I visited the Tralf a couple weeks ago and ran into a good friend, Jason Cefaly, who mentioned that he will be one of the managers of the sports themed bar/restaurant Sidelines scheduled to open this Friday. Being a sports enthusiast, I jumped at the chance to check out the progress on renovations of the former King’s Court on Delaware, near Chippewa. Seeing that there is a surprising dearth of sports-centric restaurants in the city of Buffalo, I was happy to sit down with two of the owners, Adam and Hillary Collura, who filled me in on all of the details of the operation.
The minute I walked into Sidelines I couldn’t help but notice the vast renovations that have taken place since work began this past October. What a great new energy! The Sidelines’ team has installed a new floor, extended the bar, painted, put up new lighting and installed 11 new flat screens – basically overhauling the first floor. The team also remodeled the upstairs which will eventually be a valuable space for hosting small private conferences/meetings.
As far as the plans for the first floor, I can tell you that I’m a fan of all of the classy sports memorabilia that adorns the walls. The space definitely has a bright, warm, comfortable feel… it’s a lot classier than your average sports bar, thankfully. This is the type of place where you don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to enjoy the offerings, though sports fans will surely eat this place up.
I picked a good time to visit, as Hillary exclaimed they were just awarded their liquor license this week. Having that key piece of the puzzle in place, Sidelines is ready to roll out the red carpet for visitors who will be happy to see another downtown business open up in time for spring festivities. And come summer there will be a patio. At this point the final details come in the form of painting the building’s facade and installing the new sign.
I asked Adam and Hillary what they are concentrating on most when they open their doors to the public (hopefully this Friday). They both stated, more than once, that Sidelines’ main focus will be customer service and a fresh menu. Hillary has 15+ years experience working in a wide variety of Western New York’s bars and restaurants. She has worked everywhere from Fiamma on Hertel to Mickey Rats in Angola and stressed that service is paramount. “It’s about creating an atmosphere that people want to be in,” Hillary told me. Adam passionately expressed that the menu centers around ‘from scratch’ meals, freshly breaded onion rings and calamari, hand-made burgers, soups – a well-rounded bistro menu that will accommodate food lovers and sports fans alike. They gave me a sneak peak at the extensive menu, and all I can say is that will be unveiled on opening day (more to come on the food front).
Hillary also discussed the transition of the space, suggesting that even though Sidelines is a sports bar, quests will appreciate the changeover and their mission – to open a “classy, yet comfortable” restaurant near the entertainment district. They aim to cater to a much larger demographic than the typical sports themed establishments.
In the past I have played a wide variety of sports and happen to enjoy athletic themed restaurants/bars. Whether heading out solo, or with a group of friends, there’s something about the camaraderie that these places promote, especially when there’s a home game to watch. I’m always up for heading out to a place where I can enjoy a couple of drinks, a delicious meal (with fellow sports enthusiasts, or simply friends) in an establishment that promotes good cheer. In a city that could use another good sports bar, I think that this is a home run for Buffalo!
Sidelines is located near the Hampton Inn and Embassy Suites @ 189 Delaware Ave- Buffalo, NY 14202
11am-2am Sunday-Thursday, 11am-4am Friday and Saturday