Home to the Insta-famous, gravity-defying CrazyShakes topped with everything from entire slices of cake to lollipops and cotton candy, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer continues to expand, thanks to its over-the-top milkshakes plus crave-worthy burgers and a signature vibe that it’s had since day one.
“Black Tap is all about a familiar luncheonette atmosphere with a modern twist,” said Julie Mulligan, director of design and development at Black Tap. “We have nods to '90s hip-hop and '80s pop, original New York street art and neon signage layered on top of a consistent backdrop of black, white and blonde.”
As for whether things have changed design-wise since the introduction of its famous milkshakes, Mulligan said, “Functionally, we’ve had to change a few things due to the popularity of the CrazyShakes because we needed more space. We launched our first dedicated ‘Shake Bar’ in Las Vegas. Team members have one of the biggest stages in town to create the shakes as guests watch them come to life.” Despite these changes, Mulligan assures me, “We’ve remained true to our original design aesthetic and values.”
Black Tap works with artists to create custom street art-inspired pieces for each location. “We love to work with artists that have their own unique style and way of expressing themselves,” Mulligan detailed. “With each of our artists, we’re looking for someone that fits the Black Tap-style, but no two pieces of artwork are the same. We love to give them free reign to let their artistic process happen, and we’ve seen great things come out of that.”
Black Tap SoHo
“Black Tap SoHo is our ‘OG’ space, as we like to call it,” said Mulligan. “The space has its own unique architecture and it has a SoHo feel with a 15-seat counter bar upstairs and a subterranean restaurant below."
"There’s been a print of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in boxing gloves since day 1. We pull our artistic inspiration from their collaborations: the graphic and often nostalgic style of Warhol mixed with the exuberance and freedom of Basquiat. You’ll find similar elements of this print – or the same print itself – in all of our restaurants.”
Black Tap Midtown
“Black Tap Midtown is a more traditional restaurant space compared to SoHo, and it’s one of our larger spaces in New York,” said Mulligan. “We had the opportunity to play with new materials and design elements while using the signature motifs in place at SoHo like subway tile, plywood and counter seating. Bradley Theodore did the custom street art in the space. He created two opposing portraits of Marilyn Monroe in what we call ‘The Marilyn Room,’ where we can host semi-private events.”
Black Tap LES
“Black Tap Lower East Side features a giant mural by Fumero,” said Mulligan. “He incorporates the best icons of New York City life with a subway car, the Brooklyn Bridge, street signs and a tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. We also incorporated a sticker bomb feature wall that has since made its way to Vegas, Dubai and Kuwait.”
Black Tap Las Vegas
"With Black Tap Las Vegas, we wanted to bring our downtown NYC roots to Vegas and bring a little Vegas to Black Tap,” said Mulligan. “We worked with Fumero for the custom murals. His ‘grafstract’ style and colors of life fit into our transitional graffiti style; artwork born on the streets that takes a leap into the world of contemporary art. His work helps bring the space to life and make it pop."
"We take our signature boom box motif to the next level by turning two booths into ‘speakers’ to create another layer of fun for our guests.”
“With our locations in the Middle East and Geneva, we pulled together all of the signature Black Tap design elements, with local touches,” said Mulligan. “Our most recent international location opened in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands. We worked with Has.j, a local Singaporean artist, to create a custom two-story mural.”