First Look at the Newly Renovated Lompoc Sidebar

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Today, Thursday, November 20th,  Lompoc Brewing is re-opening the newly renovated Sidebar Barrel Room Tavern to the public. Sidebar has been a terrific destination for rarer Lompoc brews of the barrel-aged and experimental variety, but it’s been sort of a hidden gem without a real sign or any windows on the up and coming N. Williams corridor. Now with large roll-up glass doors, new booths, more seating, and an upgrade from 6 taps to a dozen, the refreshed Sidebar should become less of a hidden gem and more of a destination.

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“We really wanted to open up the space to let people see what we do in here,” said Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter. “Sidebar has always been a showcase for our beers, but not everyone knew what happened behind the mural. The new space has a friendly, approachable feel that perfectly complements our North Portland neighborhood.”

Having spent some good times at the Sidebar in the past, its best feature–other than the beer, of course–is the coziness and rustic character coming from the barrels full of beer against the wall and the fireplace that keeps the space warmly lit and inviting. Both of these features are still happily intact, with somewhat fewer barrels to allow for brand new wood booths.

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Brewmaster Bryan Keilty checks out his latest new IPA recipe.

I was a little afraid that Sidebar’s strength was also a weakness; without any real windows, it was hard to find and nearly impossible to stumble upon, but that gave it a bit of its coziness. Luckily the glass roll-up doors don’t take away from that, and with the addition of the new booths–constructed by owner Jerry Fechter himself–it’s even more welcoming. Better yet, when the nice weather comes back around, the staff can roll-up the doors and even put some outside seating in front.

While the brand new booths might be my favorite new feature, the expanded taplist is just as welcome. It comes just in time for Lompoc’s Holiday Beer Extravaganza on December 2nd, when the brewery will tap 8 new holiday special releases: Blitzen, a spiced golden ale; Jolly Bock Lager; C-sons Greetings Imperial IPA; Old Tavern Rat Barleywine; Brewdolph Belgian-style Red; 2013 Bourbon Barrel Aged Holiday Cheer, a vanilla porter aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels; Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Cheval de Trait Belge, a dark Belgian strong ale aged in Maryhill Winery Pinot noir barrels; and the triumphant return of 8 Malty Nights, a chocolate rye beer brewed in honor of Hanukkah. One of the 12 new taps will be dedicated to a local cider; right now that’s Cider Riot, and in the future it will switch between Bushwhacker, Reverend Nat’s, and back to Cider Riot.

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Another huge benefit to regulars will be more TVs for local sports teams, a new menu featuring small plates and shared plates with items like Argentinean sliders, mole pork soft tacos, and wild mushroom flatbread to the pub’s popular Buffalo wings, nachos, and truffle fries. Finally, Sidebar’s hours are expanding for those who have a hard time making it in on weekends.
Welcome the newly remodeled Lompoc Sidebar grand reopening TODAY at 4pm on Thursday, Nov. 20, with brewers in attendance and some killer beers.
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Sidebar opens at 4pm every Tuesday through Sunday, closing at Midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 1am Friday and Saturday, and 11pm Sunday. The popular space remains available to rent for meetings and private parties. For more information, visit www.lompocbrewing.com or call 503-288-3936. Sidebar is located at 3901 N Williams Ave. Portland, Oregon.
Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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