I'll be the first to admit Sidebar isn't where you go if you are in a hurry to get your food, are a food snob, or are expecting bells and whistles. It is for that very reason I love it.
It's kind of a hipster dive but without the pretension. So, like, a dive. A very cool, very laid back atmosphere - it might take 20 minutes to get a beer and a martini (I'd stick with beer and drinks neat or on the rocks), even when it isn't that crowded. I have out of town friends I probably wouldn't take because they aren't quite a patient and might not appreciate Sidebar.
But I appreciate Sidebar and I know plenty of others who do, too. It's friendly but not in-your-face friendly. I've been there when it's a little loud, but I've also been there when it's been very chill and the vibe is great either way. I like going when I know it won't be too full (typically pretty full on weekend nights with <25 crowd with a few 30-ish folks sprinkled in). You can have some drinks and great conversation, then decide if you want to stay or walk to another spot, or walk to The Kentucky to see a movie. Guys, this makes a cheap date that works well.
And though I said no bells and whistles, I absolutely LOVE the sweet potato fries, fried pickles, and portabella mushroom burger. The best is to go, have a drink, order your food, have a couple more drinks, food arrives, eat delicious food, one more drink, walk over and see a movie.
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