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Farmington Tap House is 'home'

Kenny and Alicia LaBeau stand in front of their barrel wall at the Farmington Tap House & Grill, which features their 22 tap selections. John R. Russett / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
A variety of beer and cider selections complement a menu full of homemade dishes, including reuben balls, hot hoagies, pizza and burgers. John R. Russett / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Kenny and Alicia LaBeau transformed the old location of Gossips into the new Tap House & Grill. The grand opening is Saturday, Aug. 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. John R. Russett / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

FARMINGTON — Kenny LaBeau has built a career on food.

When people ask for recipes to some of his kitchen creations, they are met with the same response — there is no recipe.

"Kenny's pleasure is feeding people," said wife Alicia LaBeau. "He likes to feed people, so anything he can do to make people happy when it comes to food, he's all over it. It's what he does."

Just two years after celebrating the 30th anniversary of Longbranch Saloon and Eatery, the owner and driving force behind the operation has another celebration planned.

This time, however, the party is right next door to Longbranch and celebrates a dream 15 years in the making.

In early March, the LaBeaus closed Gossips Bar & Grill, which opened next door to Longbranch nearly 20 years ago.

"We just thought it was time for a change from Gossips — offer something new," said Alicia LaBeau, the co-visionary for the space.

Later in March, the two reopened the doors to 313 Third St., this time as Farmington Tap House & Grill.

"It's been my dream to call it the Farmington Tap House for 15 years," Kenny LaBeau said.

While both contributed to the ambiance, Alicia LaBeau credits her husband with the overall concept.

He gathered old barn wood as well as other various bits a pieces to give the place a warm feel.

"Kenny had it in his head what he wanted," she said.

Gossips closed on a Monday and within 10 days was almost entirely transformed into what the Tap House is today.

"We had contractors saying it was going to take four to five weeks to do it," Kenny LaBeau said, who did a lot of the remodel work himself.

"There are plenty of bars in Farmington," he continued, adding they wanted to provide an atmosphere that was more family friendly.

The Farmington Tap House & Grill offers 22 tap lines of beer and cider to go along with a menu of homemade fare and specialty cocktails, which will be available during the grand opening celebration 11 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday, Aug. 4.

As part of the the celebration, the LaBeaus have teamed up with local charity Caring Hearts in Action Minnesota. The group provides those in need with basic necessities such as body wash, shampoo, laundry soap, diapers, among others. Donations will be accepted during the grand opening.

More than anything, Alicia LaBeau said they want to welcome the community "to our home."

And, as far as holdovers from Gossips, at least two remain — popcorn and pull tabs.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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