The Hideout – First Hill

The Hideout Bar Artwork

ARTWORK • CREATIVITY • COCKTAILS

THE HIDEOUT
1005 Boren Ave | First Hill
OPEN: 4-2 M-F, 6-2 weekends
HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 M-F

Who says there’s no good art in Seattle? The Hideout has plenty of it! That’s not to say that every one of the hundred-or-so paintings covering its walls are masterpieces, but many of them are indeed fantastic—and surely, each one contributes to the whole effect of this gallery and turns this bar itself into a work of art.

The paintings aren’t the only visually pleasing or creative aspects of this bar: The glowing red retro-fridge and fancy-pants chandeliers are nice touches as well, and a tall vending machine contains asinine things that you might find in a truck-stop bathroom dispenser or head shop.

Couches are on both sides of the main entrance, with red velvet drapes between themselves and the windows.

The cocktail menu is also full of creativity, and is divided into two categories— present loves and past loves. We tried a 24 Hours of Sun and a Sunset Over Lisbon (we must have itching for warmer weather) from the present loves side, and from the past loves, a drink called the Andy Warhol, which is a classic Cosmo that comes with a Polaroid of your self.

HU_orange HEADS UP

You can purchase many of the paintings on the wall—but not all.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

The cocktails here are excellent, but take a long time to make. Be patient, as the friendly bar staff tries to keep up on busy nights—which happen to be most nights.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

Right outside the men’s room is a display cabinet that contains hand puppets arranged in way that’s reminiscent of mall shopping windows during Christmas. Inside the men’s room, the walls are covered with Beavis-and-Butthead-esque cartoon character graffiti. The ladies’ is hot pink and black, with an antique mirror and a door that isn’t always locked when you think it is. Both are single-use, and a bit on the gross and divey side.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

You wouldn’t know it from its exterior, but The Hideout is an artistic haven with well-above-average cocktails. This is a bar that begs to be shown off to friends.

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bar 3 of 3 on 2/21/14: Vito’s | Quarter Lounge | The Hideout

Quarter Lounge – First Hill

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BILLIARDS • POP ROCK • CHEAP

QUARTER LOUNGE
909 Madison Street | First Hill
OPEN: 3-2 daily
HAPPY HOUR: 3-7 & 11-2 Sun-Th, 3-7 F-Sat

We instantly felt at home in this bar. The corporate rock jukebox mix, undimmed lighting, sports on the TVs, and friendly bartenders and patrons told us that this is a place where we can take a  break from the usual hipness of the bar scene. Quarter Lounge is a dive, but it’s by no means dirty or seedy. It was, however, as cold in here as it was outside, forcing us to keep our coats on.

Quarter Lounge is divided into two spaces: the bar room with two TVs and one of those new-fangled jukeboxes, and a rec room up a small flight of steps that’s home to two pool tables.

At one point in this bar’s history it was more committed to a Creole theme, but today it could be easily mistaken for an Irish pub. In fact, it wasn’t until later that we realized that this bar’s name is probably a reference to the French Quarter in New Orleans, and not the method of payment used to play billiards.

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Our jaws dropped and our eyes popped out of our skulls when we saw how cheap the cocktails and wine were. We were even more impressed when we saw Mandy’s $4 wine glasses were filled to the brim! Adam had three pints of Mac & Jack’s African Amber, and, in true dive bar fashion, each was served in a different style cup.

HU_orange HEADS UP

Free pool every Wednesday. If you’re desperate, Quarter Lounge has pizza, corn dogs, and popcorn (they used to feature Cajun cuisine).

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

Wine, beer, cocktails—just about every drink is $5 or under. You’ll get your money’s worth here!

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

The private men’s and women’s rooms are minimally decorated and cleaner than you’d expect.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

Every neighborhood deserves at least one bar like this—a no fuss, friendly dive—and you won’t leave here feeling ripped off.

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bar 2 of 3 on 2/21/14: Vito’s | Quarter Lounge | The Hideout

Vito’s – First Hill

Artwork outside of Vito's Seattle

ITALIAN • OLD-SCHOOL • PIANO

VITO’S
927 Ninth Ave | First Hill
OPEN: 4-2 daily
HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 daily

While planning out a First Hill barhop, we were conflicted on whether to make Vito’s our first stop and eat dinner there, or make it our last stop and catch some live lounge music. We opted for the former, knowing that we wouldn’t survive bar-one if we didn’t get some food in our bellies. 

We arrived at Vito’s soon after they opened and sat at a cozy table in the middle of the restaurant, with the double-sided bar at our tweleve o’clock, the piano and disco ball stage at our three, the entrance at our six, and a row of red leather booths at our nine.

We each ordered a different pasta dish; both were very spicy, small-portioned, and not as good as the price would suggest.

The Goodfellas vibe and poodle-skirt playlist weren’t the only things about this bar that were old school—we were easily the youngest patrons in this packed bar, which has not been the case seen we moved out to Seattle. We felt like we were at one of the many “Sinatra bars” back in our hometown in Ohio.

HU_orange HEADS UP

Vito’s has live music acts every day, Wednesday through Sunday. There’s a “Cougar Room” (named after its stuffed-cougar centerpiece) that you can reserve for private parties.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

We ordered a house red for happy hour, but our server explained that the house wine isn’t the happy hour wine, and suggested that the more expensive house wine was the better option. This had us pondering the purpose of a happy hour. We also had a Cowboy Logic—a strong tequila cocktail that tasted like an old man’s aftershave.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

There’s some sophisticated, opposite-sex nude art in each of these fancy rooms.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

On one hand, Vito’s is a classy, classic joint that offers near-nightly entertainment. On the other hand, we found the food and drinks to be overhyped and overpriced. We’ll have to come back later some evening during a performance and see if we get a more favorable impression of this bar.

Vito's First Hill Seattle

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bar 1 of 3 on 2/21/14: Vito’s | Quarter Lounge | The Hideout