Dreams on tap: Bartender celebrates milestone at his very own place
It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. So Jennifer Bluhm grabbed the rocks glass Friday and sipped the new libation – dubbed “the Transplant” – her brother Michael Lloyd created in honor of an anniversary coming up next week.
“I think it’s funny – people will come in an say, ‘I want to get a transplant,'” she said, laughing at the irony of it all.
One year ago, on July 16, 2009, Lloyd’s friend Diane Andreasen really needed a transplant. Only then, the longtime Carson City bartender who had served Andreasen and her husband Fred for years didn’t offer her a drink – he gave her his
Now, both friends, who are doing beautifully 12 months post surgery, will have someplace new to mark their first anniversary.
On June 11, Lloyd, 43, opened up the Tap Shack on Rice Street.
The funny little narrow bar, just south of the Roberts House off North Carson Street, had been vacant just a few months when Lloyd noticed a rental sign in the window.
At the time he was bartending at both Adele’s and Jimmy G’s Cigar Bar. But ever since first seeing the hole in the wall in 2003, he’s daydreamed of one day owning it.
Could an average guy really be a business owner?
With a little help from his friends – the Andreasens and Lloyd’s father offered a small loan toward starting costs – the answer is yes.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” Lloyd happily sighed Friday morning, his children Sydney, 7, and Brayden, 10, milling about him inside the closed saloon. “This is my livelihood right here. As long as I’m not spending all my money every week for inventory, I think I’m doing pretty good.”
A month into his new venture, Lloyd’s sole source of income is his bar. He hopes the party this July 16 to celebrate the successful surgery also will serve as a soft opening to precede the August grand opening.
The non-smoking 650-square-foot tavern has a state-of-the-art jukebox, dart board and a large outdoor patio with ample seating where smoking is permitted.
The interior is like a man cave – skis, ice skates, pictures of athletes covering the walls. His loyal customers – those who have followed Lloyd over the years from Mo & Sluggos to Adele’s to Jimmy G’s – have taken to tacking good wishes written on dollar bills on a railing just below a Viking helmet near the entrance. The Tap Shack’s Facebook page is like a pep rally.
“It’s so nice to know that people are pulling for him,” said sister Jennifer, who’s pitching in to help her brother while she’s on summer break from her teaching job in Fernley.
There’s something familial about the bar. It feels like home and that’s exactly what Lloyd had hoped for.
“I want it to feel like that for everyone,” he said.