Communication Builds Our Community

Taproom and Coffee House Opens Downtown

The Ranch Taproom and Coffeehouse in downtown Lake Wales officially opened April 16 with enthusiastic crowds and rave social media reviews.

Owners Jessica Garrett and her mother, Cathy Becton Garrett, were pleased with the successful opening.

"Opening weekend was incredible and the support we received from the city, Mainstreet and the community was greatly appreciated," Garrett said. "Being Lake Wales natives we are excited to be a part of downtown. We look forward to being a destination where people can gather with family and friends to experience delicious food, coffee, beer and wine."

In an attempt to increase traffic and nightlife downtown, the City of Lake Wales through its Community Redevelopment Agency offered incentives for new food-related businesses. The Taproom submitted more than $200,000 in receipts to qualify for its $100,000 matching grant. Instead of a wall of 40 self-serve taps included in the original application, the owners put in 20 taps behind the bar and added more food options.

"The City, and our Community Redevelopment Agency, are proud to have played a role in the opening of The Ranch through our restaurant incentive program," said City Manager James Slaton, who attended the opening. "We believe the taproom's success will translate into shared success for the surrounding businesses as well. The City and CRA are committed to the growth and prosperity of Lake Wales and we are confident The Ranch will be a catalyst to a more vibrant downtown."

The building at 247 E. Park Avenue that for years housed an office supply store carried out the ranch theme with exposed wood beams and a large wall mural of cattle grazing in a field. Artist Gillian Fazio, who recently completed a citrus mural two blocks over on the north wall of the One Scenic Central Building, added a few oranges and blossoms on the corners of her Taproom mural.

A variety of seating options are available, with tables seating two to eight people, a line of stools at the bar and tables along one wall with a bench and chair combo.

The Taproom is open early mornings during the week for coffee. Cold and hot coffee drinks are available throughout the day, including espresso, cappuccino, French press and a variety of lattes and frappes.

The taproom offers a wide selection of wine, craft brews, bottled beer and seltzers.

The lunch menu features five sandwich and three salad options, ranging in price from $9 to $12. One specialty is a pimento grilled cheese "the way Grandma Becton liked it."

An appetizer only food menu is offered in the afternoon and evening. Appetizers range from a $6 "cowboy caviar" with corn chips for dipping to a $20 charcuterie board. Other $8 appetizer options include pretzels and beer cheese, a pimento cheese ball with crackers and the "henhouse," a trio of flavored deviled eggs.

Beer drinkers can choose a mug, growler, pitcher or a "flight" of four small glasses to encourage tasting. Wines are available by the bottle or glass.

The Taproom is closed Sundays and Mondays. Regular hours are 7 a.m. to 8 pm. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

Here are some of the Facebook comments:

Kelly Tingle: "I highly recommend this beautiful place. The food is delicious and the Sangria and Beer are ice cold. Friendly staff. Great atmosphere to hang out with friends and family. Will definitely be going back."

Alexis Victoria Comparato: "When you end up going just for a coffee but then stay for 2 hours, because you don't want to leave! This is exactly what downtown Lake Wales needs! Go show some support."

Amanda Renee Castro: "So do yourself a favor and go visit The Ranch Taproom and Coffeehouse because not only is their cold brew delicious but so is this peanut butter protein bar!! Grab a coffee and treat in the morning and a beer at night! How perfect!! Beyond excited that Lake Wales finally has something like this here!!


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