Created with Sketch.
What's On Tap - Industry Talk
72 minutes | a month ago
Innovation In The Industry - Part I: From Distillation to Hand Sanitization with @MRDistilling
No one looks forward to times of adversity, but we all face difficult challenges at some points in our lives. COVID-19 brought a systemic shock to not only the hospitality industry but to the entire world this year. As devastating as the pandemic has been to bars and restaurants, it has also been a call for us to innovate, bond together, and solve problems. In this new series, “Innovation in the Industry,” we will be exploring just that. This first episode of the series explores the massive shift many distilleries underwent in converting their production facilities into hand sanitizer factories to supply the world with this crucial product at a time when we were running dangerously low. We sit down with our good friend Sam Bergren to talk about how Mississippi River Distilling Company got into the hand sanitizer game. In the second half of the episode, we talk with Brian Krajack, Director of Operations of Forbidden Root Restaurant & Distillery in Chicago, Illinois; which is where we recorded at. In addition to learning more about how they became the premier botanical brewery in the States with food so good they are equally known as a restaurant, Brain shares how they have faired during the era of COVID, their expansion to Columbus, Ohio, and the crowler craze. We hope you enjoy this series as we continue to explore how the service industry has adapted when their backs were up against the wall! This episode featured: Sam Bergren Wisconsin & Illinois Sales Rep, Mississippi River Distilling Company https://www.mrdistilling.com/ @mrdistilling Joseph Sheahan, Cofounder & CEO, TappedIn and Host, What’s On Tap https://www.gettappedin.io/ @get_tapped Find us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Apple Podcast, Spotify, LinkedIn
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Nightlife Under COVID Pt. 2 - The DJ Perspective with Chicago-based DJ Silkee (Shannon Currie)
Everyone is well-aware of how hard the restaurant industry has been hit from government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions. Bars have even more restrictions, and the nightclub segment has been impacted the most. Even if they have great food, clubs aren’t thought of a dining meccas, so offering carryout and delivery isn’t the financial crutch that it can be to restaurants. And limitations on capacity and social distancing requirements make it extremely difficult for these establishments to do what they do best - create experiences where people can get lost in the music and dance the night away in a sea of like-minded revelers. This is the second episode in our “Nightlife Under COVID” series where we’ll sit down with club owners, DJs, and promoters to better understand what they’ve been experiencing. Our guests today is Chicago-based Shannon Currie, AKA DJ Silkee. Like many of his fellow DJs, he found himself out of work when the government mandated that all bars and restaurants (and other businesses) shut their doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus. After two months and feeling a bit stir crazy, Shannon decided to dust off his turntables and throw a party for his neighbors in the South Loop by setting up on his balcony. His neighbors emerged on their balconies to check out what was happening, grab a mimosa, and dance along. For several months, this was something that we looked forward to - a DJ set from noon to 2:00 PM every Sunday. After realizing he had an audience that wanted to know who they were listening to, DJ Silkee put out a banner and decals on his windows; which is how we tracked him down for the podcast! Shannon’s story isn’t very different from most people in the service industry, and especially those whose jobs revolved around nightlife. Chicago taverns were severely restricted if they didn’t serve food, and all other bars and restaurants had to stop alcohol sales at 11:00 PM and could have a maximum capacity of 25% indoors if they did serve food. Not a good recipe for having DJs. Fortunately, DJ Silkee was able to pick up a few gigs from his innovative and much-appreciated balcony party sets. He had time to sit down with us to tell us how he’s adapted and innovated to survive and hone his craft in the shutdown. If you’re looking for a DJ for your bar, nightclub, or private party, see below for his contact information. Don’t forget to check out the other episodes in this series where we’ll interview Club Owners, DJs and promoters to hear how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them personally and professionally as well as their vision for what’s next. Stay tuned to What’s On Tap as we discuss the issues affecting the hospitality industry! This episode featured: DJ Silkee: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Chicago South Loop Day Party w/ DJ Silkee on Facebook or Instagram Joseph Sheahan, Cofounder & CEO, TappedIn and Host, What’s On Tap, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Apple Podcast, Spotify, LinkedIn
