Scott Sibbick turned his love of the West into a new job. The Steel Horse Saloon opened at 630 Washington Ave. in June.
Just off Scrub Oak Road and not far from the dealership on Washington Ave., the saloon celebrated its grand opening last week with a ribbon-cutting.
The Western-themed bar with kitchen pays homage to Sibbick’s love of the West. “I have gone out west to Utah. I love Western movies,” said Sibbick, acknowledging the photographs of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood that hang on the walls. The interior also has a leather bridle and a Western saddle—this, equipment Siddick used when he had horses on his four-acre property in Wallingford.
Although Sibbick, who has headed a construction company, had previously worked as a bartender, his wife Wendy, a physical therapist, and daughter Brittany had not. Earlier this year, all three graduated from the Bartenders Academy in Waterbury, with Wendy lauding her score of 97 on the written test.
The Sibbicks’ son David also takes part in the operations as music and entertainment manager.
The Western décor shifts in the Saloon’s back room, which Siddick views as more of a sports room. With its pool table and NASCAR artifacts, it is, as Siddick said, a “little different.”
To date, according to Siddick, the bar has attracted customers that range in age from 21 to 87 and a clientele he describes as “very eclectic. Some college students, some engineers, some construction workers.”
Wife Wendy, whom Siddick termed a great cook, has created the four barbecue sauces and other items like the salsa that spice up the food served from the saloon’s kitchen. The operation uses one of her sauces in its signature dish, the Steel Horse Saloon burger.
And whether it’s the kitchen that stays open until late at night or the seasonal drinks served at the bar (pumpkin ale, Siddick said, will arrive on Thursday), the saloon has already attracted a crowd of regulars, who voice their positive opinions on the saloon’s popular Facebook page.
With a location near the , Siddick looks forward to the upcoming start of the fall semester and the potential for customers from the students there. In addition, fall will bring Monday Night Football, which Siddick plans to air, and the onset of the saloon’s pool and dart leagues.
One misconception that Siddick is at pains to correct is that the Steel Horse Saloon is a ‘biker bar.’ Although he said both he and wife ride motorcycles and that those who ride motorcycles are welcome, he said the saloon is “really like a restaurant with a nice bar—a friendly, very comfortable place.”
“I will get rid of that stereotype,” he said.
Now, if only the facade had a pair of those batwing doors.
The Steel Horse Saloon is open Wednesdays through Mondays, with longer hours on weekends. It is closed on Tuesday.