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Sidebar is worth the wait

The wait is over. After weeks of tweaking and perfecting, Sidebar, the new coffee and gelato bar in Capital Square mall, has finally opened its doors.

The sleek hangout is located across from Big City Burgers and Greens -- you can’t miss its fresh, modern design and bright red chairs. Old-school funk music will bring you in while delicious pick-me-ups will leave you there to stay.

“We wanted a minimal menu,” says Esther Lang, 23, Pastry Chef at Sidebar. “It lets us do a few things really well. We want to be able to take everything one step further.”

Coffee drinks, included. We’re talking mochas, espresso and macchiatos. Make it hot or iced, then personalize with extras like Irish creme, dark chocolate and caramel sauce.

Headed for happy hour? With pre-prohibition-style cocktails inspired by famous authors throughout history -- the Jack Rose (Steinbeck), the Gin Rickey (Fitzgerald) and the Old Fashioned (Twain) -- the drink menu is unlike any other in DSM.

And did we mention they have gelato drinks? Gelato, people. It’s imported from Italy, so you know it’s good. More basic? They’ve got wine and beer, too.

As for food, the menu may be small, but the flavor is on point. They serve everything from pastries and breakfast sandwiches to meat and cheese plates, plus a snack of the day.

And you can always count on your order to be Instagram-ready. My lunch buddy and I ordered a mocha ($3, small), an Americano ($3, small), two breakfast sandwiches ($4.50 each), monkey bread ($3) and the snack of the day ($7): crusty baguette rubbed with tomato, salt and olive oil topped with whipped ricotta and colorful garden tomatoes.

My fave? Everything. The “light” egg sandwich was both savory and sweet, thanks to roasted tomatoes and a homemade remoulade. Plus, it’s vegetarian-friendly. If you’re looking for a blast from the past, finish with the monkey bread. Sticky, sweet and totally cavity-inducing, it’s childhood on a fork. Wash it down with a mocha for the perfect fall pairing.

Find it: 400 Locust St., Suite 130

Hours: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Saturday