The Sideboard reopened its doors last weekend after an almost two-and-a-half-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
Officials with the cafe, which had only opened a few months before COVID’s appearance, were pleasantly surprised at the turnout over the weekend.
“We were really blown away at the crowd that turned out for our reopening,” said Michael DeVore, The Sideboard’s front-of-the-house manager.
Heath Newton, founder and owner of The Sideboard envisioned the eatery as a companion to his already successful Cape Fear Games, which is located next door. Both are located at 4107 Oleander Drive.
The idea was for families and friends to come together to enjoy the community that comes by enjoying good food and playing board games.
The Sideboard is unique in that diners can play board games. With over 400 different board games to choose from, DeVore said the cafe is perfect for families to do something together or someone just looking for something fun to do while eating.
Menu items include hummus as well as sandwiches and chicken nuggets. The eatery also has 12 varieties of local beers on tap, many of which are locally brewed.
Plans include trivia night as well as other board game events for diners. Like almost all restaurants currently, The Sideboard is looking for more staff. DeVore hopes to have a full staff in place soon so that the cafe can open more days and longer hours.
DeVore said the reopen was almost like a grand opening for the restaurant as the closure had forced a change of staff and processes.
“We have an entire new staff as well some new processes in place to better serve our customers,” he said, adding that there was always a plan to reopen but working out the logistics of things was a priority.
“As time went on during the pandemic,” DeVore said. “We knew we were not going to be able to reopen immediately, but what’s important is we finally have.”