If you’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community and you’re new to town, make sure to stop in at Sidewinders Bar & Grill in Nob Hill. One of the titans in the Albuquerque queer community, the bar is always throwing on events and hosting a good time. Owners, as well as spouses, Michael and Renato Renee Estacio-Burdick have created one of the city’s primetime queer-safe establishments.
Sidewinders has gone through a transition period over the pandemic. Closing their old spot pre-COVID in February, only to get spurred by bad luck with plans of re-opening in March, the two started to move toward online food ordering. During this time the Sidewinders owners opened four ghost kitchens to help carry them through the pandemic. But that hasn’t kept Sidewinders from putting together some fun times.
Regardless of the tough road Sidewinders has been on since the lockdowns, it still retains its reputation for being a haven for anyone down for the LGBTQ+ scene. But even before the madness of COVID-19, the two owners consistently maintained their convivial image for almost a decade.
“Approximately seven years ago, when we took over Sidewinders, the whole idea we wanted to do was to become a queer space, and by queer, we mean anything outside the hetero-normative normal,” Michael said. “So anybody who’s cool with that is always welcome, no matter what your sexuality is, but you better be down with the queers.”
No hate and all love. That’s what made me fall in love with this place. It’s cool, it’s progressive, and there’s no room for negative vibes. It’s a place where differences can be set aside and everyone can have a good time. Especially during Pride Month, a month celebrating the gay community and culture. Sidewinders is known for throwing epic Pride parties.
“During this year’s Pride, Friday through Sunday we will be coordinating with Pride to host an event here at Sidewinders or the LGBTQ+ Center,” Michael said. “Since no permits were being issued last year, they weren’t able to host the normal festivities. Now that permits are being issued, it takes around one to two months. So we’re working together to streamline the events.”
As Michael and Renato continue developing the LGBTQ+ and Albuquerque community, I hear about more and more people checking out their menu. Not only through reputation, but they also feature a pretty eclectic menu featuring Philipino classics with a fusion twist like the Pork Adobo which is a classic sour Filipino stew of marinated pork belly. Renato pays homage to his heritage with a number of South Asian specialties like the Hawaiian Loco Moco, which features homemade beef patties served on rice with egg and brown gravy and Kamehameha mac salad. Check out their selection of tasty cocktails with your Sunday brunch, which is perfect for Pride Month.
Put this place on your summer to-do list. I know Michael and Renato will definitely appreciate it.
Sidewinders Bar and Grill
4200 Central Ave. SE
Neighborhood: Nob Hill
Category: Bar and grill
Phone: (505) 494-5673