Growing up with gardens in West Pennsylvania, self-preservation and sustainability were important values for this local KC business owner. Knowing how to grow, cure, age and pickle were tools of the trade. Anton Kotar, owner of Anton’s Taproom, believes that the tides are changing in our eating habits, and the first step of moving with the tide is by creating the best atmosphere. And for Anton’s….it starts with the bathroom.
“When it came time for those bathrooms, it was important that they fall in with what we have going here,” said Kotar.
Located in the Crossroads neighborhood, Anton’s Taproom is paving the way for restaurants in the 21st century. Their vision behind the success is not only setting the highest standards for customer service and culinary taste, but also creating a sustainable operation. Every employee, with goals of both high profit and high satisfaction, practices it in the restaurant.
Housed in a century old building, the space both emulates rustic and urban vibes. We often think of older buildings as drafty and cold, however, the restaurant runs it’s heat by a system of water pipes warming the floors with water reused and recycled by the restaurant itself. Heating and reusing its own water helps save both Anton’s water and gas bill, mitigating monthly operational costs.
Head down the stairs to the restrooms and you’ll see why we rave about this plumbing masterpiece.
As you descend the bright red stairs you start catching wafts of basil and other fresh garden herbs, along with aromas of cured, aging meats behind glass. It’s all part of an aquaponic system that reuses water and waste in a way that requires simple upkeep.
Underneath the jungle of herbs, Tilapia can be seen swimming around in their own aquarium. They are a vital part to the ecosystem; much of their waste is what gives the herbs their nutrients to grow fast and lush.
The water goes through a deionization process removing all impurities and leaving crystal clear water. A water feature running through a gutter to downspout collects all water that the restaurant uses. It then runs to a sump pump, allowing it to be purified and reused again. Kept in a series of insulated water tanks, the system operates on a heat exchanger with a retrograde gas line and resupplies the building with a steady flow of heated water by compressors.
Both men’s and women’s restrooms are built of brick and stainless steel walls, utilizing reclaimed vintage doors as sturdy stalls with a distinct rustic feel. The sink is a three-tub steel piece located outside both restrooms, with the intention to keep everyone honest about washing their hands.
It’s easy to do the “normal” way, but Anton’s Taproom gets KC to start thinking about our natural resources and how we consume them. We have dubbed Anton’s as “Sustainable Chic,” because they show us how creating a better atmosphere in small ways makes an incredible impact. It’s the unique values that give KC its’ foundation of being the best city in America!
Check out more about Anton’s Taproom at antonskc.com or go exploring yourself!