Trendy Kemptown hangout the Sidewinder could arguably fall into the categories of both pub and bar. On the one hand it serves traditional food and good ales, but on the other it’s a late night venue with loud music and DJs. Ultimately the boundaries are blurred but this is neither the time nor the place to be debating the difference between a pub and a bar.
Popular with smokers due to its two sizeable outside areas (being devoid of grass I won’t call them gardens) the Sidewinder is a Kemptown institution thanks to the entertainment it lays on. Most nights see the place put something on whether it’s an open mic night, live music/djs or a movie night, and what’s more they have a classic Nintendo 64 rigged up at the front with all the console’s most famous games available to drinkers in search of some nostalgic entertainment from yesteryear. This retro gaming boom is seeing more and more machines like this pop up at trendy venues across the city to add a bit of cheap and straightforward entertainment for customers, and long may it continue. Four way Mario Kart has always been an immeasurably pleasurable way to spend time with friends and its simplicity is its greatest strength. Absolutely anyone can get involved.
But enough about Nintendo’s greatest franchise, what’s the rest of the place like? Well it’s nice. Real ale fans will appreciate the choice of three different bitters on tap, which rotate regularly, and there are a whole host of drinks promotions available depending on the time of day or whether you’re affiliated with an academic institution, American Express or the NHS. This means the Sidewinder lends itself equally well to a quiet afternoon pint as it does a raucous night on the tiles complete with Jägerbombs and fancy shoes.
As previously mentioned the outside space is popular all year round thanks to covered seating and patio heat lamps which basically triple the usable area of the pub, until you are politely ushered inside at 11pm, lest you disturb the neighbours. It’s not the most glorious outside area as even in the height of summer it can seem quite shady however it is comfortable and spacious and can be enjoyed all year round.
Food wise the Sidewinder does surprisingly well. It doesn’t give off the impression of being a gastro pub at all and yet the menu is quite smart and the food of an excellent quality for the price. There are a bunch of sharing platters and fancy burgers with changing daily specials and their Sunday roast offering is among the best in the area.
Free customer wi-fi throughout rounds off the many positive aspects of this cool and funky hangout that is well worth a visit day or night.
At a glance
|Free Wi-Fi?||Yes. Code at bar|
|Drinks promos?||Happy hour deals and student/Amex/NHS discounts|
|Children welcome?||Yes, during the day|
|Fruit/quiz machines?||Yes. One quizzie, one fruity|
|Bar games?||Retro console games (N64)|
|Garden?||Two good sized heated terraces|