American Relay is the most recent band to play at Tap House. Their packed show came after a string of smaller crowds.

Courtesy photo

American Relay is the most recent band to play at Tap House. Their packed show came after a string of smaller crowds.

What's on tap

Tap House amping up bar business, trying live music

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Ladies Night with DJ Also Starring

¤ 9:30 p.m. Thursday

¤ The Tap House Sports Grill

¤ Free

¤ 879-2431

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Caitlin Scanlon hosts trivia Wednesday nights at Tap House.

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DJ Also Starring (Brian Alpart) performs every Thursday for Ladies Night at Tap House.

— On a Saturday night in early February, Denver-based blues-rock duo American Relay packed the impromptu dance floor at The Tap House Sports Grill. After weeks of middling crowds, the bar finally had the booze-swilling, semi-dancing bodies it needed to support the addition of regular live music to its calendar.

But the next weekend's band bailed due to illness, and Tap House co-owner Melissa Baker said there isn't any live, non-DJ-fueled music on the schedule for the coming weeks.

"I think instead of doing it once a week, we might try to do it once a month and promote it better," Baker said.

When live music at the bar has worked, it has worked well. But "getting the word out there and promoting a band that not many people know about" isn't the easiest task, Baker said.

"We've been enjoying getting back into the band scene on a limited basis," said co-owner Gary Saxe, adding that once the tables are cleared, what's left is a great stage and a full sound.

"I think it's a good place to see a band," said Russell Funke, who has played Tap House a few times with his blues-rock band, Jebus.

Booking live bands is part of an effort to boost the bar business at Tap House, something Baker and Saxe have been working on since Baker joined the ownership team in August 2007.

"Since August, we've been trying to do new things, expanding the bar business by doing specialized nights," Baker said.

Other weekly events include live trivia Wednesday nights and a ladies night with DJ Also Starring on Thursdays, with drink specials for both. There's a self-serve (minus the alcohol) Bloody Mary bar earlier in the day on the weekends. And the bar stays open later than it used to - always until midnight, sometimes until 1 or 2 a.m.

"It's been growing pretty well, and business has been really good," Baker said.

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