The latest restaurant trend in the Fresno area: Customers pouring their own beer.
Fresno and Clovis now have five pizza places where customers can pour themselves a beer – or a glass of wine – from a wall of self-serve taps.
The appeal is the ability to try out different craft beers, with just a taste or a small glass. Several restaurants have automatic glass-rinsing devices that don’t get your hands wet (or you can just get a new glass).
All use technology to tally the beer poured, either a card or a bracelet that connects to a sensor on the tap. It tells you how much the beer costs per ounce and how much you’re spending.
And all the restaurants have a way of making sure customers don’t drink too much. Mainly, the taps stop pouring after 32 ounces, and the restaurants require a check-in with a human.
1. Round Table Clubhouse, 5702 N. First St., Fresno. Round Table is the latest to jump on the self-pour beer trend in Fresno. The restaurant that was at the southwest corner of Bullard Avenue and First Street for 35 years recently moved across the street and became a Round Table Clubhouse.
The bigger restaurant has 24 taps, including four for wine. There are a few local beers like Selma-based House of Pendragon’s Lancelot IPA. Two taps feature stouts that are “on nitro,” meaning they’re infused with a nitrogen gas that creates a smoother texture.
Round Table uses a bracelet system, checking the person’s ID and credit card before they can start pouring. The bracelet can only be removed with scissors.
The restaurant also added a game room and meeting/party rooms. New menu items are also a part of the changes, including burgers, sandwiches and more flavors of wings.
2. Blast & Brew, 601 Pollasky Ave., Clovis. With 38 taps to choose from, this restaurant is in one of the new buildings in Old Town Clovis. It has four taps pouring beer on nitro and a bartender just in case you want one.
Nothing on the menu is over $12. That includes the 11-inch, personal-sized pizzas, including a build-your-own option. There also are salads, sandwiches and appetizers that pair well with beer, like a Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese. The grilled chicken pesto sandwich with bacon is a customer favorite.
The restaurant is owned by local families. The concept was created by the company behind Me-N-Ed’s.
3. Me-N-Ed’s Tower District, 1247 N. Wishon Ave., Fresno. The Tower District restaurant was recently remodeled. The changes include a wall of 32 taps, ranging from Bud Light and Modelo to locally made Riley’s hard ginger ale. Two taps dispense wine.
Like the other Me-N-Ed’s, it serves Ed’s Red, a beer made by Fresno-based Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. and designed to pair with pizza.
This location changed up its menu too, adding carnitas nachos and loaded tots.
5. Me-N-Ed’s On Tap, 1731 W. Bullard Ave. At the corner of West Avenue, this was the first restaurant to add the wall of taps. It has 32. In addition to pizza, the menu includes chicken wings and sandwiches.