Photo by Fred Pollard
Rick Eveans, new owner of Alton Sports Tap, stands with his three daughters, Brandie DeSherlia (far left), Kylee Eveans, and Lacey Eveans (far right), all of whom help out with the business in one form or another. Alton Sports Tap has been under new ownership since the beginning of the year.
ALTON – When Rick Eveans originally retired, it did not take him long to find out he was not as Tap-ed out as he thought.
“Ironically, I had my retirement party right here in the banquet center of Alton Sports Tap,” he said.
On Dec. 31, 2013, Eveans officially took over the ownership of the Alton Sports Tap at 3812 College Ave., an Alton mainstay since 1983.
With nearly all of the staff from the previous ownership remaining, he says he wants to ensure area patrons they can continue to expect great food, great service, and a great time at the iconic sports bar.
“(Former owner Star Diserens) had really taken good care of the bar, so there were not a whole lot of big renovations that we had to do,” Eveans said. “The patio is now the smoking area, with a dining area also. We made some small menu changes, such as adding a couple of pastas and making full meals out of some of the appetizers.”
For more than 30 years, Alton Sports Tap has provided the area with frosty cold beer, camaraderie, and plenty of games on television screens throughout the bar. Diserens operated the bar since day one, remaining hands-on until passing the torch on to Eveans, who grew up in the area and currently resides in Moro, this year.
“I have owned a bar, convenience store, Laundromat and car wash in Southern Illinois with my sister for the last 15 years,” Eveans said. “I heard about this bar being up for sale through my daughter Brandie.”
The new owner checked out the bar for possible ownership on Nov. 25, and just over a month later he was open for business. Jumping right in with both feet, New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl weekend were the initiation to the new era of the bar for many patrons, and both were a rousing success, with more than 5,000 wings sold on Super Bowl Sunday.
“We have been voted number one in wings for a Madison County sports bar,” Brandie said.
A full menu with sides, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and more assures no one should leave the establishment hungry. A banquet room also is available for private functions for up to 180 people, and a “Cardinal” room offers sports-themed seating for 30. Carryouts are available.
A grand opening celebration will be held on May 2 and 3, with a RiverBend Growth Association ribbon cutting Friday at 4 p.m., and an outdoor fest on Saturday with live music from Borderline, activities for kids, and outdoor grilling as weather permits.
“We are also starting up sand volleyball in May,” DeSherlia said.
Alton Sports Tap is open 10:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Sunday. The kitchen is open until 11 p.m. daily. Specials include $5 wings and $2 domestic bottles on Thursdays, $1.50 draft on Tuesdays, and $10 domestic buckets on Sundays.
For more information, call (618) 465-2539 or visit the website at www.altonsportstap.com. Facebook users who “like” the bar’s page also can see the daily specials each morning.