The North Side of the Humboldt County Bar Experience

The North Side of the Humboldt County Bar Experience



Located in the sister city of Eureka (Arcata) is a place some would call a sports bar. Others would debate that aspects of a nightclub can be found there also. Still, some would not mind what title to call it, only that in fact, its a place to get a drink. The bar’s official title, however, is Sidelines.

When first entering Sidelines, proof of the sports bar initiative are vastly seen. Every surface of the place has some distinct shout out to a sports affiliation, and the 5 plus televisions playing sporting events assist in this assumption that points towards sports bar.

As far as other options besides drinking, Sidelines has 2 pool tables, and about 4 arcade gaming systems inside. One of these systems is a punching bag, which digitally makes a tally of the pounds per square inch you can muscle into it. To top it all off, on weekends, the dance floor at the end of the bar can usually be found filled with dancing patrons, and a Disc Jockey to fill the air with beats and jingles for those patrons to dance to.

If entering Sidelines expecting to play pool, let it depend on two things: the first being what night it is. On most week nights, the chance will be better on playing pool. On weekends, turns will be taken. The second aspect is in how many people are around. Additionally on weekends, the area where the pool tables are tends to get crowded, which makes playing pool very constricted space.

The dancing at Sidelines will also depend on the mood of the atmosphere. Weekends are also a time when this is most apparent. In going out to dance at Sidelines, bring friends. This will guarantee you someone to dance with, as well as grant you fun on the dance floor. This works best with a group of friends. If looking to go by yourself and hope to have fun on the dance floor, this is not always the best option.  There is also a second bar on the dance floor, which can give your easier access to a beverage, rather than having to leave the dance floor through a gauntlet of fellow dance patrons to order another drink at the first bar, which lies at the entrance and side of the establishment.

The social aspect of Sidelines is apparent, as a diverse crowd of people frequent this joint on weekends. You can expect anyone from a college student taking a break from studying to old friends from years passed who are just reuniting to share a beer.

Sidelines has rules which are not always instituted in other bars in Humboldt County. A Bouncer usually sits on watch at the bathrooms, as drinks are not allowed in there. The Bouncer usually watches the drink while the patron enters the bathroom, however. So don’t worry about anyone taking it. And if any patron causes a scene, they can expect to be escorted to the door without a moment’s delay. Sidelines is known for their no nonsense attitude towards patrons who cause a scene.

Depending on the night, expect to pay a cover charge. This happens on some weekends, but not all. In general, if headed there, expect to pay, and make sure to get a stamp upon paying. As well, have a proper identification on hand to show the Bouncer upon entering Sidelines. Like any place in Humboldt County, without a form of Identification, no entry.

Some of the deals of Sidelines are as follows:

-Thursdays are $2 Kamikaze Night

-Additionally on Thursday from 10PM-Midnight, expect $1 Pint price on Domestic beers and $2 Pint price on Microbrews.

-Wednesday is Well Drink $2 night.

-And as with any bar, each price of beverage is based on what type it is.

The bartenders are very courteous at Sidelines. Most drinks asked for are presented to the consumer in a moment’s notice and with care. The Bar Backs also do a good job of collecting stray glasses and bottles that are left astray.

If you like dancing, go on the weekends. If you like sports, the coverage at Sidelines will not disappoint. If you like a wide selection of drinks, Sidelines has them. Go with friends, and enjoy their company and a few drinks. As always, tip the bartender!


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Emerald contributor since March 2012


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