Sidecar is a bit of a throwback to family style restaurants.
The restaurant, tucked away in Park Slope, is loved by neighbors and known for its fried chicken, burgers and refreshments.
“It’s really about being here, being in this room,” said Sidecar owner Bart DeCoursy. “It’s a very warm and friendly atmosphere. I have staff who have been here for years.”
But after 15 years, Sidecar is joining the long list of restaurants that have fallen victim to the pandemic.
When the city reopened, DeCoursy had hoped what followed would be a resurgence of patrons, eager to cherish local restaurants. But it was not enough.
And although Sidecar qualified for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, he was not fortunate enough to receive the money.
And then we threw them a side dish of supply chain issues.
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âIf your sales are going to be cut by around 40% but your costs are only reduced by 20%, that’s only more difficult,â DeCoursy said.
When the governor first shut things down at the start of the pandemic and only made take out restaurants, Sidecar realized in just a week that they weren’t going to survive that way.
So they started a GoFundMe campaign to pay staff. They achieved this goal in just one week.
Then came the PPP money that helped them stay afloat during most of the pandemic.
But last fall, DeCoursy knew the end was inevitable.
âYou can’t love something that doesn’t love you back. It was tough. I have to admit I was very, very tough. I was heartbroken. I love my kids to eat here,â he said. DeCoursy said.
And as New York pulls back from omicron and tries to regain its foothold, Sidecar is far from alone.
That’s why Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday launched what is hopefully a lifeline.
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âWe’re also going to do something that bars and restaurants have been asking for. Enabling take-out drinks again – a key source of income during the lean season last year. Well done New York,â Hochul said .
DeCoursy is not sure how much that would have changed the outcome, however.
Over time, he said, sales of take-out drinks had already dried up.
âEven though we haven’t gone back to normal, people are kind of back to normal as they think,â he said.
But as a true New Yorker, DeCoursy isn’t just throwing in the towel.
Sidecar will become a bar, under a new name, named after his grandmother. Keeping a family-style establishment, the way he likes it.
âFrankly, I can take care of the bartender myself so I can get my legs back in hand,â DeCoursy said.
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