food & drink

Belly Up

February 3rd, 2011 |
By Jared Curtis

Ellis Island Tap


The return of an east-side staple


Although it hasn’t been open as long as the famed New York harbor, the Ellis Island Tap is as much a staple of the east side as the harbor is to the Big Apple. Owners Florence and Tom Ellis originally bought the location in 1989 but sold it in 2003. But now they’re back, reopening last September much to the delight of new patrons as well as the regulars they had years ago.

“Once we got the bar back, we remodeled a bit and replaced a lot of stuff,” said Florence Ellis. “It’s been a lot of fun to see our old customers stopping back in.”

While it’s logical to think the bar was named in honor of the famous New York Harbor of freedom, the reality is much simpler.

“Our last name is Ellis, and the bar sits on its own little island,” she says.

The warm and inviting bar has the look and feel of a classic throwback, neighborhood tap.

“It’s a great neighborhood, and we have customers stopping throughout the entire day,” she said. “We have a great mix of crowds from the early morning guys to people stopping in after work to the late night people.”

The bar offers Happy Hour from 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 6 to 10 a.m. on Friday. Patrons receive 25 cents of drinks. Nightly specials start at 7 p.m. On Monday, enjoy $2 bottle/can beer. Tuesday offers $2 well drinks. Tip back $1 draws and $2 small pitchers on Wednesday and get ready for the weekend on Thursday with $1 draws, $2 small pitchers and $4 regular pitchers.

“We have some great prices during the week, and during the weekends we’ll call out random specials throughout the night,” Ellis said. “Shots of Fireball are probably one of our best sellers.”

The bar hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights (no cover), and patrons can sing their hearts out during karaoke on Wednesday and Sunday nights. On Feb. 6, the bar will host a Super Bowl Party.

“It’s going to be a great party, and we’ll have free spaghetti and meatballs as well as $1 wells and $2 bottles,” Ellis said. “We usually draw a pretty good crowd during football games.”

Although it might not be the biggest bar in town, Ellis Island is a friendly and relaxing place that is definitely worth a visit.

“We offer great drink specials in a friendly environment,” Ellis said. “We’re a great place to enjoy a drink and meet some new people, because you’re only a stranger once.” CV


Owners Florence and Tom Ellis welcome everyone to stop by Ellis Island Tap, 1833 Hubbell Ave. Hours are 6 to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and 8 to 2 a.m. on Sunday.