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Getting Unsocial

It’s becoming a bigger issue as time moves forward, we are all engulfed in those little handheld screens. Although a text can be convenient, it’s the tone or expression on a face that the screen time is lacking. There is a special quality about face to face interactions, so much so that a hometown café is trying to bring it back.

If you’ve been to Sideboard in Lafayette, California, you would know where the name originates from.

“That piece of furniture where our Grandmother kept everything for us to set our table where we enjoyed her lovingly prepared homemade meals. Today we share that tradition in a casual unpretentious atmosphere where you can still find everything on the sideboard to set your table” Taken from Sideboard’s website.

This casual, best-friend style has made Sideboard an extremely memorable third place over the years. So why would the lack of tableside service, be so well received?

Three basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Sideboard hits all three with their delicious food, warm atmosphere, and handcrafted drinks. These are the easy ones; off the top of your head but could there be a fourth one? Social connection. Humans are configured to need social connections and relate to others. Matthew Liberman, Ph.D. in phycology from Harvard states,

“socially connected will be a lifelong need, like food and warmth.”

Dr. Liberman goes in depth about our social superpowers (you can watch his Ted Talk here), and in a short version, our need to connect socially is no accident.

Sideboard has been combining these elements for over 10 years. They’ve been keeping you full in more ways than you thought with friendly warm vibes versed with the casual neighborhood setting, substituting the preset table with a sideboard. Sideboard even takes advantage of Plaza Park, which sits across from their restaurant and offers picnic style. You can order food and they will deliver it in a picnic basket while sitting in the sun or listening to live music. New and returning customers keep Sideboard as their go-to place due to our inherent need for social connection (great food too). Our opportunity to gather at the Sideboard (or park), gets us off those screens, and have us present in the moment. Fulfilling our fourth need: a social connection.

About Park Plaza Shops: Located in the center of Lafayette, situated with a lush park, Park Plaza Shops is positioned to serve the distinctive and affluent communities of Lafayette, Orinda, and Moraga. As the heart of Downtown Lafayette, Park Plaza shops offers a neighborhood atmosphere, with delicious food and shopping. This short street contains modest buildings of a style reminiscent of California’s pioneer days. Park Plaza is the historic, geographic and symbolic center of Lafayette and is the destination of many Downtown Lafayette community events.

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