December 24, 2018
Excitement is three concepts under one roof.
Takeout store, sports bar and night club all under one roof? It sounds unimaginable, but that’s exactly what McStew’s in Bucks County offers. This unique, family-run business on New Falls Road in Levittown is 8000 square-feet of pure excitement. Tom Tyler and his son, T.J. sat down with Heady Times to discuss what each part of their thriving business offers customers.
Heady Times (HT): Are there any benefits to running three different businesses under one roof?
Tom Tyler (TT): Yes! The best part is that we attract very diverse crowds and cater to their different needs & wants. For those who want to drink at home, our takeout store offers 25 cooler doors, each designated to a category: domestics, imports, FMBs… you get the picture. And our single serve craft cooler holds over 120 different beers for customers to create their own mix-a-six. Our last cooler is dedicated to “clearance” beer – beer that isn’t selling well or was part of a broken six-pack. Our sports bar offers 21 draught lines and 16 TVs, always tuned into sporting events. We offer interactive fantasy football, NASCAR and Keno games, all through the PA lottery system. And every night there’s a different beer and/or food special. From Coors Light specials during all games, to all-you-can-eat pizza & wings and five-dollar half-pound burgers. If we offer affordable food to get people in the door, they spend more at the bar to make up the cost. The third concept is our night club/event space. We call it the Red Room. It’s great for live music, private parties and game nights. Every weekend we host live music acts. And we’ve even had comedians. We host pool leagues five nights a week, Tuesdays are dedicated to Quizzo, Wednesdays are poker nights and Thursdays we play beer pong – those tournaments can get crazy!
HT: How do you choose the on-tap beers for your sports bar? Which are your best sellers?
T.J. Tyler (TJT): I keep a detailed log of every beer we’ve had on tap and how long each lasted, so I can refer to it when deciding what to put on. Eight of the taps are rotating and the rest are pretty permanent, and dedicated to domestics, imports and ciders. Coors Light, Yuengling, Heineken and Angry Orchard are mainstays. As for the rotating taps, they are dedicated to craft. IPAs are still on fire, so we always have a few available. And seasonals and locals both sell well.
HT: What about “big” beers?
TJT: High ABV beers are extremely popular, but we limit people to two if they’re over 7%. Ya gotta be responsible.
HT: How does McStew’s celebrate the holidays?
TT: On Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, we offer a free buffet to our customers. A lot of people don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with, so we love to offer those folks a place to go, and a great meal. It feels good to give back.
HT: You guys have a great presence on social media. What platforms do you prefer?
TJT: Social media is an excellent way to stay connected to regulars and attract new customers. My goal is to interact with our followers and promote conversations. To do that, I think Facebook is best. But we’re also active on Twitter and Instagram. I post mostly about specials, events and limited, hard-to-get beers. I also create videos that get a lot of likes & shares. And humor is a big part of our social media presence – you can’t go wrong trying to make someone laugh. We also have a customer base that loves the Eagles, so I’m constantly sharing video clips and reposting Eagles-related posts.
HT: How has Origlio helped your business?
TJT: Aside from very dedicated sales reps, who are extremely helpful to us, I use Heady Times to create my beer “wish list” and the weekly email blasts as a reminder to order what’s coming out. I also love Origlio’s online ordering option. It’s not only an easier way to place an order, as I can do it anytime, but it also helps me fill in the holes in my takeout store. I can scroll through all the beers and see what’s in stock. It’s a great tool.
HT: Running a place like this must be exhausting – what keeps you going?
TT: It is a lot of work, and we’re open 365 days a year from 10 AM to 2 AM, which means family time sometimes suffers, but when I see people enjoying themselves, it makes all the sacrifice worth it.
HT: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TT: I would love to see more R licenses become active in the PA License Beverage Association. I’m on the board of directors and I think it’s really important to be involved. When we’re going up against casinos who have 40+ lobbyists on their board, more active members in our association can only better all of our businesses. • 5316 New Falls Rd., Levittown, PA • 215-949-9570
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