54 minutes | 3 months ago
Nightlife Under COVID Pt. 1 - The Nightclub Perspective with Chicago-based Le Nocturne
Everyone is well-aware of how hard the restaurant industry has been hit from government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions. Bars have even more restrictions, and the nightclub segment has been impacted the most. Even if they have great food, clubs aren’t thought of a dining meccas, so offering carryout and delivery isn’t the financial crutch that it can be to restaurants. And limitations on capacity and social distancing requirements make it extremely difficult for these establishments to do what they do best - create experiences where people can get lost in the music and dance the night away in a sea of like-minded revelers. This is the first episode in our “Nightlife Under COVID” series where we’ll sit down with club owners, DJs, and promoters to better understand what they’ve been experiencing. Our guests today are Francoise Crokaert and Miguel Castro from one of Chicago’s newest nightclub - Le Nocturne. Their nightclub focuses on house music and all of its derivatives, paying homage to the city where house music began - Chicago. They opened up one year ago and consistently pull in house legends and hot new DJs. Their residency list includes Ron Carroll, Randall Dean, Paul Johnson, and Victor R. Six months into their run, they, along with the rest of the industry and world, were punched by the COVID-19 pandemic and were forced to shut their doors for an extended period of time. Le Nocturne has done everything they could think of to use the downtime the best they can, from making physical improvements to the club to launching a successful streaming channel, Nocturne Chicago Live (“NCL”). NCL features at least four live streams per week, all of which are available to watch and listen to afterward. “House Talk” is streamed Monday through Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM with host Ron Carrol where we get to hear and get to know the DJs. “Heat,” also hosted by Ron Carroll, is every Thursday night from 7:00 to 11:00 PM and features a rotating mix of up-and-coming and household name DJs. Paul Johnson anchors the Saturday night stream. Stay tuned for other episodes in this series where we’ll interview DJs and promoters to hear how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them personally and professionally. This episode featured: Francoise Crokaert, Owner, and Miguel Castro, General Manager, Le Nocturne 4810 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640 YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter Nocturne Chicago Live can be streamed on YouTube, Facebook Instagram, Mixcloud, and Periscope Joseph Sheahan, Cofounder & CEO, TappedIn and Host, What’s On Tap Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Apple Podcast, Spotify, LinkedIn A special thanks to Jayden Sheahan for his help with this episode!
68 minutes | 3 months ago
Being Black in the Hospitality Industry - Part III with Black People Eats and Chicago Food On The Run
To close out What’s On Tap’s "Black in the Hospitality Industry” series, we sit down with Jeremy Joyce, founder of Black People Eats, and Kristal Long, Business Manager at Chicago Food on the Run, a newly opened black-owned restaurant. Although the end of the series doesn’t mean our listening phase is over, we do hope that we now have a better understanding of the experiences of our friends and coworkers. We are humbled by our guests’ openness to share their personal experiences and perspectives. Episode 7 brings us to a Chicago neighborhood that many “foodies” normally wouldn’t seek out, and we are glad we were able to experience it! Jeremy Joyce is the founder and face of Black People Eats, a restaurant directory and media company that shines a light on black-owned restaurants that he started in December of 2017. Joyce would vlog his meals and experiences hoping to boost traffic and attention for the under-appreciated and rarely recognized Black-owned restaurant community. Despite the slow start, he persisted and focused on consistency and the mission. In June of 2018, he changed his Instagram handle from his personal name to @BlackPeopleEats and his videos exploded. Joyce’s restaurant directory has now expanded to six cities across America. In light of the heightened Black Lives Matter movement, Joyce continues to promote Black-owned businesses to a wider audience than ever. Using its platform, Black People Eats raised over $75,000 for their Black-owned Restaurant Relief Fund, a fund that gives financial support to restaurants in need. We filmed this episode at one of the restaurants that Black People Eats featured - Chicago Food on the Run. Chicago Food on the Run is a soul food restaurant on Chicago’s Southside. Their talented Chef & Owner, Jonetta Holloway, creates flavorful plates that remind customers of Grandma's cookin’ complemented by unmatched customer service in a beautiful setting. We sat down with their Business Manager, Kristal Long, and discussed everything from defining soul food to the lack of restaurants making home-cooked meals in their neighborhood, to why they chose to set up shop in an area that doesn’t draw much attention for its culinary scene. If the line out of the door wasn’t enough to convince you, we can attest to their delicious food, warm service, and unique and beautiful decor. Go check them out! This episode featured: Jeremy Joyce, Founder, Black People Eats Find and follow on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Kristal Long, Business Manager, Chicago Food On The Run Find and follow on Instagram or Facebook Joseph Sheahan, Cofounder & CEO, TappedIn and Host of What’s On Tap Find and follow on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
