Here’s what you may have missed about Carbondale’s bar scene during winter break

Heres what you may have missed about Carbondales bar scene during winter break

By Shannon Allen, @ShannonAllen_DE

Sidetracks Bar & Grill will temporarily have a second location and a new liquor store is coming to town. Those are just some of the nightlife developments Carbondale residents and SIU students will notice during the next year.

Sidetracks is moving

Sidetracks Bar & Grill will gain a location in the former home of Gatsby’s Bar by this summer. The bar will shorten its name to “Trax.”


Carbondale plans to turn the current location of Sidetracks, 101 W. College St., into a parking lot by May 2017. Sidetracks and Trax will both be open for business until then, Bryan Woodruff said.

Woodruff, who has been the bar’s general manager since 2005, said he has mixed emotions about the move.

“I’ve put a lot of time into Sidetracks over the years, and some of the closest friends I have, I met through Sidetracks,” Woodruff said. “But I am also excited for the new opportunity and I think our business will continue to do well.”

A new restaurant is headed to the Strip

An Indian cuisine restaurant that doubles as a liquor store will open next to El Greco by July. The liquor store will be named “American Tap Liquors,” but the name of the restaurant is still undecided.

Srini Gundala, owner of the restaurant and store, said his business will sell premium alcohol such as bourbon, craft beer and wine from local and national vineyards, including Blue Sky in Makanda and Walker’s Bluff in Carterville. 

“My idea of downtown is to draw crowds from all areas,” said Gundala, who came to America 20 years ago from Vizianagaram, India. “I hope this restaurant and liquor store can accomplish that.”


Levels and Saluki Bar are open again

After being closed for the past eight months for remodeling, Levels and Saluki Bar & Grill reopened on New Year’s Eve.

Renovations include a patio outside of Saluki Bar, raised ceilings, a wider variety of whiskey and improved lighting, sound systems and furniture, manager Elizabeth Deschamps said. The wall separating the two bars was also removed.

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Deschamps said with the patio, the bars collectively hold 1,680 people — more than double the original 700-person capacity.

Austin Knoob, owner of both establishments, said the renovations cost about $500,000.

“It’s closer to what I want, but there are still a few things I would like to do,” Knoob said. “We have nearly 200 whiskeys, but even that doesn’t seem like enough. The food menu is close to where I want it, but I also see something that could be expanded upon.”

Shannon Allen can be reached at 618-536-3325, [email protected] or on Twitter @ShannonAllen_DE