A New Venture In Authentic Food & Entertainment
Warehouse Tap Room delivers a unique blend of flavorful food, drink, and entertainment options.
by Jane Schmidt and photos by Turner Photography Studio
Through its combination of many draft beer selections and drink options, distinctive chef’s menu of signature-crafted flavors featuring fresh locally-sourced ingredients, and a diverse medley of events and live music, Warehouse Tap Room creates a lively, authentic dining and entertainment experience that’s a fail-safe offensive against the weekday blahs, and the perfect antidote to monotonous weekend plans.
The concept for the restaurant, which opened October 2017, derived from parent company HighRock Group’s venture into diversifying its entertainment offerings, shares HighRock Group President and CEO Rich Daughtridge. “The idea developed out of our larger Warehouse Cinemas venture, a chain of movie theaters we’re launching over the next 10 to 15 years,” Rich explains. “Hagerstown’s Warehouse Tap Room is actually a prototype of the restaurant that will be featured in all future Warehouse Cinemas locations.”
Warehouse Tap Room, housed in the building of the former LJ’s and the Kat Lounge, brings two familiar seasoned restaurant professionals together again at the transformed location, offering an exciting new twist on authentic, fresh American cuisine: General Manager Zach Carson and Executive Chef Leah Stump — both previously with LJ’s and the Kat Lounge.
Zach shares their previous restaurant business partnership offers a great foundation for developing and growing Warehouse Tap Room’s niche. “We’ve had an amazing time so far,” Zach shares. “Chef Leah and I have been a team since day one. We pride ourselves in that we’ve already established a team culture with our staff, which can present as a big hurdle in just seven months’ time. It was a great experience seeing the restaurant’s concept and vision become reality. I am excited to see many familiar faces and collaborate with the great local businesses in the region,” he shares.
The modern-industrial décor with a centralized stone fireplace, open kitchen featuring a brick oven, newly opened outdoor patio seating, and large garage door that opens the space, provide a relaxing vibe and backdrop that complements the look and feel of the Warehouse Cinemas brand.
“HighRock Group’s creative process behind developing our business model was phenomenal,” Zach shares. “It’s great to be in partnership with them. Rich has given Chef Leah and I full control, from establishing high standards to creating an enjoyable experience every day for team members. We’re fortunate to be part of a group sharing the same philosophy,” Zach adds.
Focus On Fresh Flavors
Warehouse Tap Room’s menu specialty is its authentic brick oven pizza. “We offer over 30 combinations so patrons can create their own flavor experience,” relates Executive Chef Leah. Her signature dough and flavorful sauces provide a perfect base to build upon this popular offering, ideal as an appetizer for a few or an individual meal.
The restaurant also features several distinctive menu items, including its unparalleled “waffle-wiches” sandwiches. “Our ‘waffle-wiches’ are unique. We’ve added a sweet buttermilk-based ‘waffle-wich’ to our brunch menu while using our pizza dough recipe for regular ‘waffle-wich’ items,” Leah shares.
The restaurant also strives to use locally-sourced, fresh ingredients, which also provide inspiration for creating specialty appetizers, pizzas, and salads. Many menu items infuse key local ingredients, like Chef Leah’s smoked Green Bean Salad featuring South Mountain Micro Farm lettuce; the Works Pizza Omelet with Hoffman’s sausage; the BBQ Beast pizza featuring Bar-b-que Beast BBQ sauce from Waynesboro, Pa.; a caprese salad featuring heirloom tomatoes from Hummingbird Farms; and one-of-a-kind bread pudding dessert including the well-loved local favorite, Krumpe’s Donuts. Brunch items are available Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in addition to full menu items. A daily kids’ menu for children up to age 12 including small soft drink is also available.
Raising The Bar Experience
In addition to flavorful food, Warehouse Tap Room takes pride in its well-stocked bar brimming with distinguished choices and styles carefully selected by Zach and Bar Manager Chad Baker. The restaurant offers 20-plus beer and cider taps, plus a unique rotating wine and cocktail selection with regular beer flights and daily
designated drink specials. The bar, visible from both rooms, features a long wall with beer taps in multiple rows. “Our focus on the educational process is important because it adds to patrons’ overall experience. Our staff is well versed on various styles and can offer solid recommendations based on patrons’ individualized tastes to try something new,” Zach explains.
Warehouse Tap Room always dedi-cates two taps to local favorites Cushwa Brewing Co. and Antietam Brewery. The restaurant offers exclusively brewed beer that Zach and Williamsport-based Cushwa Brewing partnered to create. “That was a great experience,” recalls Zach, who spent time on-site assisting in developing the Warehouse Tap Room-exclusive “Nice Like That,” which is described as a hazy American pale ale.
Contrary to the norm, at Warehouse there is actually a good amount of excitement when a keg is drained. “We’ve already established a tradition of ringing the bar bell when we officially kick a keg,” Zach shares. The restaurant prioritizes keeping beer lists updated. “Many patrons check our website before coming. We’re meticulous with keeping our beer lists and food menus up-to-date,” explains Zach.
For brunch, Warehouse Tap Room offers signature Saturday drink specials, including “Mimosa Flights,” “Breakfast in a Glass” featuring bacon-infused bourbon, and the “Ware[House] Bloody Mary,” combining Chad’s peppercorn-infused vodka and Chef Leah’s Bloody Mary and bleu cheese olives.
Events Worth Entertaining
Warehouse Tap Room offers patrons many entertainment options throughout the week. Jam Nights are held the first Monday of each month, and feature spontaneous music performances. The restaurant also holds guest bartending evenings, where tips earned are donated to local charities, and pint nights highlight a specific brewery’s offerings. “We’ve also held an Elvis night where we featured a special peanut butter, banana, and bacon waffle-wich and cocktail, and old school hip-hop night for guests to enjoy,” Zach adds. And the restaurant regularly offers live music by popular regional and local performers and bands every weekend.
So far, the restaurant has been well received by familiar and new patrons from both near and far. “Our goal is to leave our guests with a great experience, from the time they walk through the door until they leave. Attention to detail is a very important goal of our staff for all our guests’ Warehouse Tap Room experiences,” concludes Zach.