DULUTH – When lifelong local Jordan DeCaro, 26, was mulling how to transform the small storefront he bought in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, he asked himself what type of joint people his age might like.
Enter the Duluth Tap Exchange, a pour-your-own beer bar inspired in part by Minneapolis’ First Draft Taproom & Kitchen.
At DeCaro’s new pourhouse at 1905 W. Superior St., customers will be able to choose from 40 beers, ciders, hard seltzers and wines, which they can serve themselves. Patrons must simply show the host a credit card and ID, pick up a wristband and start pouring brews.
The bar uses the same technology as First Draft, which allows drinkers to activate a tap with the tap of their wristband. Prices are calculated per ounce and vary for each type of beer, and there’s also a full bar in the back.
Duluth Tap Exchange is having a grand opening event on Feb. 15, but it’s open regularly now from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
DeCaro is marketing his bar as an addition to the neighborhood brew tour. “Millennials want to be in a different place every 45 minutes,” he said.
Those looking to hang around a bit longer can order delivery from OMC Smokehouse, Corktown Deli & Brews or Duluth Grill. Kids are welcome — there’s root beer on tap. And unlike a lot of fellow craft district businesses, the Tap Exchange has TVs to show sports games.
DeCaro’s space is just under 2,000 square feet and formerly housed a vacuum shop and a taxidermist. He used lots of reclaimed wood in his renovations, giving the joint a sleek, simple look.
“A lot of my friends and families moved to the Cities, though it’s usually for jobs. We’re just trying to revitalize Duluth,” DeCaro said. “We want to keep people here.”