Reload is essentially a "soft restart." It reloads the templates of plugins and recompiles the CSS, but doesn't actually shut down the server. The restarting shuts down the process and starts it back up.
Global Sidebar vs Category Sidebar
I think that there used to be a way to do widgets for both global and individual categories. I don't see the ability to do this (anymore?) Is there a way to enable this?
You can register new widget areas but need some theme coding
You will have to fork the theme and modify it to use widgets.
It has some, just not many.