Vintage Tap

Published on December 11th, 2014


vintage tap purehoney delray atlantic aveThe Atlantic Avenue strip east of Swinton Avenue has long been  a destination for good times and chichi feasts,  while the area directly west of Swinton, up through I-95,  was mostly overlooked by party-goers. The dynamics of partying on Atlantic Ave is shifting these days since live “juke joint” the Vintage Tap opened its doors in July.

Located five blocks west of Swinton,  in an area where only fast food spot Checkers saw any action, the Vintage Tap and its proprietor Ryan O’Riordan, can be seen as trailblazers in this once blighted portion of Delray Beach. True to its vintage calling, this bar and live music venue occupies a historic building, built in the 1950s, that has housed  two former neighborhood dives—Clearview Lounge, and Ted Teddy Bearís before it.

With over 12 years construction experience, O’Riordan has managed to maintain the original charm and feel of the space, while giving it a much needed facelift. O’Riordan (who previously owned Hooligans in Boca Raton,) bought the locale directly from the family who owned Clearview Lounge, and decided to tactfully pay tribute to its past. “We wanted to celebrate the history of the building,” O’Riordan explained.  He attempted to salvage as much memorabilia as he could while redoing the locale, keeping many ‘50s pin-up posters, the bar’s pinball machine, and, his prized find, the

vintage tap purehoney delray atlantic ave

Scarecrow Jenkins

original ‘70s’ Rockola Mystic 478 juke box. This vintage juke, which still holds original ‘45s from the likes of  Chuck Berry, James Brown, John Lee Hooker and Dionne Warwick, sits as the focal point in Vintage Tap’s cozy 1200-square-foot confines.

O’Riordan knew going into it that his venture would be a destination locale. With a welcoming biergarten out back, live music offered every night of the week, a full liquor bar, and over 20 craft beers rotating on draught, Vintage Tap hasn’t had to twist too many arms to find a following.  O’Riordan has big plans for the space, telling us he is going to take full advantage of the backyard which connects directly to Libby Wesley Park, which boasts its very own 200-seat amphitheater. He envisions many block parties, beer-sponsored events, and inviting national touring acts to perform, in the near future. In the three months it has been opened, Vintage Tap has already succeeded in convincing crowds to live a little, and explore the Atlantic Ave. unknown, where good times, great drinks and live jams can be found every day of the week.

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~Alex Rendon