A downtown Farmington restaurant is closing out a tumultuous year on a high note, as the Farmington Area Jaycees Business of the Year.
Sidecar Slider Bar, located in the Village Commons shopping center, received the honor during the civic group’s December 5 virtual tree lighting ceremony.
“We were so excited,” said Scot Pelc, who owns the business with his wife, Angela. They not only watched the event with their son, Bradley, but also participated by demonstrating their Cranberry Moscow Mule and a holiday float.
Being involved in the community has been a hallmark since Sidecar Slider Bar opened in 2019. One of two people who nominated the business noted the restaurant’s First Responders Eat Free day, distribution of sliders to health care workers during the pandemic, and regular participation in local events, as well as the way they’ve faced the pandemic:
“Sidecar has continued to innovate with outdoor dining and is quick with new strategies to benefit guests, whether it’s new outdoor heaters or cool new beers, cocktails, and sliders.”
Innovation has been the Pelcs’ approach since Governor Gretchen Whitmer began issuing executive orders in mid-March to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“The very first day of the original shut down was St. Patrick’s Day,” Pelc said. “We were going to do this Guinness-braised corned beef stew, and I don’t typically order Guinness… There was nothing we could do with these two cans, so my wife said, let’s go on Facebook Live and wish everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day.”
That kicked off a series of virtual “happy hours” that have continued at 3 p.m. almost every day since. The Pelcs have demonstrated drink recipes, introduced new products, and developed a solid following. Some happy hours have topped 1,500-1,800 viewers.
The restaurant’s latest innovations come as Farmington has established “The Syndicate,” a social district that allows alcohol consumption on certain downtown walkways and in Riley and Gazebo Parks. Using a can seaming machine, Pelc said, Sidecar can package beer, wine, and mixed drinks to go.
And with the state-wide ban on indoor dining extended through January 16, Pelc has ordered heaters and a tent for the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) also gave the restaurant some additional patio furniture, he added.
“We love downtown Farmington, and we have such a loyal fan base,” he said. “We want everybody to have a great time when they come here.”