What We Learned While Serving Watermelon Bar Specials and Food Specials

Cocktail in the watermelon fresh smoothie. A refreshing summer drink.

We recently celebrated Watermelon Week at Tap House Grill Palatine! Besides offering drink specials and daily specials for food, we learned a whole lot about the wonderful watermelon.

It turns out, everyone’s favorite summer fruit can be enjoyed as way more than just a pool-side snack for kids. Its sweet and iconic taste is perfect for summer cocktails, too! Watermelons have special properties beyond their bright pink color that make it an extra special ingredient for preparing food and beverages.

Watermelon – Secret super food

Did you know that watermelons are both a fruit and a vegetable? Related to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins, the watermelon is high in fiber and low in cholesterol. The signature pink color marks the fruit’s high level of vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and vitamin retention. Watermelons are also a great source of vitamins C, B1 and B6, in addition to potassium and manganese.

This awesome fruit even has a higher content of lycopene than tomatoes, which were originally the No. 1 recommended food for lycopene consumption. Lycopene is a key antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties shown to reduce the risk of stroke. It’s also shown to decrease blood pressure and increase virility. You do need to eat the fruit to get the benefits, so even though our bar specials included watermelon juice, it probably wasn’t enough for a vitamin infusion.

Soaking up flavor

Watermelons are naturally engineered to retain high amounts of water and liquid. This makes them a popular choice for canteens and emergency supplies for explorers, both in the past and today. The bright pink insides have amazing absorption powers that allow the fruit to be roughly 92% water. This also makes the watermelon the perfect cocktail ingredient, which is why our Palatine bartenders mixed up so many drink specials with it.

You may have noticed the recent Drunk Watermelon trend blowing up on social media. Cocktail enthusiasts will cut a hole in the rind and let an entire bottle of vodka empty itself into the melon. This works because the rich pink flesh of watermelons will absorb anything they are soaked in.

Flavor-infused watermelon is the perfect accent for cocktails, slushes, appetizers and entrees. Additionally, the sweet summer favorite makes an excellent beer, and we have some on tap at our sports bar in Des Plaines, our sports bar in Lemont
and all Tap House Grill locations.

Sweet sauces and lush salads

Beyond blending and soaking, watermelons are also amazing for summertime barbecues. Similar to using a watermelon in a powerful pink smoothie, watermelons can be blended into different sweet and refreshing sauces for your favorite grilled meat. The Palatine location served up watermelon wings as a food special during Watermelon Week. The fruit goes especially well with chicken, and that’s why Palatine also had a food special featuring a barbecue chicken and watermelon melt. Guests who enjoyed the watermelon salad food special got to experience how great the cool fruit tastes mixed with vegetables and more.


Visit Tap House Grill for bar specials

Tap House Grill locations feature daily specials, in addition to regular drink specials and food specials. Visit any one of our gastro-pub restaurants for a taste of something different!

Enjoy a Glass of Bold Bourbon at Our Sports Bars in Des Plaines and Lemont

At Tap House Grill, we love beer, whether we’re drinking it at our sports bar in Des Plaines, our sports bar in Lemont or any of our locations. But we don’t limit ourselves to the sudsy stuff for bar specials. We and our customers enjoy a bit — or a bunch — of bourbon, and we celebrated National Bourbon Day on June 14. So, we wanted to take a moment to recognize this delicious brown liquor, America’s Native Spirit.

Bourbon is whiskey, but whiskey isn’t necessarily bourbon. To be bourbon, the stuff must be made in the good old U.S.A.


The best bourbons are born in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky before they make it to our Des Plaines sports bar and Lemont sports bar.


Corn is the main ingredient in bourbon, but it’s a different kind than what we serve up in dishes at our Lemont sports bar.


Bourbon is aged in oak barrels for two years or longer, transforming from ordinary ingredients into a glorious superstar!


After one use, most bourbon barrels head overseas to the United Kingdom to be used for scotch whisky, which will be offered in future bar specials.


Like whiskey or scotch, you can order bourbon straight up or on the rocks at Tap House Grill’s Des Plaines sports bar and Lemont sports bar.


Whether or not it’s offered on bar specials, bourbon should always be enjoyed in moderation.


It’s not for everyone, but some people can’t get enough of bourbon’s deep, malty, caramel flavors.


Bourbon has a bite, and no matter how much some people try, they just can’t take it.


The quality of bourbons varies greatly. Visit our bartenders at Tap House Grill’s Des Plaines sports bar or Lemont sports bar to be sure you’re getting the good stuff.


Now head out to Tap House Grill’s Des Plaines sports bar, Lemont sports bar or other locations for a delicious glass of bourbon!

Beer Science: Learn How Your Beer Bar Specials Go From Keg to Glass

barman hand at beer tap pouring draught lager beer serving in a restaurant

Guzzling Pabst through a funnel while on spring break. Executing a flawless keg stand at a college frat party. Drilling shot after shot playing beer pong at that tailgate. You’ve created so many memories. Unfortunately, most are just a blur.

For you, drinking has always been an art. You’ve perfected your craft. But, it turns out there is much more science behind your beer than you realized.

It’s time to trade in your “beer goggles” for a pair of lab goggles.

