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The District Tap Brings Downtown Uptown
The District Tap Brings Downtown Uptown

There’s a new home for late nights with friends, dinners with family, and watching games with your fellow sports fans on the north side.

This Monday was the grand opening of The District Tap, a new restaurant from Kurt Cohen, owner of Arni’s Restaurant. Pivot has been working with The District Tap since this summer, and we’re thrilled to finally share some of their branding and identity work with you today.


We started with a sense of place. After the previous owners had left, the new restaurant’s physical space was already beautiful, and the new owners wanted the warmth and richness of the interiors to draw people in and make them feel at home. Their vision was for a neighborhood-watering-hole meets local-gastropub kind of destination where customers could relax, say hello to some familiar faces, grab some chairs by the a fire pit, play some shuffleboard, and stake their claim late into the night, as if they’d been going there and doing so for years.

With that in mind, the visual brand is intended to look historical, but not from any specific period, so there are elements from the 19th century mixed with elements that would be more at home in the mid-20th century, all run through a modern filter. The look is one that feels as though it’s been around forever, but no one really remembers when it first showed up. From a practical standpoint, it’s designed to complement the industrial décor of the space while adding a little bit of sophistication without seeming inaccessible. The topographical motif is also meant to create a sense of an intimate knowledge of land and place.




It’s always fun to work with clients like The District Tap who recognize the importance of little details when it comes to creating an immersive and engaging experience for customers. Kurt and his partners were also keen on this restaurant being an opportunity for urbane north-siders to enjoy the latest dining trends—midwestern-gourmet fare, stylish industrial-chic surroundings, and vintage bar games—without having to drive downtown to do it.

We got to stop by last week for their soft opening, and we can tell you many good things about their mac ‘n cheese. And with sixty beers on draft—many of them craft and local—they really live up to the “Tap” part of their name.



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