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Inside Magnolia Tap & Kitchen, Open Now

[Photos: Lyudmila Zotova ]

Just a month and a half after taking hold of the space, in one of the speediest turn-arounds we've ever seen, Magnolia Tap & Kitchen is ready to debut Saturday at 5 p.m.

The new owners took design inspiration from a historical photo they found dating to the late 1880's of a bar called Magnolia Saloon that once occupied the same downtown corner of 6th and E Streets.

They've thoroughly converted a 3,600-square-foot space that previously housed Bare Back Grill, turning it from a beach bar into a handsome and welcoming 100-seat restaurant and bar with glass panels that fold open to connect the dining area to a large sidewalk patio. An enormous ceiling-spanning metal light fixture, a remnant from Bare Back's days, simply needed new lightbulbs to transform it into a pretty convincing magnolia tree.

Managing partner Christopher Reid was formerly the Manchester Grand Hyatt's Director of Outlets (including Sally's Seafood on the Water); his team includes chef Michael Edwards , who is drawing from his family's roots for Magnolia's southern-influenced menu , and bar manager Aaron Cribbes, a transplant from CUCINA urbana.

The menu at Magnolia Tap & Kitchen is a concise list of starters, salads and sandwiches, but chef Edwards plans to add entree specials soon (he's tinkering with a BBQ duck pot pie). The 12 craft beer taps and wine list will all be sourced from California, and the craft cocktail program includes scratch-made mixes and classic drink recipes. Current hours are 11 a.m. to midnight but Magnolia may expand to brunch and late night service.
· Magnolia Tap & Kitchen [Official Site]
· All Eater Inside Coverage [~ESD~]