Yesterdays closed after three decades in Avondale

Taps Bar & Grill moving into neighborhood landmark

By Steve DiMattia
Resident Community News

When Steve Irvine passed in May his obituary noted, “Steve had a larger than life personality, often turning strangers into friends.”
Three campaigns for Jacksonville mayor routinely brought out both characteristics, but never like when he was at Yesterdays, the Avondale bar he owned for 30 years. The self-described “middle-aged hippie” with a passion for education and crime prevention and an iconoclastic approach to civil duty served court and beer with aplomb until cancer took him at 60.

Now, the bar Irvine called “Papa Louie’s Orphanage” and was second home for many thirsty souls will adopt a new persona.
Irvine’s daughters, Heather Yongue, and Olivia and Audra Irvine, sold the 9,000-square-foot, 63-year-old building to Taps Bar & Grill in September.
“They were big shoes to fill. We felt it best to let the bar go with him,” said Yongue.

Taps will attempt to fill those shoes with a “casual atmosphere for…people of all ages who love fresh food, cold beer, sports and live music,” according to their website (messages left for Taps’ owners were not returned).

Jason Motley and Steve Smith began Taps in St. Johns in 2008 and expanded to Fleming Island in 2011. They offer 52 beers on tap, with 42 of those on regular rotation. Their menu ranges from burgers and tacos to prime rib and pasta and includes a kids’ section.
“I’m excited to have them in the neighborhood. They’ll fit in well,” Yongue said.

Neighbors at Restaurant Orsay agree.

“The concept makes sense for the neighborhood. It will fill a void of family casual dining,” said Orsay’s Brian Siebenschuh. “But Yesterdays, and certainly Steve, will be missed. They were neighborhood institutions.”
That sentiment resonates with Yongue.

“Dad was very passionate about his business and it was a tough decision, but I think we did the right thing,” Yongue said.

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