First Look: BSide Brings Fried Chicken and Community to City Park
Way back when record companies issued 45 rpm records in advance of a full album release, those little black discs had two sides; the A-side was the radio-friendly song that the producer hoped would become a hit. Songs on the B-side, however, weren't always considered a band's best work. But those B-sides featured songs that revealed a band making music because that's what they loved to do, and not necessarily for those songs to become hits. That's the tune that reverberates through the City Park neighborhood's newest restaurant, BSide, opened -- along with partners Ken Himel and Jonathan Bush -- by Star Bar owner Justin Lloyd. Lloyd says that philosophy touches everything you'll experience when you walk in the front door -- the cocktails, the beer, the food, the decor and the service.
Kevin Galaba The BSide opened Wednesday in City Park.
See Also: Star Bar Shines Again on Larimer Street
Lloyd opened Star Bar four and a half years ago on upper Larimer Street, and its casual, comfortable, accessible tone turned it into a popular gathering place. Two years ago, he started looking around for another location, but nothing felt right. Then he found something on the corner of 17th and Humboldt.
Kevin Galaba BSide took over the building at 17th and Humboldt, formerly Pasquini's Pizza
"I looked in different parts of town, but nothing ever materialized," he says. "This fell out of the sky a little bit. I checked it out and realized that the neighborhood was great and had a ton of potential. It actually reminded us a lot of Star Bar. I thought, 'Here's a great location. Here's a place that's been a little bit run down for a little while.' It just needed some love. It needed a vision, and a really strong purpose."
That location was home to pizza joint Serioz -- and Pasquini's before that. It was an old building with a lot of character; it wasn't flashy, or glamorous, or sexy. It was exactly what he was looking for. It was a B-side.
"It's actually three old houses that were all joined together at one point in time," Lloyd explains. "There were some intricacies and some quirkiness about the building just because of what it was and what it became. So, the transformation for us was really changing it from a pizza place to a restaurant and then realizing the different spaces and realizing how you could make the different spaces work."
"The thing that struck me the most was the way the bar was set up," he says. "It's the focal point, the middle of all the three house, and because of the way it was set up, I immediately thought 'family room'--something comfortable, something familiar, something nostalgic."
Keep reading for more on BSide, and for more photos...