Tapped Camano Taps into Grit and Tenacity During the Pandemic
Sean Drought and Brian Radford, both experienced restaurateurs, are the co-owners of Tapped Public House, with locations in Mukilteo and Camano Island. They focus on Pacific Northwest-inspired house-made dishes, local craft beer, and simply being a cool place to hang out. To them, food and beverage are a reason for people to connect and engage. A place for the community to come together. Their goal is that when someone comes in, they want them to leave feeling better than when they arrived.
When they talked about opening a business 10 years ago, Drought and Radford both had the same ideas around creating a positive environment for the team and creating something that added value to their guests and to the community. Something that enriched people from the inside out.
Tapped Camano opened in June of 2019. When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, indoor dining was completely shut down. The owners initially panicked, but then reassessed and shifted focus to a take-out format, creating a smaller menu, items that traveled well, and things you wouldn’t typically cook at home, such as fish and chips and baked mac and cheese. Comfort food to make you feel good.
“Opening and operating a restaurant in the midst of a pandemic has been a challenge,” said Drought. Tapped Camano has been able to weather the financial storm a bit thanks to having outdoor dining, offering a to-go menu, and selling bottled beer. They laugh that before the pandemic, you couldn’t pay people to sit outside with our Pacific Northwest weather. However, during the pandemic people were reserving tables.
The owners initially thought they could do it all themselves. However, they quickly realized that they couldn’t answer the phone, cook the food, and deliver orders alone, so they slowly brought back staff to assist.
Drought and Radford are grateful for the support from Coastal Community Bank throughout the pandemic. They received a phone call from their local banker explaining the Paycheck Protection Program and walked them through the process.
“We wouldn’t have survived without the relationship with Coastal,” said Radford.