Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is reputable for its thriving bar and club scene. The liquor flows freely in varying venues within walking distance, offering different dives and dance spots for anyone’s taste in music and company. But as tipsy bachelorette parties and rowdy “bros” from wealthy boroughs crowd the neighborhood’s best date haunts, locals struggle to find a place to take their significant other out for a drink.
Luckily for locals, The Hideout on First Hill is nearby and still going strong.
Owners Greg Lundgren and Jeff Scott opened the bar in 2005 with the intent to provide a casual, cultured haven in which a Seattleite can enjoy a drink with friends or alone and feel totally at home. This goal is still a reality as regulars and newbies alike chat with each other and the bar’s friendly longtime staff.
The Hideout is pleasantly dark with blacked-out windows and thick curtains reminiscent of a speakeasy. Seating is conducive to conversation, with cozy couch nooks for larger parties and glass two-top tables. A long leather booth-bench stretches the length of the bar area beside candlelit tables, thawing the Seattle Freeze with ample opportunity to meet strangers beside you. The handsome wooden bar counter is spacious and inviting, set before an old-fashioned icebox packed with mixers and a well-stocked bar. The bathrooms are tattooed with graffiti and dingy as a dive bar, but sanitary.
The crowd is very laid back, mostly white, mostly straight, mostly introverted, and mostly in their thirties or forties. But those who break that mold are more than welcome and have a comfortable space to unwind.
Most of all, The Hideout is famous for its enormous collection of paintings along its high walls. The artwork, ranging from cute to macabre, gives first date patrons a great icebreaker topic.
Don’t go to The Hideout to order a bottled beer or glass of wine. Take advantage of their expert mixologists by asking for the upscale Perfect Pear with pear brandy, gin, and lemon, or an earthy Lost Button with Hungarian zwack, orange bitters, and rye. The Andy Warhol is a well-made Cosmo and a Polaroid photo of you two lovebirds.
Many bars blast their music too loudly for you to hear your date, but The Hideout keeps the jams down to a pleasant din. Their underground music is at the perfect volume to be a topic of discussion without impeding conversation. DJs spin funk and soul every Monday night, Karaoke is hosted on first Sundays, and live bands play every so often.
Enjoy your booze, make memories with your date, and relish your escape in The Hideout.