The PubScout hopes for things to remain the same as his favorite pub, Tap Time, is sold to new owners.

It is said that when one door closes, another opens. In the case of my local favorite pub, Tap Time in OIB, the door, at least to the parking lot, will remain operational. Whether a new door must be installed in the wall between Tap Time and the adjacent Amelia’s Restaurant remains to be seen.

Because Tap Time is being sold to Amelia’s as of February 1.

The pub’s current owners, Keith and Christa Berciunas, notified close friends of the pending deal via text, stating the move was a “bittersweet decision.”

“Tap Time has fostered many friendships and for that we are forever grateful,” read the note. “We look forward to sharing many more meals (and beers) with our new friends and traveling through the years as we become old friends. … Tap Time will always have a special place in our hearts, and we could not have done it without every one of you! It has been a fun project for us, but now it’s time to expand our horizons. Thank you for your love and support…”

Amelias and Tap Time

The craft beer bar opened on July 4, 2019, and because of the owners’ dedication to good beer, quickly made a name for itself as one of the best places to get ever-changing, quality suds.

Along with various popular events like Mardi Gras parties, Beer Skools and Wine Tastings, the pub became a magnet for fun-loving beer nuts.

The owners, who are each involved in a plethora of other ventures, all of which (like being grandparents) require hands-on attention, stated, “ We have labored over this decision for many months and have decided it is in our best interest for our future endeavors to let this hobby go.”

While it may have been a hobby to them, to regulars, especially those who occupy the “sacred” Amen Corner, it became a way of life. And everybody and anybody could be inducted into it, complete with an official welcoming sign. “Cardinal” Jimmy Eller, a founding member, regularly sought out new faces for the honor, and those faces would soon be officially recognized on “The Amen Corner at Tap Time” Facebook page.

Tap Time OIB NC

Both the new and former owners maintain that “nothing will change” except whose name is on the license — and the availability of spirits and mixed drinks, neither of which is permitted under current ALE laws of the business. But as Amelia’s license does allow for that, they will be available.

Whether that’s a positive or a negative remains to be seen, but it will likely change the vibe of the place.

To the great satisfaction of the “regulars,” current staff will be kept on, and those currently popular events will continue.

Tap Time is not allowed to serve food, but that, too will change under the new management, as Amelia’s is a pretty famous dining spot in its own right. Tap Time patrons would often order victuals from Amelia’s (and Maya next door as well) and a faithful server would deliver it.

Amelias OIB NC

After ownership changes hands (and a new doorway is added), those servers may not have to go outside to make their deliveries. As I said, as one door closes …

“We sometimes have a tendency to get a bit loud, especially when sharing jokes. That might not go over so well, with a cocktail crowd, but we’ll see,” says Cardinal Eller. “Most of us can behave if we have to,” he adds with a wry smile as he sips his Guinness.

Eller emphasizes that Keith and Christa Berciunas were far more than just owners. “We are family here at Tap Time, and we hope their new endeavors don’t keep them away for too long.”

“The more things change,” pontificated the Cardinal. “But we hope that bond never changes.”

Want to go?
Tap Time OIB
1560 Market Place Boulevard, Ocean Isle Beach