I don’t remember how I first ended up at The Hideaway, but there must have been a lot of alcohol involved. My sober self had always been leery of the little dive bar as I passed by on my way to Gunther’s Ice Cream, its much more wholesome neighbor.
I can forgive my younger self for being intimidated. The Hideaway has a reputation as a biker bar, with a line of hogs seemingly always parked outside the front entrance. Having never touched a motorcycle, I felt much more comfortable buying my $8 pour of craft beer at more reputable and brightly lit drinking holes. I thought that if I stepped foot inside The Hideaway, every occupant would sniff me out as Not One of Them. Conflict avoidant as I am, I put The Hideaway on my “not for me” list.
Yet somehow I found myself posted up one evening at a booth in the back of this forbidding dive bar, demolishing a plate of deep-fried pickles with a gaggle of friends. Not long after, I returned, this time to chug cheap beer in the back-patio tiki hut. Soon, I was popping by for a beer and a burger every few months.
Turns out The Hideaway crew isn’t a bunch of scary bikers. Punks, rockabillies, neighborhood barflies and foodies can be seen congregating there on any given night. The loud jukebox music, cheap drinks and pinup-girl posters on the walls make it an appealing stop for your general crust-punk crowd, but the juicy burgers, broad vegetarian menu and those Olympia beer-battered pickles make it a certifiable culinary diamond in the rough.
The Jason Royale burger, with its garlic-crusted patty and house-made barbecue sauce, is the obvious star of the show. Like every burger on the menu, it drips with fat and flavor and is perfect for soaking up the rum from all the tiki drinks you should be simultaneously downing. Lately, I’ve preferred ordering off the vegetarian menu, if only for the strangely enticing combination of kiwi, beets and Gorgonzola-dill sauce on the Sacto Soul Rebels sandwich.
Considering how good the food is (and how much fun the rock-’n’-roll vibe is), I regret not becoming a fan of The Hideaway sooner. Don’t be scared of this tough little dive bar. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
2565 Franklin Blvd.; (916) 455-1331