In Fairview Heights, a new bar and grill features a giant indoor patio complete with picnic tables and yard games, beer pong and pub games, and a menu of boozy drinks and Tex-Mex inspired fare. TBD Bar + Social opened on Aug., 1 featuring a fun environment for the Metro East. 

The concept comes from Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc.; this is the second location of TBD after the original debuted in San Antonio, Texas, this past March. The Illinois-based TBD replaces a former Houlihan’s, with seats for around 120 guests.

“We're a social bar with an emphasis on having a good time. We have adult-sized games like Battleship, Connect Four and Jenga. There are different drink specials every day of the week,” says general manager Todd Tiefenauer says. “The focus is on people interacting, getting up and moving around.”

The space’s whimsical interior design features a dining-area floor covered in AstroTurf and a ceiling decorated with colorful jumbo umbrellas and string lights. Picnic tables and retro patio furniture comprise the casual seating options to give the room a yard-like feel. Guests are even welcome to sit inside an on-site vintage trailer formerly owned by the rock band America. On nicer days, garage doors on the front of the building open up to enhance the already airy vibe.

Guests can choose from a Tex-Mex influenced menu indicative of its development in San Antonio. A Texas burger, for instance, comes with a blackened Angus burger patty, sirloin chili, queso, pico de gallo, tortilla chips and fresh jalapeños. The Impossible Burger is also available with Cheddar, special sauce, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. 

Perhaps the most popular pick so far, however, is a pork tenderloin sandwich, featuring a cut “breaded as big as your face” topped with lettuce, pickle and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun. Additional highlights include nachos with chipotle chicken or sirloin chili, housemade queso, two kinds of Cheddar, black bean pico, fresh jalapeños, sour cream and shredded lettuce.

From the full bar, choose from 10 taps, bottles and cans, a small selection of wine and a variety of boozy cocktails. The Ridiculous Bloody Mary is one such option in a personal pitcher, made with Jose Cuervo Gold tequila, vodka and loaded Bloody Mary mix garnished with a Thai-glazed chicken wing, a stuffed mushroom and a pickle.

“We’re just excited to have a place where people can come hang out and have a good time,” Tiefenauer says. “Friends and families are spending quality time with one another here. They’re putting down their electronics, and it’s kind of cool to see people doing that.”

TBD Bar + Social is open Monday through Thursday from 3pm to midnight, Friday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2am, and Sunday from 11:30am to midnight.

TBD Bar + Social, 15 Ludwig Dr., Fairview Heights, Illinois, 618.397.9242, tbdfairviewheights.com

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Mabel Suen is the St. Louis contributing editor for Feast.

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