77 minutes | 4 months ago
Being Black in the Hospitality Industry - Part II with Chef Brian Jupiter (Frontier, Ina Mae) and Kurtis Lott (Cajun Boil & Bar)
In our second episode in What’s On Tap’s “Black in the Hospitality Industry” series, we sit down with Kurtis Lott, Co-owner & Chief Operator of the four-location restaurant concept Cajun Boil & Bar (@cajunboilandbar), and Brian Jupiter (@chefjup) award-winning Executive Chef & Partner of two Chicago restaurants, Frontier (@frontierchicago) and Ina Mae Tavern (@inamaetavern). They both have been in the bar and restaurant industry since they were teenagers and share with us their unique experiences and perspectives on what it is like coming up “black in the hospitality industry.” We also discuss the challenges of having black-owned restaurants, the change they see happening in America, and they give some simple tips on what we can all do to make the world a better place. “Soul Food Sundays” anyone? Chef Jupiter was named as a finalist for the James Beard Award Best Chef - Great Lakes and has been on multiple television shows and news channels including Cooking Channel’s America’s Best Bites, Check, Please!, NBC Chicago News, NBC’s 1st Look, Fox 32 Chicago News, WGN-TV News, and the Food Network. Frontier, known for their “whole animal experience” (including alligator!), was Chef’s first foray into restaurant ownership after having led many other kitchens. Ina Mae Tavern, named after Chef Jupiter’s great-grandmother, is a New Orleans-style concept inspired by recipes passed down through generations in his family. Kurtis Lott is not only a successful restaurateur, but he’s also the first client of TappedIn (the restaurant marketing company that creates the What’s On Tap video podcast) that has been on the show. Kurtis is the Chief Operator & Co-owner of Cajun Boil & Bar - a Louisiana-inspired restaurant built around seafood boils, amazing sauce, and a lively atmosphere. They opened up four Chicagoland Cajun Boil & Bar locations (Oakbrook Terrace, Orland Park, Oak Park, and Joliet, IL) within one year! It has been amazing to see what he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time. We had a great conversation with these two inspirational restaurateurs and we hope you enjoy it as well!
70 minutes | 5 months ago
Being Black in the Hospitality Industry - Part I with Charles St. Clair (Black Horizon Brewing Co.) & Hope Johnson
What’s On Tap was originally created in response to the systemic shock bars and restaurants were facing due to COVID-19. Little did we know, 2020 had something else up its sleeve. While many of us were hunkered down from the pandemic, the video of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officers came to light. Already on the heels of other high-profile injustices against Black people, the Black Lives Matter movement swelled like never before. TappedIn, the creators of the What’s On Tap video podcast, posted on social media (@get_tapped) a declaration that we wanted to “Stop, Listen, Empathize, and Act” on this issue. This is our listening phase. We decided to pause our coronavirus-focused podcast episodes and listen to what it is like to be “Black in the Hospitality Industry." The next few episodes will be a series of interviews with people who have these unique and personal perspectives. We are seeking to better understand how our Black brothers and sisters in the food and beverage industry might experience life differently, with an emphasis on their career in the industry. We are committed to listening with an open mind and asking questions with answers that might make us uncomfortable so that we can learn and grow. We were lucky enough to record the first episode in this series on Juneteenth, at the only active Black-owned brewery in Illinois - Black Horizon Brewing Company in Willowbrook. We sat down with Charles St. Clair, co-owner of Black Horizon, and Hope Johnson, a long-time service industry professional with 18 years of restaurant and bar experience in Chicago and the Baltimore-area. Topics range from being the only Black person working at a bar/restaurant, discrimination, systemic racism, removal of confederate statues and naming of army bases (Charles is also an Army veteran who was stationed at Fort Bragg), to suggestions on how non-Black people can help effect change. We appreciate their willingness to share with us their experiences, thoughts, and recommendations!
