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article number 42
article date 08-12-2011
copyright 2011 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Sidney Saloon: Adding to the Social Atmosphere of Sidney Illinois
by Stu Moment

The decline in the amount of small town businesses over the last 40 years is not necessarily accompanied by a decline in local food establishments, although a lunchtime crowd would be missing since so many people now work in larger cities. Many small towns maintain a successful restaurant or restaurant/bar, but Sidney had been missing a restaurant for a long time.

The Sidney Saloon opened in late 2005 and has progressed from just a bar with a pizza oven to a restaurant/bar with a grill. But a restaurant/bar can be much more than food and drink. A food establishment can give a boost to the social atmosphere of a town. Sidney Saloon gives Sidney quite a social boost.

There has been a progression over the last 6 years in its acceptance by many town folk. In the beginning, most customers were the middle age crowd, coming in after work or after the kids were put to bed. Then on weekends, the young crowd began to occupy the Saloon in the late night hours. (Hey … they are going to be partying anyway. It’s better to have them closer to home than 15 miles away in the big twin cities of Champaign/Urbana.)

Then came a real kitchen and menu. Now, it’s great to see elders, parents and kids eating together … oh, and the young crowd too … seems it’s not uncool to be seen with your parents at the Sidney Saloon.


The food is not exquisite but it can be very good. Management keeps improving the menu and has done a great job given constraints of stocking perishable goods as well as maintaining a low priced menu with a variety to ensure all customers are happy.

During the dinner hour you will see many carry-out orders as parents who just got home from work don’t have to cook every night when there is the Sidney Saloon within walking distance.


Entertainment includes bingo and euchre tournaments in the fall and winter as well as bands and DJ’s Thursday through Saturday evenings.


Thursday evening entertainment is a refreshingly early, a band which plays from 7 to 10 PM. The band which plays country, blues and some rockabilly, brings in people from other towns as well as the country dwellers. It’s great to meet new people and they are nice people. Maybe they’re in a good mood because Sidney gives a laid back atmosphere to this social environment … plus the beer and food is cheap … you can have a great time for less than 10 bucks … make that 12 bucks after tipping the wait staff.


A friend of mine who lives out in the country, about 2 miles from Sidney, commented that the town folk seem more friendly since the Sidney Saloon opened. Well, I’m sure that they were always friendly … but socializing, conversing about you work, your activities and upcoming town events makes people more familiar with each other … more friendly with each other. One thing’s for sure … the Sidney Saloon is more that just a food and beverage business in a small town. It adds wonderfully to the social atmosphere of Sidney Illinois.

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