A young Ottawa watering hole has recently expanded its service repertoire.

“It just needed to be done,” said Dana Coopey, owner of O-Town Cocktails and Billiards, 128 S. Main St., Ottawa. “We are two years into the bar-life atmosphere, and it was time to get into the kitchen. There was a definite need downtown for a burger and fries place.”

Coopey’s bar will now be known as “O-Town Cocktails, Burgers and Billiards,” he said, with the addition of a full diner menu to the establishment’s drink offerings. O-Town recently began serving burgers and related fare on an unofficial basis, Coopey said.

“We’ve had a soft opening for a couple of weeks now,” he said. “We’ve had a very good reaction from our customer base.”

The expansion has made a repeat customer out of Richard Buchanan, Neosho County Community College information technology professional.

“I can recommend everything,” Buchanan said Wednesday. “The fries are the bomb.”

Dustin, another patron, was swept away by the food.

“Their first week open, I think I ate a whole pound of burgers,” he said. “I’ve brought my co-workers here to celebrate. It’s a good place. Plus they’ve got pinball. There’s definitely some great burgers, and good all around food.”

The restaurant’s experimental menu includes appetizers, a selection of chicken entrees, and a set of classic burger-and-fries iterations.

“We are going to be doing burgers and fries, BLTs, chicken sandwiches and tenders, tenderloins and pork fritters,” Coopey said. “We’ve got a temporary menu right now, but it’s actually a pretty nice temporary menu.”

After solidifying an evening menu based on customer feedback, Coopey has plans to expand into lunch territory.

“We plan to open for lunch and introduce a bigger menu,” Coopey said. “We’ll probably open for lunch within the next 30 days. We plan to change our hours to include 11 a.m. til 1:30 p.m. for lunch.”

The process of restaurant expansion isn’t new for Coopey, he said.

“It’s been a simple process,” Coopey said. “We’ve done it for about 14 years now, since 2004, and so we’ve already been through the growing pains. We owned a diner in Baldwin, and that experience helped out tremendously as well.”

Coopey also hopes to coalesce changes to his restaurant’s infrastructure with the Onward Ottawa board’s plan to create a covered pedestrian plaza at First and Walnut streets.

“Our next phase will be when Onward Ottawa gets through with their construction out back [behind O-Town],” Coopey said. “We’ll be building a deck in the empty lot beside us, which we own.

“We also hope to be using fresh produce off the farmer’s market at that point.”