For many of us, summer officially begins tonight with the first Jazz in the Park concert of 2011 at Cathedral Square. It also marks the opening of the new Belmont Tavern a half block away at 784 N. Jefferson St.

With an art deco look designed by Scott Genke, the Belmont is Mike Vitucci’s newest venture, and he located it in a 2,000-square foot space that was formerly occupied by a women’s apparel shop. Vitucci also owns Whiskey Bar in the neighborhood, and Caffrey’s Pub and Murphy’s Irish Pub near the Marquette University campus.

The new tavern’s name is an homage to the old art deco Belmont Hotel, which was razed in 1997 to┬ámake room for the Frontier Airlines Center. The bar features brown and tan earth tones.

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