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Petaluma pub Taps seeking new location

  • Bartender Cheryl Avery pours a pint of beer at Taps Restaurant and Tasting Room on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 in Petaluma. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Taps, a popular Petaluma pub, is looking for new digs after major equipment problems at its Kentucky Street location, a historic structure built in the 1920s.

Owner Eric Lafranchi said the aging venting system for the pub's stove became overloaded after a busy lunch last week, forcing the county Health Department to shut down hot food service. The pub is still able to serve cold food and salads, but not cooked items like chicken wings, burgers and fries, he said.

In its four years inside the first floor of the Hotel Petaluma, Taps has become a busy local watering hole and community gathering place. It serves 35 beers from around the world on tap and frequently hosts special events for unusual brews and small breweries.

Taps Restaurant And Tasting Room

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But the kitchen's aging infrastructure and ongoing disputes with a new landlord have been frustrating, Lafranchi said.

Last year, the building that houses Taps was bought by a Marin County property owner who began making changes to the insides and facade of the 1923 building at Washington and Kentucky streets.

New owner Terry Andrews is converting the former flophouse and inexpensive single-room rental units back to the building's original use as a traditional hotel.

About 100 tenants, some who'd lived there for years, were forced to move, which sparked protests by Occupy Petaluma activists to help the mostly low-income residents.

Several other tenants in ground-floor businesses have also left, including a computer shop and vitamin-and-record store.

Full Circle Bakery of Penngrove will open a café in the storefront at the corner, Andrews said.

He has complained about Taps' clientele causing noise, fighting or leaving trash outside the pub, although he said it has calmed down recently.

Police Lt. Tim Lyons said the pub hasn't been a law enforcement problem. Police have received only seven calls for service this year. A bar one block down has had more than double that number of calls.

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