The Side Quest, located in Lakewood, is an adventure of its own. The first thing I noticed when I walked in is how similar it is to the Leaky Cauldron (from the third Harry Potter book/movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). The bar itself is dim yet warmly lit, and–on a Tuesday night at least–is never fully crowded but is still filled with friendly conversation and gusts of laughter.
When I asked Harmony, the lovely bartender who has been working at Side Quest since July, what her favorite decoration at Side Quest is, she said, “The demogorgon’s pretty cool,” referring to the man-sized replica of monster from the first season of Stranger Things that stood just behind me. Harmony agreed with me when I said it had a nice ass.
With a wall of board games, geeky references adorning nearly every surface, and delightful drinks, you’re sure to find a good time here. I got “the last pearbender,” Mack Jack’s blood orange ginger cider, and Original Sin’s Black Widow, which is one of the best things that I’ve ever drank from a can. It’s potent and tastes like blackberries, so I was in love.
I was on the Black Widow, watching “Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling” with a regular named Joe when Kyle got in. Harmony stopped by to watch when she wasn’t needed by a customer. She mentioned that every Wednesday, they host trivia night. It changes weekly, but in the past they’ve done wrestling, Bruce Campbell, and sex ed trivia. You can find their calendar of events here.
Poor Kyle, though, had to sit through the remaining ten or so minutes of the twenty-five minute wrestling video with absolutely no context. I think he even asked why we were watching it, but I can barely remember how we got on the topic of wrestling to begin with. I had my laptop out, working on my poetry chapbook, and Joe recommended that I watch the video for a crash course in wrestling history, so bam. Wrestling video. (Also, I was waiting for Kyle to get out of class. That’s what I get for showing up two hours early to a rendezvous.)
After that was over, Kyle ordered his drink and some of their tofu wings (I don’t know what he thought of his buffalo wings, but my barbecue wings were fantastic), and we just kind of hung out at the bar and drank our drinks. I had to turn to lemonade because I had quite a long drive home, and drinking and driving isn’t cool, kids.
The Side Quest, overall, is a wonderful, welcoming bar, perfect for geeks and those who enjoy watching random movies on an absolutely giant television. If you’re there when Harmony is, by the way, ask, “Can I get laid?” for a nice glass of lemonade. She’ll love it.