Poor Millvale, still cleaning up from the hurricane Ivan flooding in September. We drove around Millvale, looking for Sidekicks even though we had turn by turn directions in hand.
Evergreen Avenue, which sidekicks main entry is on, use to be a main route to get to McKnight road and most of North Hills. With the opening of 79 North about 15 or so years ago, Evergreen is a lesser traveled road reservered for the locals.
We were headed to the nearby venue http://www.mrsmalls.com"">Mr. Smalls Funhouse in Millvale to see http://www.jimdonovanmusic.com/""Jim Donovan of http://www.rustedroot.com"">Rusted Root and Sean McLeod and The Family perform. A great venue and a great performance.
Unless you find Evergreen Road first, the trip through Millvale is a difficult one. Millvale was laid out around the winding mountains and waterways. There are tons of triangle shaped islands and confusing roadways. If you aren't on Evergreeen you will end up driving right by it as there are two nicely lit restaurants/bars right past it. Sidelines sits to the right, before these places and back a block. Parking can be a challenge with overflow from the other places and just a small lot integrated into Sidelines and after that it's all limited on stret parking.
Walking around the front of sidelines you find the door, but it appears to be a residential looking door. Solid metal, white and no windows. Fearing that we were walking into someone's home, we carefully entered. The door opens into the bar which is a large recentangular bar with seating on three of the sides - which takes up the whole room.
I looked around and the people sitting there were a strong blue collar work ethic crowd at the end of their day. We looked stuffy and over dressed. We took two seats in the next room. A big screen TV ran http://www.espn.com">ESPN and an Ohio college finals game.
There was a strong smell of fryers/grease along with ample cigarette smoke filling the place.
The bartender, a hip, seeming out of place dude became our server. We ordered a quesadilla, our sandwiches and brews. The beer selection was impressive and I saw some I hadn't elsewhere. All the beer seemed slightly less costly than at other place in the 'Burgh- and that's a good thing. They have two coolers filled with decent beer. I didn't bother counting the bottles, but they have a very large and respectable collection of good beer.
The food was pretty good and we weren't expecting it to be based on the worn in old school looking mill town bar environment.
Overall I am giving it a GOOD since this is a place that a fair number of people who use PubCrawler and prefer new shiney places or old restored places might find uncomfortable. This place certainly has that worn in, smoked in and drank in feeling. Atmosphere here isn't a positive here. If you don't like blue collar old-school neighborhood bars with a fryer and cigarette smokers, this place won't fit you at all.
This is a place that certainly could clean up and come around in an even stronger way. They have the pieces to make it really good place in a beerless area.