The Local: Side St. Tavern

side street tavernI walk in as a Yankee hits the winning home run at the bottom of the 11th against Boston. I seem to have a knack for appearing at the exact moment of triumph. A long haired mustachioed Yankee fan repeatedly slaps his hands together in astonishment and joy, while Hall and Oates’ “Out of Touch” comes on. He complains that there are no Red Sox fans to tease.

Privately, I despair that I can find anything by Hall and Oates online but am unable to get the lyrics to Crooked Fingers‘ Modern Dislocation.

The Side Street is the first place I heard the Buzzcocks or ate nacho tots. Which is about as awesome as it sounds. Oh sure, you could call ’em tatchos but that’s just being cute. Nacho tots; it is what it says. Not unlike the Side Street itself, nestled just off Belmont and 35th.

The review at Barfly isn’t entirely off base; unless you come here semi-regularly, it’s almost hard to imagine how the Side Street made a life for itself. While it’s lasted longer than the four restaurants kitty corner, it’s not on Belmont proper against places that have more beer selections or more elegant dining, so how the hell did this little place stick around?

I overhear the bartender tell a patron she’s been working here for two years. That tells me something immediately; if you can keep your employees, you’re doing something right. I’m drinking a Terminal Gravity IPA, a beer that wants to walk the citrus line of IPA and it’s got enough malt to keep me from souring on it.

So there’s good beer, good pub food, decent music and the employees like it. There’s only one TV and the music isn’t too loud.

Do I really have to make a case for this bar?

2 thoughts on “The Local: Side St. Tavern”

  1. Side Street is a nice place. I don’t get in there all that often, now that you mentioned the nacho tots, I’ll make the effort.

    For a brief time in 2005 or 2006, there was a banner on the Side Street building saying it was the future location of Deschutes’ Portland Pub. Man, it would have been awesome to have that in the neighborhood, though surely it would have been a much smaller affair than the Pearl Pub they opened.

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