Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Craft-beer bar chain the Brass Tap to open in Towson early 2018

Craft-beer bar and restaurant chain the Brass Tap will open at Towson Town Center early next year, which will make it the third franchise to operate in Maryland.

First-time restaurant owner Mike Kettell said the restaurant would open to the public on Jan. 8, pending inspections and permitting, inside a former clothing retail store in the Towson mall. The 3,700-square-foot space has been gutted, and construction is half complete, he said.

Kettell owns the Pasadena-based Xtreme Hood Cleaning, which cleans commercial cooking equipment, but the Brass Tap will be his first restaurant, he said. A homebrewer and active member of the Air Force, both for more than three decades, Kettell said he became interested in owning a franchise after learning about the Brass Tap online.

“There’s a huge interest out there just in terms of the craft-beer concept, and what it has to offer,” Kettell said. “It’s something that’s moving forward.”

The Brass Tap currently has Maryland locations in Mid-Town Belvedere in Baltimore and the National Harbor. Kettell said he has signed a second franchise agreement, and is currently looking for a location either in Baltimore or its surrounding counties, he said.

Beer-wise, the focus will be local, he said. Of the 60 total draft lines, 50 to 55 will be beers produced by Maryland breweries. The majority of the cans and bottles options — of which there will be 100-150 — would also be local, Kettell said.

“There’s no shortage for options in terms of local breweries to choose from,” he said.

Kettell said he plans to offer military discounts and host events that focus on and benefit military members. He also plans to feature live music — likely acoustic singer/songwriter types. The Brass Tap will also have 26 large-screen TVs for sports, he said.

For food, patrons can expect pub fare like burgers, wraps and tacos. Kettell said he also plans to incorporate local items like crab cakes and crab dip.

The general manager of the Brass Tap in Towson will be Kettell’s son, Steven Kettell, he said. The restaurant will be open 11-2 a.m. daily.

Based in Tampa, Fla., The Brass Tap currently has more than 40 locations in the United States. It is considered a competitor to another craft-beer-focused chain, World of Beer, which also has Maryland locations in Towson, Baltimore and other areas.

wesley.case@baltsun.com

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