Enjoy a virtual happy hour in downtown Farmington, from anywhere

At 3 p.m. every day, it’s happy hour at Sidecar Slider Bar in downtown Farmington.

While Michigan’s March 16 ban on dine-in services eliminated the bar and restaurant’s ability to serve their customers drinks and enjoy a friendly chat across the bar top, the state’s shutdown of services hasn’t extended online.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced us to socially distance ourselves from one another, but it can’t stop us from being social.

It started on Tuesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. In an effort to reach out to its customers, Sidecar hoisted a pint of Guinness by way of Facebook Live. Feedback was so good that the bar now offers a virtual happy hour every day at 3 p.m.

It is, of course, a BYOB event.

"I hope it gives people a sense of normalcy. One of the things we like best about Sidecar is chatting with our guests," says Angela Pelc, co-owner of the Farmington Sidecar.

"I hope it’s a way for people to get to know us and us to get to know them.

"We can bring Sidecar to them."

The restaurant has been running carry-out service since the shutdown, albeit with restricted hours.

For now, it’s just the Pelc family behind the bar, though Angela says that employees have been coming in to make food for themselves.

"It’s been us co-owners running the carry out service. Me, my husband Scott, and our son Bradley, who’s 11," says Pelc.

Though many things have changed, Sidecar plans to continue its First Responders Eat Free program, which offers free meals to first responders on the first of the month.

And if customers miss chatting with the Pelcs, just tune in every day at 3 p.m. or stop by for carry-out.

They’ll be open.

"We still have bills to pay. And we want to be there for the community, too. Sliders make people happy," Pelc says.

"We didn’t want to totally shut down. We’re going to keep it going as long as we can."

Sidecar Slider Bar is located at 32720 Grand River Ave. in downtown Farmington.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.