Story Tavern in Burbank hosts a kickoff party for their game room and patio expansion tonight, Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6:30 p.m. A tap takeover featuring Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. will christen the festivities. 

The new 1,500 sq. ft. game room features three dart booths, each with two boards allowing multiple games to run simultaneously. Shuffleboard, ping pong and – wait for it – a dedicated beer pong table, will promote convivial fun and shenanigans. Nearby studio animators have always contributed sketches on butcher's paper to liven up the walls in the main restaurant, but in the game room separate boards will entertain friendly competition by company – Disney, Dreamworks, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon, each have designated wall space.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. will supply rarities from their Santa Barbara pilot brewery, in addition to staples from their production facility in Buellton. Bag of Cats IPL (India Pale Lager), Magpie Porter, and Monkeys with TypeRYEters are a must, and you shouldn't miss the opportunity to try Hoppy Poppy IPA on cask. And don't forget to bring your dog if you have one – the expanded patio is particularly pooch-friendly.]

Vintage Games at Story Tavern; Credit: Courtesy Story Tavern

Vintage Games at Story Tavern; Credit: Courtesy Story Tavern

Story Tavern takes its name from Burbank's first mayor Thomas Story, whose family occupied the hardware store that was long ago on-site. It was opened in July of 2012 by the Slaught family, with siblings Brian and Diane and friend Hans Brestel at the helm.

The family has lived in Burbank since the 1870s and they incorporate these historical ties into the bar's theme and decor. 20th-century Craftsman bungalow design characterizes the interior, and on the walls are photographs from the Burbank Historical Society, to which the family frequently donates proceeds. Depicted are the original industries of Burbank: aviation, film production and manufacturing. Even the seal on the bar's logo represents a cantaloupe – a crop so integral to the community that its harvest once saved the city from declaring bankruptcy (and was likewise featured on the first seal of the city).

History and community are beautiful things, but even more compelling is Story Tavern's carefully chosen craft beer program. A 32-beer tap list in the main restaurant achieves balance, pouring imports from Germany and Belgium alongside a craft lineup that's a cut above.

Eagle Rock Brewing has a dedicated cask line, and eight more taps will be available at the game room bar. Look for specialties from Angel City, L.A. Aleworks, The Bruery and Enegren Brewing. Pre-prohibition cocktails are built with fresh, whole ingredients from recipes dug out of UCLA archives. Applejack (America's first distilled spirit) is a popular feature. Four kinds of absinthe invite nightlifers to up the ante on their evening.

Berazzled by The Bruery at Story Tavern; Credit: Erika Bolden

Berazzled by The Bruery at Story Tavern; Credit: Erika Bolden

In the kitchen you will not find a deep-fryer. The menu has plenty of bar staples, but they're prepared healthfully enough to remove the guilt factor from eating out. Though a modified menu will be available in the game room, all choices will be as approachable and home-style as the full menu. They come by the gluten-free substitution menu honestly – Diane Slaught has celiac disease (not so trendy), and the kitchen admirably highlights dishes that are already gluten-free. (Try the veggie burger or veggie mac-n-cheese.)

The game room is open Fri.-Sun., all day, and after 5 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. Traditional live Irish music plays in the tavern Thursday and Saturday nights. With a bonkers long happy hour daily from 11:30-7:30, we wish there was a Story Tavern for every neighborhood.

Erika Bolden writes at and @Erikabolden. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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