The SideTrack Bar + Grill story started with a dream and a phone call.
For years, longtime Pleasanton resident Todd Utikal was on a journey to get back into the hospitality business and wanted to open a restaurant.
Before he became a restaurateur, Todd might have done your mortgage, booked you a cruise as your travel agent or you witnessed his natural ability to entertain a crowd – serving as host and auctioneer at a number of fundraisers throughout Pleasanton over the years.
The phone call Todd made was to Skip Hinsley, a connection a few times removed. A former restaurant owner himself, you may have known him from Pleasanton’s former Girasole or San Ramon’s Big Horn Grill. Skip was just finishing up a move to Arizona, where he was planning to continue to settle into the life of a retiree. Todd asked Skip if he was interested in opening a restaurant in downtown Pleasanton – and with a perfect location off Main Street, Skip could not say no.
From there, SideTrack was born, bringing burgers, sandwiches, salads and more to downtown along with a full bar, wine and craft beer.
While SideTrack sadly lost its co-founder and owner Skip in late 2019, Todd and his team remain inspired by his talent and passion for the restaurant industry. And, his contribution to SideTrack continues to live on through some of the signature dishes on the menu – including his famous Scoozzi bread, appropriately renamed to Skip’s Scoozzi.
Todd and SideTrack Chef Victor Escamilla continue to collaborate with the kitchen and bar team to offer a dining and drinking destination perfect for a night out with the family, happy hour, or a mid-day bite. Two outdoor patios (some of the largest downtown) are ideal for outdoor dining day and night – and are also dog friendly.
You might also see Todd’s wife or children working the floor – this is a family affair after all! In fact, you’ll often see Todd pulling up a chair to chat with his guests – a great reminder of what the SideTrack spirit is all about! The team is here seven days a week, offering lunch and dinner along with brunch on Sunday – inviting you to take a few moments to get sidetracked.