Local couple tackles four food projects while also expecting their first child.
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Journalists get a lot of story ideas from Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, but there’s still nothing like getting a lead for a new story, or four, while you’re on the phone with a source for another story. And so it goes that while I was interviewing Aislin Kavaldjian about pub etiquette (see the December issue), she told me about the new project she signed on to: SideBar.
I called Olivia Schnibbe. She just changed her last name to match her husband, Nils, whom you might have heard of as the man (formerly) behind MacDowell Brew Kitchen and now co-owner of Captain Catoctin’s Crab & Concoctions.
SideBar will open in downtown Leesburg. It’s positioned as the go-to, all-day, all-night place for 7 a.m. grab-and-go coffee and pastries, sit-down daily breakfast, lunch, heavy snacking (not full dinner) and imbibing until 2 a.m.
“Get drinks till you can’t get drinks anymore,” is how Olivia Schnibbe put it. She found holes in the Leesburg scene, one of which is late night. She hopes to bring in brides, grooms and their friends for post-wedding partying and everyone else who can’t find a proper cocktail (not just a beer from a dive) in town. Kavaldjian is in charge of the cocktail program, which includes mixing housemade shrubs in a nod to the colonial-era building.
Out front is where Olivia Schnibbe hopes to fill another void: take-out. She’s building a walk-up window for orders of coffee, pastries and breakfast sandwiches and then salads and more sandwiches for lunch. Eventually, she hopes to keep serving into late night with burgers and desserts. For now, the plan is to open sometime before Thanksgiving.
As we discuss the food, her husband, who’s on speakerphone, chimes in, and they have a small back-and-forth, a sidebar, if you will, which is what the restaurant is named for—the private conversation between lawyers and judges—because of the nearby courthouse.
This may or may not have been when Nils Schnibbe dropped in something about the food at his forthcoming beer garden. And that’s just the start. The Schnibbes are after Loudoun. They already run the event cafe at Leesburg’s Morven Park, and to recap, Nils Schnibbe co-owns Captain Catoctin’s.
In the spring, find More Better Restaurant & Beer Garden open in Round Hill. A native of Germany, Nils Schnibbe will be serving German food (schnitzel, wurst, pretzels, his grandmother’s potato salad) plus burgers, cheese and charcuterie boards and the makings of a full restaurant.
The name is a reference to his broken English when he first arrived in the country. “When I came to this country I used to say that all the time,” in reference to the saying more better.
To start, More Better will offer the classic beer garden setup of communal outdoor seating, but eventually he hopes to expand with on-site brewing; more outdoor bars, including a rooftop bar and a dog park with its own bar; and a stage for live music.
That’s two projects underway, and this weekend, Nils Schnibbe will launch a food truck, SunDay Chicken. The menu lists about a dozen options, split between breakfast-all-day sandwiches (with something called a Nutella wafflewich) and chicken in plenty of versions: tenders, on a waffle, on a biscuit, grilled, breaded and turned vegetarian.
The official debut is at Vanish Farmwoods Brewery in Lucketts on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
This may or may not have been when we got into the fact that Oliva Schnibbe has a truck vision, too. She wants to take SideBar’s breakfast on the road, offering coffee and morning bites for corporate events and parents dropping kids off at school.
And this may or may not have been when the Schnibbes released the news about their most personal project: their first child is due in February.