91 minutes | 6 months ago
The Voices of Hospitality Industry Employees in the Midst of COVID-19
Although What’s On Tap represents the entirety of the hospitality industry, our first few episodes featured owners, who provided their unique perspective on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected them. But what about their employees? They make up a far larger portion of the bar and restaurant industry population, and they are the lifeblood of every establishment. On this episode, we get to hear from three Chicago industry veterans on the employee side (Brittany Lee, Jon Hewak, and Milan Milanovich) who share their experiences navigating the pandemic. We touch on everything from unemployment, to concerns about reopening, to the difficult career choices they are being confronted with. And that part in the show intro about having a drink or two? Well, we had a couple this time and the result was a conversation that was raw and unfiltered. Cheers!
73 minutes | 6 months ago
Food & Bev Lawyers Unpack COVID-19 for The Industry
Not all bar and restaurant owners and most employees can’t afford high-powered lawyers, especially when their businesses are shut down or they are unemployed. Yet, in a time where the stakes are higher than ever, having sound legal advice is critically important. TappedIn gathered two legal titans who specialize in the hospitality and alcohol beverage industries to discuss the most important topics facing this group. Nothing in this episode should be considered legal advice, but we do hope that it will add perspective and point our listeners in the right direction. Both of our guests have also agreed to donate an hour and a half of consulting time to two lucky winners! Head over to our social media to enter to win. Jim Webster, Webster Law Partners, PC: http://www.lawwp.com/ Mark Wilcox, The Wilcox Law Firm, PC: https://chicagoliquorlaw.com/
73 minutes | 7 months ago
The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group Feeds Chicago in a Time of Need
Two of the four pillars of What’s On Tap are to 1) make sure that industry people know about all of the resources available to them, and 2) to shine a light on the good things that this group is doing for one another. On this episode, we get to talk about both of those. We sit down with the co-founders of the Chicago-based Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr, who have converted two of their nineteen restaurants into take-home meal pickup sites for the restaurant industry and others in need. They’ve teamed up with several organizations including The Lee Initiative, Makers Mark, World Central Kitchen, and countless other individuals and companies to feed over a thousand people every day during this pandemic! With a staggering TWO-THIRDS of bar & restaurant professionals out of work right now, a free (and tasty) meal sure can help out. We also get the opportunity to talk to them about their meteoric growth from a single concept in 2008 to one of the most successful restaurant groups in Chicago today.
62 minutes | 7 months ago
The Moment Our World Changed - COVID-19’s Shutdown of the Restaurant Industry w/ Chef Jason Vincent
It is only fitting that the maiden episode of What's On Tap features Chef Jason, Chef & Cofounder of Chicago restaurants Giant and Chef's Special Cocktail Bar. It was a text he sent to a fellow chef, friend, and mentor that was the catalyst for this show! That text thread expanded to include other Chicago chefs and restauranteurs, and in less than 24 hours it culminated in an impromptu meeting of the biggest names in Chicago's restaurant scene. The topic of that text? How the spread of the coronavirus was forcing him to take a step back from business-as-usual and re-assess everything. The outcome of the meeting was a unified message to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker declaring what the hospitality industry needed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. This coming together of our industry leaders to share, collaborate, and take action spurred us to create a platform that keeps a light on these issues in the evolving landscape. The award-winning chef and restauranteur shares his unadulterated viewpoints on healthcare, finances, what the “new normal” might hold, and how to support neighborhood businesses.
Terms of Service
© Stitcher 2020