Neighborhood Bar Offers Food, Fun

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When Tony Gianndrea moved to Pine, he thought the corner of the Beeline and Hardcastle would be a good place for a neighborhood bar.

A bar where patrons could watch the playoffs, play a hand version of shuffleboard or meet for a conversation over hot wings and a beer.

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Bartender Carol McMillan serves up a couple of cold ones at the Sidewinders Saloon in Pine.

A year after Gianndrea had the thought, Sidewinders Saloon was built. He purchased it in March of 2005.

"Every day is a different story," said Gianndrea with a laugh on the topic of bar ownership.

He is a hands-on owner who knows a good share of his patrons by name and is there to greet them with a smile and a wave.

He has 10 years of experience in the bar business, mostly in New Jersey.

Passing under the colorfully painted snakes, patrons enter the full-service bar through swinging doors adorned with stained glass windows. They are surrounded by a cowboy country atmosphere. Beer bottles serve as vases for daisies, and next to the flowers on the wooden tables are stands of paper towels.

"We serve a lot of wings here and wings are messy," said Gianndrea with a smile.

The current menu includes the ever-popular hot wings and eight other appetizers to go with the many meal choices.

His vision for the Sidewinders is to make it more of a restaurant and a sports bar rather than just a sports bar with a 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily happy hour.

"All the food is fresh, and once we expand the kitchen we will add more dinners to the menu," bartender Carol McMillan said.

A long table with no chairs is located along the east wall. The table is covered with a fine layer of silica beads.

"It's the only shuffleboard table on the mountain," Gianndrea said, releasing a puck with his hand down the length of the table towards the score line.

And if shuffleboard is not a patron's mug-o-beer, patrons can aim for bulls-eyes on the dart board, score with the pinball machine or rack the balls for a game of pool.

Wednesday evenings, patrons can play in a mixed pool league, but Thursday tournament is reserved for the ladies.

There's lots of beginners, everybody helps each other and some women even drive up from Tonto Basin, said McMillan.

Texas Hold ‘Em poker is the Tuesday tradition.

Karaoke is coming back to the Friday night line up.

Most Saturday nights, there is a band. Usually it is Silverstar, playing country music with a little bit of rock and roll.

Next Saturday, Silverstar will begin playing at 1 p.m. as motorcycle owners and members of ABATE (American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education) come together.

Sunday mornings at 10:30, motorcycle riders gather. By 11 a.m., they have decided on a road and are ready to roll.

Sidewinders Saloon is located at 6112 W. Hardscrabble Road in Pine. The telephone number is (928) 476-6464. It is open from 9:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.

"It's just a fun place to be," Gianndrea said. "We try to give people something to do in this little burg."

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