You shouldn’t have a problem finding a seat at the newest watering hole in downtown Belleville.
Opening Thursday with more than 20 beers on tap, T2 Taps & Tapas — located next to Tavern on Main and run by the same owner, Belleville restaurateur Mark Onstott — has a bar that’s more than 50 feet long.
Not impressed? Let’s put this into perspective: The bar is almost as long as a tractor-trailer. If that’s not a fair comparison, think of it this way: You could bowl in this bar. (Although it’s narrow, so you could only fit about two lanes.)
But size isn’t the only thing that matters at the place Onstott calls “T-Squared.”
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Onstott is bringing tapas to town, along with more craft beer, wine and bourbon. (Tapas are Spanish appetizers served on small plates.)
You could consider the new addition an expansion of Tavern on Main — the two establishments will be connected on the inside by two doors — but T2 Taps & Tapas has its own name and identity.
The menu will feature tapas, hummus trays, flatbreads, tacos and charcuterie boards. Different items will be offered every week. Ahead of Art on the Square, the bar will offer only flatbreads and specialty pizzas. More items will be available after the busy weekend, Onstott said.
A garage-door opening on the street will make it easy for patrons to purchase drinks outside.
“We’re just really happy with being downtown,” Onstott said in February, when he announced the expansion. “The city is really good to us.”
Onstott also owns 1814 Eatery & Drinkery, located at 115 W St. Louis St. in Lebanon, which he opened in 2016. The restaurant serves about two-thirds of the Tavern on Main menu, including its Sweet Italian Salad, appetizers, pizzas, burgers, entrees and pasta.
He recently closed his Italian restaurant, Mario’s on Main, but he hopes to open another restaurant with a similar concept in the metro-east.
“We’re kind of downsizing, but we might do one more (restaurant) at the most,” Onstott said.
After Art on the Square, T2 Taps & Tapas will open with a full tapas menu at 3 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.