Partners overcome odds to open northeast Fresno taproom during the pandemic

A game of Jenga and a little craft beer is what you'll find at Fresno's newest spot, Industry Tap Union.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A game of Jenga and a little craft beer is what you'll find at Fresno's newest spot, Industry Tap Union.

"We started this so people can come here and interact and meet each other and forge new relationships and meet new people," said Ryan Kruse

Kruse and four partners came together to start the unique taproom at Herndon and Cedar Avenues.

Board games and video games can be found inside. They serve California and local beers, wine and other drinks.

The bar has formed partnerships with restaurants to give food options to customers and stay open.

"We've been offering food options from Casa Corona, Vivda Be Bowl'd, our Filipino cuisine neighbor Jowli, Me N Ed's is right next door to us," said Janice Keith, manager. "We have a lot of options, but we're really trying to create partnerships with them because we know what they went through."

It took more than a year to bring this space to life.

Kruse has more than a decade in the restaurant industry and was ready to start the restaurant in 2020.

"We got the plans in the day of the shutdown. We basically did what we could within our limits, but we weren't able to get the thumbs up or permits from the city for a good 9-10 months," Kruse said.

While waiting, three of the partners lost a loved one. Through their heartache, they dug in deep and went to work, renovating the building.

"It was definitely a labor of love, and we definitely felt supported the whole time," Kruse said.

The taproom honors those in the service industry and unions, hoping to be a place for everyone.

They are a Fresno-based business created by local residents with a passion for brews and good conversation.

Industry tap union serves up beers and more seven days a week starting at 3:00 pm.

They hope to expand in the future.

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