By Kathy Feist
When you walk into Lukas Liquors, 13657 Washington St., you will immediately be greeted by Harry’s Tavern, a sleek-looking craft beer bar that opened to the public September 9.
Harry’s Tavern, named in honor of Harry Lukas, boasts 65 craft beers and 5 wines on tap. Canned crowlers, which are sealed on site, allow the customer to carry home draft beer. Bar food, such as nachos, hamburgers, bratwursts and street tacos is also available.
The space, once a wine bar, features a stunning stone hearth fireplace as its centerpiece. To one side is a wall of windows looking out to newly planted ornamental grass and the open sky. To the other is a 20-foot long bar facing 11 side-by-side flat screen televisions (and four more in an adjacent room). Black chairs and tables currently fill the center. Many will be replaced by a 20-foot long community table made of reclaimed wood.
The space had been sitting vacant for the past six years. “One of the managers from the retail side came up with making the space a beer and whiskey bar,” says general manager Chris Ballard. “Because the beer industry is exploding, the idea grew from there.” He says the whiskey aspect is still a future possibility.
Harry’s Tavern is one of the first bars to offer canned crowlers as opposed to bottled. Ballard says the canned option has advantages over the bottled because it is completely sealed, allows no light, is more affordable and can be tossed into a recycling bin. The cans are not refilled like the bottled crowlers are. But Ballard says a new can ensures cleanliness that a used bottle cannot. The cans come imprinted with the Harry’s Tavern logo.
A couple of beers, KC Bier and Prairie Paradise (brewed in Tulsa, OK), are only found in keg form. It is a convenient addition to the liquor store that one can walk into Harry’s Tavern and get it poured into a 32 oz. crowler to go.
Harry’s Tavern is open 11 am to 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. Call 816-942-8523 for more information.