State Street Tap may be less than a year old, but it has already cultivated a steady crowd. Patrons come at different times of the day looking for a quick bite or a good drink.
Since opening Jan. 1, State Street Tap owner Claine Clements feels the place has broken in to a previously underserved market of people looking for a quality meal, craft drink and warm atmosphere.
“I’ve had a good lunch crowd,” Clements said. “You can bring your family here and feel welcome.”
Clements sees the crowd at State Street as a “big mix,” with locals pouring in from the Bank of Mauston, Phillips Pharmacy, city and county workers, school staff and Mile Bluff as well as people passing through the area on the interstate.
But despite a varied group of customers, State Street is increasingly receiving positive feedback on their menu, especially the burgers. And one burger in particular has people excited: the Smokey Joe. With homemade bourbon barbecue, a half pound beef patty, bacon, crispy onions and cheddar, the Smokey Joe is packed full of flavor.
“It’s kind of got a like that bourbon, but a smoked flavor to it, and then the crispy onions. It’s so good it’s juicy but it’s got a crunch to it,” said State Street Tap Patron Ashley Retzlaff. “The barbeque isn’t overbearing it’s just kind of cooked into the flavor. It’s my favorite.”
Retzlaff isn’t alone in her enthusiasm for the Smokey Joe.
“I like the Smokey Joe, that’s my favorite,” said State Street Tap Bartender Lydia Moll. “The barbeque, homemade… it just makes it better.”
Clements isn’t surprised at the popularity of the burgers.
“They’re a big burger, they’ll fill you up,” Clement’s said. “Just something that you don’t see everywhere.”
For drinks, Clements has also concocted a local spin on the perpetually popular Moscow Mule: the Mauston Mule.
“I want to keep things kind of local, so cranberries and cranberry production is pretty prevalent in this region,” Clements said. “A regular mule is just vodka, ginger beer and lime, and so I’ll do that and add a little cranberry into it… people get it all the time.”
State Street Tap also offers a Bloody Mary bar on Sundays. The bar has craft beers available in Milwaukee Brewing Company, Guinness, Blue Moon, Spotted Cow, Karben4 and Leinenkugel’s seasonal Summer Shandy.
“I switch them up quite a bit,” Clements said.
State Street Tap already has menu items with that have become local favorites, but Clements isn’t done. He plans to add more options to the menu over time and continue offering customers a taste of something different.