Department of the Interiors: Sidecar

May 31, 2014 15 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Jacksonville's most anticipated cocktail lounge opened it's doors to the public on May 29th. Situated in what will soon become the newest urban core epicenter of retail activity, Sidecar has sidled up in symbiotic relationship to V Pizza on the southwest corner of Hendricks and Nyra. Joshua Taylor brings you an insider's view of this excellent new downtown addition after the jump.

Hot off the heels of national recognition from Details magazine. (Click on link for the listing: It's in impressive company.  The 11 most promising bars slated to open in nationwide in 2014...)

Owners Kurt Rogers and Matt Carson bring their encyclopedic knowledge of mixology and successful cocktail concepts to Jacksonville. Rogers studied under (and revolutionized) the bars at Jon Insetta's Orsay and Black Sheep, and Carson found fame at D.C. area hotspots Tonic and Last Exit. When you go, expect perfectly balanced examples of revolutionized classic drinks, in a setting that welcomes a curious palate. Open seven days a week from 3pm-2am.

From the owners, Matt and Kurt:

This urban beer garden themed (more garden stuff coming) and cocktail lounge will offer 20 taps and also both cocktails and whiskey on tap. The menu includes three types of Sidecars: one classic, one modern (such as a favorite made with apple brandy and pepper-infused orange curacao, or our current Anejo Tequila Sidecar), and a rotating guest Sidecar chosen from an on-site cocktail competition. We have two 20 top tables outside in our covered patio area. The community style seating is common for beer gardens and both Kurt and I love to encourage sitting with one other and getting to know each other of a few drinks. We have both known countless marriages that have started with two people sitting on a barstool next to each other.

The Cocktail list will be both classics and original drinks with an emphasis on Florida citrus—in the form of shrubs, fizzes, sours, homemade cordials, and lemon/orange/grapefruit-cellos. We have a small hot plate, a juicer, and a lot of interest in making great mixers for our cocktails. We are infusing some of our own gins and vodkas and we want to be pretty whimsical about new items, menu changes, etc. We want to be classy without being pretentious and Kurt and I have always loved San Marco’s vibe.

We have a fantastic pizza place next door called Vpizza and you can grab a craft pizza and enjoy a craft cocktail, beer or wine at the same time.

Matt Carson and Kurt Rogers each have histories running dive bars, but Rogers gained craft cocktail experience running the programs at Orsay and Black Sheep, and Carson ran the show at DC's Tonic and The Last Exit.

The Art and the main sign was done by our resident artist Stephen Arflin who is a good friend and teacher at First Coast High School. He is awesome and if you saw the three huge pieces he did, you would agree!

photo and text joshua taylor