Not to be confused with the Fireside Bowl
, the Fireside Restaurant surprises the restaurant-goer on many levels. It appears as just another small bar in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Once inside, however, you can close your eyes and surrender yourself to a world of pure imagination. Just kidding. While there are no Wonka-esque shenanigans at Fireside, there is plenty of food and alcohol, and more importantly, plenty of room in which one can consume them.
There are three separate rooms, each of a considerable size, that give you your pick of environs. The dining room is filled with many tables, classy adornments and the fireplace that allows for true "fireside" dining. Next on the left is the bar, occupied by big-screen TVs and a jukebox. The bar counter takes up a decent amount of space, but there are still plenty of tables on the side where you can drink or eat. Past the bar in the back is the all-weather outdoor garden; in wintertime, heaters are used to keep it warm.
The events at Fireside are truly eventful. Sunday offers the "Build your own Bloody Mary bar" with more than a mind-boggling 100 different ingredients; Leinenkugels are always $2.50 (something that should make my Minnesota friends happy); and if you are a repeat customer, you can take advantage of Fireside's rewards programs. One unfortunate last surprise is that the entrees at Fireside are in the $15-$20 range. However, pizzas, pastas and appetizers set you back much less and are definitely tasty.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jon Graef