The scratch kitchen, which opened in June 2015, focuses on making flavorful food that keeps the neighborhood coming back for seconds. A family-run restaurant, the name Tapester’s comes from a play on words from owner and family patriarch John Taper.
“My dad’s been in the restaurant industry for a very long time in Houston and California,” said Natalie Taper, John’s daughter. “So when he was younger, they used to call him the ‘tapester.’”
Like many other restaurants, there was worry about whether the business would survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Taper family said they never had much doubt about whether their customers—or their friends, as Natalie likes to say—would keep supporting the business.
John and Natalie said having a drive-thru option was the main reason the restaurant was able to stay afloat, as customers were able to still get their favorite menu items without having to come inside during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
John said he did not lay off any of their employees during the pandemic—something the family takes pride in, saying they consider everyone who works for them an extended part of the family.
The restaurant focuses on comfort food—salads, burgers and sandwiches served on housemade bread as well as a brunch menu that has become so popular they started serving it all day on the weekends.
Community is something that holds the restaurant and the family together, Natalie said. All four kids—Natalie, Morgan, John and Merritt—went to school in the Houston area and all work in the restaurant.
“It’s very family oriented,” Natalie said. “We really look to make sure it’s a neighborhood spot that everybody likes to come. Kids on the weekends will ride their bikes up here.”
In the future, the family hopes to one day expand Tapester’s and open a new location. However, it would have to be nearby to keep that local feel that has made the original so successful, Natalie said.
“We always want to make sure that the quality is great every single time it goes out to customers,” she said. “It’s not only just a restaurant, but it’s a great hangout spot.”
4520 Beechnut St., Houston
Hours: Sun.-Mon. 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Tue.-Thu., Sat. 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.