It was the Wednesday before Christmas, and my partner and I decided to meet up with some friends for one last dinner to celebrate all things holiday. 

We climbed the stairs to Side Bar Bottle Co. and seated ourselves at a cozy four-top round with a view of the glowing brick fireplace.  

The stylish bar rested at the back with tufted velvet seats inviting you not to rush off too quickly.  I knew this was going to be a happy hour, indeed.

A Special Evening at Side Bar Bottle Company

It’s quaint inside, and the mix of modern and vintage with exposed limewash brick suits Davidson’s historical charm.  The marble tables and lighting details let you know they’re adding a dash of casual brilliance to the great bones of an already stellar building. 

They offer small-batch local brews, and rare wines (including some natural wine), and the handpicked bottles are ever-changing so you can satiate your curiosity on each visit.

The bar at Side Bar Bottle Company in Davidson

We started with individualized choices for our distinct personalities:  a local IPA for my partner, an opaque oatmeal stout, a festive Prosecco for our friends, and a velvety glass of Italian red for me.  These went down easy, and we were laughing and chatting the evening away when it suddenly dawned on us that the place had really filled up. 

Every seat was taken and the decibel level had risen significantly.

We were debating heading downstairs for The Tupelo Honey Pie at Mandolino’s Artisan Pizza which was our destiny when an excited woman came by waving a white paper asking “Are you here for Trivia Night?” 

I looked at my partner and (in our inside joke world filled with stupid movie lines) there was only one appropriate response:  “We usually don’t pick up hitchhikers [read: play trivia at bars with friends]…. Buuuut I’m gonna go with my instinct on this one. Saddle up, partner!”

On Wednesdays at Trivia Night, locals transform into cunning wordsmiths armed with knowledge and ready for battle.  We had the best time clinking glasses and making holiday memories while struggling to find answers to some pretty tough questions. 

Who knew that mistletoe berries were actually white?  Do you know how many paintings Van Gogh sold during his lifetime?  Spoiler alert: it was one.  These are the factoids that will gain you glory and prizes (think bottles of wine) if you manage to prevail over some fiercely passionate regulars turned competitors.

Side Bar Bottle Company glass of wine.

My favorite team name of the evening was “The Dirtbags” and, true to form, we may have seen them breaking the no-cell-phone policy a time or two, but one can’t be certain.  Two well-priced bottles of Spanish Garnacha later, I think we placed 10th out of 13.  

Here’s the ace up Side Bar’s sleeve – the secret alliance with Mandolino’s that I mentioned earlier.   Picture this: you can waltz downstairs, place an order for a pizza that’s practically a work of culinary art, and then ascend back to your charming haven to indulge in the perfect pairing of fine wine and gourmet pizza. 

If you’re simply peckish, Side Bar offers petite gourmet snacks and charcuterie boards for optimal lingering over your bottles and brews.

Side Bar Bottle Company cozy couch

The genius behind Side Bar is that it’s not just a wine and beer sanctuary with pricing to suit every budget from saver to splurge; it’s a social hub that turns locals into DIY crafting aficionados and amateur sommeliers.  They even hold private events. 

Give them a follow on social media for daily specials and unique class offerings like candle making, wine tastings, and charcuterie workshops.  Officially, Tasting Tuesdays:  4 new wines every week with notes from the pros;  Free Trivia Wednesdays with prizes; and Live Music Thursdays from local artists starting at 7pm.

Side Bar Bottle Company wine shop

Business drinks spot?  Yes!  Bring your clients for a celebration after closing a deal.  First stop on a mini-walking food tour of Davidson?  Yes!  (Wait, am I the only one who does this?)   Ask the bartender du jour for expert recommendations if wine selection intimidates you.  The process is super approachable for even the most nascent oenophile.

Side Bar is one of the town’s little secret spots for those in the know – and now you’re in on the secret. 

The town of Davidson is nothing if not walkable, so leave your car in one of the public lots that are tucked away off Jackson Street and stroll to Side Bar Bottle Co. for wine…because no unexpectedly memorable evening with friends ever started with someone eating a salad.

Side Bar Bottle Co.
208 S Main St.
Davidson, NC 28036
(980) 689-2718

Get to know the owner of Side Bar Bottle Co., Brittni Hagerman, in episode 138 of The Best of LKN podcast!

About the author: Jordan Eicher is a resident of Davidson, NC, and a travel and food blogger who is well-known for her excellent restaurant reviews. A member of Yelp Elite Charlotte, Jordan can be found at the hottest local restaurants and traveling the world with her family. 

Side Bar Bottle Co. is proudly featured in our 2024 Lake Norman Visitors Guide!

Download your free copy HERE.