The Scapegoat Taproom: Follow Your Dreams
In the movie “Superman,” Christopher Reeve, as the title character, says, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” Chris and Jody Walker, owners of The Scapegoat Taproom, located at 2789 Compass Pointe South Wynd NE (off of the West Gate entrance of Compass Pointe) in Leland, seem to be embracing that quote.
Like pieces of a puzzle, they have been putting their dream together for more than 30 years. It started with a concept — open a place dedicated to the great sport losers — not in terms of scores or records, but who took the blame for the negative outcome of a game or a play.
As Chris and Jody’s dream evolved, the sports concept faded, but the name and the idea grew into The Scapegoat Taproom — a place with endless possibilities, a history, and more importantly, a future.
The whole idea of The Scapegoat is captured in their mission and vision statements.
The mission is “To create a welcoming atmosphere, promoting community engagement across all demographics with quality craft beers and outstanding customer service.”
And the vision statement is, “Cultivating relationships and building a sense of pride and ownership to promote a sustainable community within the hospitality industry built on family, connection, inclusion and synergy. “
Chris and Jody don’t see The Scapegoat Taproom as a bar. They view it as a community space, where everyone is welcome and everyone is celebrated. As Chris said, “I’d like this place to feel like people are walking into our home and sitting down to relax with others.” Jody added, “We want this to be a family oriented space—a place where you can come with your friends, your children, your dog, people who you want to hang out with in a comfortable atmosphere.”
“We don’t have a ‘target audience’,” Chris said. “We’re not like other places that just want a young crowd, we want everyone to feel welcome. We want this to be a hangout space for friends and families. We want to try different things that appeal to a lot of different demographic groups. We are pretty much open to trying new things, within reason.”
This is a family business. Looking at their logo, Chris said, “If you knew our family, you could see something in the logo that represents each one of us. We are all musically inclined, so the goat in the logo has a musical note for the eye. Our son, Zeke, was the first musician we had performing here. He is currently working as a chemical analyst. Our daughter, Lydia, is studying to become a social worker but helps with marketing and social media.”
Jody, who is the operational part of the team, helped with the artistic design of the taproom. She works to bring in entertainment and food options, such as food trucks, and plans to feature local artists in the space. She has been an elementary school teacher or the past 16 years. Chris is the “beer expert,” who is turning the dream into a reality, and has been a firefighter for more than 23 years.
Both Chris and Jody grew up in Leland and are happily surprised to see the growth and new businesses calling Leland home, although they hope that the infrastructure can keep up with the growth. “There wasn’t much in Leland for many years,” Chris said. “The speed of government doesn’t always keep up with the speed of growth or development, but overall, growth is a good thing. It was just a matter of time before restaurants and other businesses started to come across the river.”
According to Chris, beer is definitely making a comeback. “It took a backseat to wine for a while, but people are finding out that more than just the ‘generic’ beers are out there, and there are some really good beers being developed, not only in this area, but across the country,” he said. “We are going to be rotating 26 different types of beer—IPAs, stouts, pilsners, and we’re going to be listening to what our customers tell us they like. But we also have white wine, red wine, a rose wine and ciders. We want our customers to have a choice — if a particular beer makes them happy, we’ll investigate it and try to bring it in for them and others.”
Among beers on tap, Chris and Jody offer:
Both Chris and Jody credit other businesses, in part, for helping them get started in this industry. “We have gotten such a positive response from the hospitality industry in Leland and in Wilmington. It’s amazing,” he said. “They have shared experiences and resources with us to help us make good decisions. It’s a family in itself and we appreciate their knowledge and assistance.”
The Grand Opening for the Scapegoat Taproom is Sept. 2, beginning at noon. There will be music from 1-3 pm, 4-6 pm and 7-9 pm, with food trucks at the taproom from 5-8 pm.
The Scapegoat is open Wednesdays to Fridays from 3-10 pm, Saturdays from noon- 10 pm and Sundays from 12-8 pm.
Stop in and spend an evening at the Scapegoat Taproom, and you’ll find it will be an evening of fun, community and good spirits. Call Chris or Jody at 910-399-5382 for more information or visit the website, https://www.thescapegoattaproom.com/.
This is not only a place to enjoy a night out—it’s a place that encourages you to follow your dreams.