The physics behind draft beer systems actually follows a familiar formula from your college days. One chilled keg plus one pumping device equals one red Solo cup foaming with beer. This simple set-up is the basic foundation used by the expert bartenders at Tap House Grills to pull beautiful draft beers for bar specials and more. (Without the wasted frat boy pumping the keg every 10 minutes.)

Draft beer systems operate via multiple working parts that operate in harmony, but there are six main components responsible for delivering that frothy, delicious beverage to your glass. Quench your thirst for knowledge by learning about them below.

Keeping it cold in the cooler

That ice-cold beer you’re holding while you enjoy one of Tap House’s grill specials had to start somewhere. Keeping your beer cold — from keg to glass — is key. And the effect goes beyond taste. Keeping beer at the proper temperature avoids excessive foaming, maintains the right carbonation levels and ultimately prevents the beverage from spoiling. We can’t serve up drink specials with skunky beer!

The keg: A metal barrel of love

Within our walk-in coolers, we have multiple rows of kegs varying in size and mostly made from stainless steel. To get the beer out, gas pressure is applied within the keg. This presses the liquid up from the bottom where it passes through a metal tube and out of a valve.

Gotta get some gas

When you pump a party keg, you draw in air from around you to introduce pressure into the keg to force the beer out. All that hard work is necessary, but actually spoils your beer, as the oxygen produces bacteria. It’s also an imprecise method, causing excess bubbles to form. For this reason, like most bars, Tap House Grills use pure bottled carbon dioxide with a regulated distribution to make sure the right amount of pressure enters the keg, and you end up with the perfect drink special beer.

The coupler’s dual purpose

The pump on top of the party kegs most of us know is a dumbed-down version of a coupler. Couplers provide the power for dispensing. Running out of the coupler are two tubes connected to valves — one to push carbon dioxide into the keg and another to let the beer flow out. It’s almost time for the bartender to serve up your bar specials!

Tubing makes the love connection

Tubes connect the kegs to the faucets, which are the “taps” you see when waiting for your bar specials at Tap House Grills. If the beer has to travel a long distance, the tubing may need to be chilled to keep the beer cold.

The function of the faucet

All that stands between you and hoppy bliss is the faucet. Ideally, this pours from the tap at a rate that forms a one- to two-finger head on the top. Faucets are meticulously cleaned on a regular basis to ensure a sanitary and perfect-tasting pour.

Tap House Grills serves up your favorite drink specials and bar specials

Now that you’ve done all this hard work learning about beer, it’s time to drink up! Come on in to Tap House Grills for monthly grill specials, drink specials, TapHouse beers, bar specials and other daily specials.

New Menu Items at Tap House Grills!

Our head chef Bob Zrenner is always looking for new and inventive tastes to delight our guests and keep our tastes fresh and ever evolving. With new dishes being dreamed up and served all the time, and reliable food specials and drink specials abounding, your options are limitless at Tap House Grills!

We’re rolling out four new entrees and two new creative cocktails during our Customer Appreciation event, which runs through May 28. Don’t miss out on your chance to try these new dishes as limited-time food specials. Pair it with a beer, one of our new cocktails, or any of our daily specials, and you’ll have a delicious meal to satisfy any appetite!


Check out our newest dishes:

MACARONI & BACON TACOS – Food special price: $9.99

Oh yeah, we went there! Chef Bob combined some of our favorite tastes into one incredible hand-held dish. These hard-shell tacos are stuffed with our signature 5-Cheese Mac ‘N Cheez, along with crispy bacon and diced onion, then kicked up with jalapen?os and salsa. Buckle up and grab a couple of napkins for this spicy and creamy delight!

DOUBLE BYPASS BURGER – Food special price: $12.99

Chef Bob got a little carried away with this one — in the best possible way! He tops our 8-ounce burger with a thick-cut onion ring, 4 ounces of slow-cooked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, Merkts spreadable cheese sauce and pickles, stacking it all on a toasted brioche bun. You’ll probably need a nap after this grill special, but it’s worth it!

FISH TACO SALAD – Food special price: $11.99

This dish takes a West coast favorite and adapts it to make it even healthier and more delicious! A light and flaky grilled tilapia fillet lays atop of bed of mixed greens stocked with avocado, black beans, tomato, cucumber, corn salsa and crunchy tortilla strips, and finished with lime vinaigrette and chipotle sour cream. This combination of flavors, temperatures and textures is sure to delight your tastebuds.

THREE CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE – Food special price: $9.99

A cheese-lover’s dream, with ooey gooey goodness between two slices of bread! This grill special features Brie, Swiss and smoked Gouda cheeses melted on dark rye bread and layered with smoky caramelized onions, spicy arugula and zesty horseradish cream sauce. Don’t pass up this decadent version of a childhood favorite!


Drink specials to debut new cocktails:

THE BEACH COCKTAIL – Drink special price: $7

Imagine your toes in the sand, your butt in a beach chair and this cocktail in your hand. We mix up RumHaven Caribbean rum, pineapple juice and soda, and serve it in a Mason jar.

SALTED CARAMEL MARTINI – Drink special price: $8

This truly decadent cocktail is perfect for summer indulgences. It’s a dense and potent blend of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka, RumChata and cream — the perfect treat for any sweet tooth.