Welcome to TAPS Fish House & Brewery
Reminiscent of a grand old New Orleans or San Francisco brick warehouse, TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea Downtown has become a landmark in North Orange County. Inside, warm woods, hand crafted wrought iron and soaring ceilings create a feeling of upscale comfort. The restaurant offers a celebration of seafood and steaks, along with award-winning ales and lagers handcrafted in the European tradition. A connoisseur’s wine list recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine showcases a variety of wines from California’s best vintners. Enjoy the hospitality of the Manzella family with your choice of fine dining or the more casual, spacious bar and lounge. Stop in for a bite at the 21 seat oyster bar or a leisurely repast at TAPS’ Sunday Brunch Extravaganza. Private dining rooms available.
Every entrepreneur has a dream and behind each is a story. As you sit enjoying the TAPS experience, you are participating in a dream that became reality. The journey began in 1997 when I began to entertain the concept of a restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but one which would be truly unique. A restaurant that would allow one to experience not only fine dining but to become immersed in surroundings that transport the diner to some of the best seafood and chop houses in the country. I wanted the atmosphere within the restaurant to be as important as the fine food I would serve.
I asked my Dad to become my venture capitalist in a first-time restaurant project. I then recruited my sister Michele from Hilton International and went looking for a location. After not finding “just the right spot,” we took the TAPS concept on the road, looking for a home. In the mean time we traveled to Seattle looking for great brewery, seafood and oyster bar ideas: to San Francisco and Las Vegas to food conventions, and to New Orleans many times for the latest and greatest Cajun and seafood creations. When the Brea site opened up to us we immediately knew we’d found our location. Obtaining a site on one of the busiest intersections in all of Orange County was a long shot and a hard road, but on December 10,1998,TAPS Fish House & Brewery finally broke ground.
As you now sit with friends and family and enjoy the surroundings of our restaurant, you will more than likely feel you’ve been transported back to a Chesapeake Bay crab house, up to Seattle, to an old Chicago chop house or down to the Bayou and New Orleans, Louisiana. This planned atmosphere makes TAPS a true potpourri of influences in architecture, a design that Michele and I really love. TAPS is a true fish house that participates in the“celebration of seafood” by bringing to your table flavors from all over the world. After all, seafood is truly a global cuisine and at TAPS you will get a little bit of the Pacific Rim, some South Pacific, some California Coastal and Baja, some Cajun and Creole as well as classics from the east coast, Midwest and even Canada.
All of our fish and steaks are hand-cut daily to ensure absolute freshness and quality. To compliment your cuisine is an authentic lineup of 30 to 35 traditionally brewed Belgian, English and German ales and lagers, all brewed on-site by Director of Brewing Operations, Kyle Manns. For our wine loving guests our wine list has received the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine’s Award of Excellence for the past five years.
We are a full-scale fish and chop house complemented by an award winning brewery specializing in traditional European ales and lagers – not a brew pub that serves food to go with the beer. Now sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of what is truly the most unique and exciting restaurant in Orange County and please enjoy our dream.
BON APETIT! Joe
Joe Manzella is one of Orange County’s most successful independent restaurateurs. With four restaurants and a brewery – TAPS Fish House & Brewery locations in Brea, Corona and Irvine, The Catch in Anaheim and TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room in Tustin—Manzella commands a mini-empire of close to 400 employees, with $20 million dollars in annual sales.
Manzella grew up in Palos Verdes, one of five children of Helen and Faro Manzella, the VP of Operations for Northrop Grumman. After graduating from Arizona State University, he spent his early career years in major account sales with the Xerox Corporation, before convincing his father to back him in his growing passion of opening a restaurant. After five years of development and almost insurmountable setbacks, Joe opened TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea in 1999. They were embraced by the public from day one and have become one of Orange County’s most successful high-volume, independent restaurants.
Manzella currently lives in Orange County with his wife Michelle, their three children, and chocolate lab Sir Peter Richard (“Petey”). Joe is a loyal supporter to Arizona State’s athletic programs and is involved in annual programs and athlete appreciation events.