WEST HARTFORD — For more than 50 years, The Spigot Café’s iconic fire-engine red building at the five-corner intersection of Prospect and Capital Avenue on the West Hartford/Hartford line. The Spigot has been a local institution since the Taylor family opened it in 1963. But its fate became uncertain with the passing of Dave Taylor, Jr. last month. But a new owner has stepped up: local bartender Joe Grillo will carry on the tradition.

“Owning The Spigot has been a dream of mine, it’s the perfect bar,” Grillo said. “The Spigot’s history is rich with visits by famous athletes, governors, musicians, and local heroes too. For more than 50 years, people have been saying ‘meet me at the Spigot.’ We hope to carry that tradition on for 50 more.”

For the last 12 and a half years, Joe has been behind the bar at Plan B in West Hartford, blocks away from The Spigot. Coming out of the music industry, Grillo started bartending 20 years ago. Spending years bartending at ACE Bar and Manitoba’s in The Lower East Side of New York City, Grillo decided to bring his experience and sense of community to the Hartford’s West End neighborhood in 2006.

Rebooting The Spigot will balance tradition with new ideas. The limited café menu will have new choices. The Bring Your Own Food format will remain, and will be enhanced with the addition of The Spigot onto the local food truck circuit. In addition to The Spigot’s signature feature — offering more than 100 different beers from around the world and local breweries — patrons will also be able to purchase growlers and inexpensive glasses and bottles of wines that pair best with pizza, BBQ, and other popular items on the café menu or brought in by guests.

The Spigot vibe will be made even better and livelier. A curated selection of music will always be playing in the background. Sports fans will continue to enjoy watching their favorite teams on numerous televisions throughout The Spigot. A jukebox will also remain an option for guests who want to shape the night’s soundtrack. No longer cash-only, The Spigot will take credit cards. It will open at 11 a.m. every day and bring back happy hours.

The Spigot is at 468 Prospect Ave., Hartford. For more information call 860-236-7663 or visit its page on Facebook.

Connecticut Media Group