Editor’s Note: Kicks presents 20Q, a feature that introduces readers to people involved in the area’s arts and entertainment community. Compiled by kicks Editor Greg Little, each piece will include a short bio, photo and answers to questions that provide insight into not only that person’s artistic interests but also his or her unique personality.
Family is important to Mo Sikich, and he considers it the driving force behind his desire to grow his local bar business.
The Janesville native credits his business aspirations to his grandfathers, each of whom ran his own successful operation, and from working at Owen Vending, a company his family owned until his mid-20s.
Sikich attended Marian University in Fond du Lac, where he played soccer and earned a business management degree. He then went to work for a brokerage company but realized he wasn’t happy working for someone else.
Sikich bought what is now Mo’s TAASBAG, 2339 Milton Ave., Janesville. Along with running the bar, he maintained his job at the brokerage firm—leaving after he bought the former Hhffrrrggh Inn. He recently reintroduced that establishment as Sidelines Sports Pub & Grill, 731 S. Wuthering Hills Drive, Janesville.
Sikich lives in Janesville with his wife, Nicole, their 10-year-old daughter, Brynn, and 8-year-old son, Michael.
To learn more, search for “Mo’s TAASBAG” on Facebook or visit SidelinesPubAndGrill.com.
1. If you could master any skill, what would it be? Mechanics. I hate the fact that I am unable to fix things on my own. I would love to look at something and be able to fix it on the spot.
2. In one word, describe the bar business in Janesville? Challenging.
3. You recently reopened the former Hhffrrrggh Inn as Sidelines Pub & Grill. What prompted the decision for the overhaul? I love the bar business and wanted to open up a bar on the east side that most people can use and enjoy.
4. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Have you always been that way, or did something cause it to change? I have always been an early bird. As a child, I could never stay up as late as my brother or friends, but I was always the first one up in the morning.
5. Along with Sidelines, you also own Mo’s TAASBAAG. What would you be doing for a living if you weren’t a bar owner? I would be in sales of some sort. I have always enjoyed people and figuring out ways to get them what they want.
6. Share the best business advice you’ve ever received? Never make anyone do something you wouldn’t or haven’t done yourself.
7. If you were cryogenically frozen for 100 years, what would be your first question upon being defrosted? “Where is my family?” I have always believed my friends and family are the most important things in my life, and I would want to know if they could possibly still be around.
8. Years ago, bars brought in live music to entertain patrons. While they still do, it seems karaoke, trivia and paint nights have become more prominent. Are you a big believer in having this sort of variety, or is music still the best option for taverns? Variety is always best. You can’t please everyone with just music, so doing other things to draw a crowd or entertain as much of the demographic as possible is usually best.
9. Name one TV show/movie/book people rave about that you have absolutely no interest in watching/seeing/reading? “Twilight” or “Harry Potter.” I have not ever gotten into fictitious or vampire-type stuff.
10. Do you have a green thumb? Absolutely, I have a green thumb. I have always done all of my own landscaping and yard projects.
11. Have you ever traced your family’s genealogy? Where do your ancestors come from? Croatia is where my lineage is.
12. What is the one thing you simply couldn’t live without? Sports. I love everything about sports—the competition, camaraderie and entertainment I get from almost every sport.
13. People would be surprised to know that I: Was an accounting tutor in college.
14. Name one item that goes into your cart at the grocery store whether you need it or not? Gum.
15. Name one item for which it’s worth spending more to get the very best? TV. I have always wanted the biggest flat-screen TV possible for my house.
16. Without looking it up, what would you to guess is the definition for dipsophobia? Fear of dumb people. (Note: Dipsophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of drinking alcohol.)
17. There is an effort in place to potentially lower the drinking age to 19. Is this a good or bad idea? It’s a tough question. If you can vote or fight for our country, you should be able to have a beer. Nineteen is still very young and could cause some extra problems for bar owners, but that is my job to control my crowd and make it entertaining and enjoyable for everyone.
18. When are the very best and worst times to be a bar owner? For the most part, every day is the best time to be a bar owner. Entertaining people and making them happy is a great feeling. There is nothing better then being at your packed place with people enjoying themselves.
19. Aside from your own bars, is there another bar or bars in Janesville that you visit from time to time? I have many friends in the industry and enjoy spending time at their bars. East Point Sportz Pub, Game Day, Riley’s and Deano’s to name a few.
20. Is your glass half empty or half full? Full. Why live life with a negative, half-empty attitude?