brioche rolls. Sandwiches include pulled pork, shrimp salad, the Fat Boy Fried Chicken Sandwich, a steak sandwich, a honey dijon chicken cheesesteak, a spicy jalapeño cheesesteak, and a kale and arugula power wrap. Desserts include the duck fat donut holes with a red wine syrup, bread pudding, and french toast.

Riverside Taphouse serves brunch on Saturdays and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. The brunch menu includes a selection of waffles, platters, sandwiches, and omelets. Bloody Mary’s and mimosas are also available during brunch.

Riverside Taphouse currently has 10 beers on tap and will eventually have 22. Canty said these will include “approachable” staples as well as seasonal beers, regional beers, and selections for craft beer connoisseurs. Riverside Taphouse offers pints and half liters of beer. Bud Light and Natural Light will always be on special.

It also sells cans and bottles of beer and hard seltzers, and house wines. The drink menu currently includes orange, grapefruit, berry, and watermelon crushes, a blackberry mule, blueberry lemonade, a spicy guava margarita, a watermelon mojito, and red sangria.

Riverside Taphouse sells packaged goods and will have specials on Natty Light and White Claw to go.

The many televisions at Riverside Taphouse will primarily play local sports including the Ravens, Orioles, Capitals, University of Maryland, and Navy Football.

Riverside Taphouse was initially hoping to open for March Madness, but getting open was delayed by the pandemic. Kehoe said they are excited to be open, already have regulars, and that business has been good.

Prior to Riverside Taphouse, the space at 1542 Light St. has been home to Copa 2000, Royal, Charlotte’s, The Reserve (which was later rebranded as 1542 Gastropub), Langermann’s on Light, and Das Bier Haus.

Photos courtesy of Chris Canty

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.