Tap In, literal and spiritual nourishment

Stakeholders and speakers during the Tap In groundbreaking ceremony May 9 toss dirt for the groundbreaking. Pictured from left: Philli Irvin, Papa Mbye, Mayor Jacob Frey, Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw, New Rules Founder Christopher Webley, Sophie Weber and Francine Weber.

Northsiders will soon be able to tap into cocktails, food, community and their spiritual side at Tap In, a new restaurant coming soon to Lowry Avenue.

            The unique space will feature craft cocktails, food and an event space for locals to gather in.

            “I’ve lived in the neighborhood since I’ve lived in Minneapolis, and this building I’ve driven by for at least the last 17 years and have always had my eye on it,” said New Rules Founder Christopher Webley.

            Located at 2618 Lowry Avenue North, Tap In is expected to open sometime in late July or early August, according to Webley.

            During a groundbreaking ceremony on May 9 at the new location Sophie Weber, who partnered with Webley in developing Tap In, spoke alongside a few local luminaries.

            Weber said the space will be centered around an altar and the design was based on a discussion of getting back to the earth and divine femininity.

            “The bar will be built into a tree that will extend into the space,” Weber said. “The altar will kind of hold the space, the food and the beverage and looking at what does it mean to make a space that is just tended to spiritually.”

            A lot of the design elements are intentionally pulling resources from in Minnesota to bring Minnesota to Minnesotans. The design is also intended to help people feel comfortable and at home, according to Webley.

            “We have been very steadfast in this idea of replenishing more than what we take out,” Webley said.

            Tap In is both the name and the theme of the space. It encapsulates tapping into a person’s community, their selves and more, according to Weber and Webley.

“The tag line for Tap In is tap into your freedom,” Webley said. “So, everything that we do is rooted through tapping into your freedom.”

            The goal is to help people get their minds and bodies right, in part through the literal nourishment served at the restaurant, said Webley.

            The restaurant will be offering craft cocktails and a rotating offering of food in a fast-casual setting, according to Webley. The first cook will be Sophie’s mother, Francine.

            “Really what we’re trying to do is a food pipeline on the Lowry corridor,” Webley said.

            One goal is to help restaurateurs make the jump between catering and food truck services to a brick-and-mortar location.

            During the groundbreaking ceremony Ward 4 Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw and Mayor Jacob Frey spoke to the crowd.

            “I just wanted to take time to say thank you Chris, thank you so much,” Vetaw said. “Thank you for creating a space in this space. I have driven past this for, I don’t know, 10-15 years and thought this could be a great space for something in Ward 4. A project like this is a council person’s dream.”

            Frey said he was proud that the city stepped up to help fund the project and recognize the importance of having ownership of real estate in Black and brown communities, emphasizing that for decades that ownership has been denied.

            “Call it redress, call it whatever you want, call it reparations, but the difference is that we need to be moving forward, towards not just building inclusion, but building equity, and that’s what this commercial property development fund – the $300,000 that we put into this particular project – helps us to do,” Frey said.

            After the speeches, Weber took a moment to honor her brother, who died three years previously to the day of the groundbreaking.

            “Since he’s passed, I can truly feel his guidance in everything that I do and have created in so much of this space,” Weber said.

            She had everyone join her in taking a deep breath and then howling. After the howl, she invited everyone to line up and place a lit candle in what appeared to be an altar atop a pile of dirt used for the groundbreaking.

            New Rules worked with the local community to decide what its locations look like. Their flagship location, at 2015 North Lowry Avenue, started as a shared event and workspace, but three years after they started they added food and beverage services, according to Webley.

            Once the pandemic hit, they rethought the location.

            “Really what people know our Lowry location – our first location on Lowry – to be is a shared workspace and event space,” Webley said. “And when we added the food and beverage component it was just really muddying the waters.”

            So they decided to open Tap In as a more dedicated food service location, according to Webley.

            New Rules is a two-pronged development business. The primary prong is a development company that rehabs properties, builds new ones and owns its own apartment building, Bell Lofts.

            The other prong is focused on social event spaces to build an ecosystem of properties to enable upward mobility for Northside residents and the people they work with, Webley said.

            New Rules acquired its flagship location in 2015, said Webley. They collaborated with over 200 people to learn about their needs for food, affordable living, work spaces and locations to gather, according to New Rules.

            More info about New Rules can be found at newrulesmn.com or newrules.us. Follow the new restaurant at TAP.IN.MN on Facebook.