“Before people even sit down, we know what the regulars are going to have to drink and eat,” Gwinn said.
In the 19 years the restaurant has been open, Gwinn has watched as customers have grown up, gotten married and had kids in some cases. Her own family has grown over the years as well. When the restaurant opened she had her son, now 18, in a play pen in a corner while she would work. Now, both her kids will pick up shifts at the restaurant.
“It’s a whole family business,” Gwinn said. “I’m so blessed and so lucky. It’s been really cool to watch them come in here and work.”
Gwinn herself stays busy coming into the restaurant most days. And the owner said no job is too big or too small for her to do.
“I’m very hands-on; I’ll bartend or serve or clean the dishes,” Gwinn said. “I think the staff respects that about me.”
The restaurant’s staff has largely remained the same since the business opened, Gwinn said. That consistency, she said, is part of what makes Sidelines a neighborhood favorite for so many regulars—that and the menu.
Sidelines offers a variety of dishes ranging from shrimp tacos to burgers to a selection of wraps. But the restaurant is most known for its assortment of chicken wings. The restaurant offers grilled wings, which Gwinn said have been a customer favorite for years.
“We never skimp on the quality of food,” Gwinn said. “I only want to serve the best. Nothing is served here that’s not real, good food.”
The owner said that the menu offers a little something for everyone, and she likes it that way. She said the restaurant caters to people of all ages and tastes. The business has booths and table seating, bar seating and a patio with some games adding a family-friendly touch. She said it was important to her that people know Sidelines really is a bar and a restaurant and offers something for everyone.
Gwinn said business has been “booming” lately and considers herself “very, very lucky.”
She said as long as everyone who enters the front doors feels welcome, she is happy.
“I want everyone to feel like a regular,” she said. “I’ve watched generations come through this restaurant. I want to keep seeing that.”