Close to the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Channel Road sits a black-walled, understated building decorated simply with a painted martini glass and a classic neon bar sign that says “Cocktails.”
On Thursdays, wailing crooners can be heard inside this watering hole at the junction of Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica. It's time for karaoke night at The Hideout.
Placed near a handful of popular restaurants, The Hideout attracts a mix of young professionals, amused hipsters, nearby residents and affluent middle-agers who come to partake in a well-needed evening drink while enduring a major butchering of their favorite one-hit wonders.
Walking into the bar, you are greeted by Vincent DiMeola, the friendliest and most charismatic doorman around. He has the power to instantly put a smile on your face.
The place looks like your typical bar. The interior is colored crimson red and its soft lighting, dark curtains and booth table setups offer a romantic feel. The venue also houses an upstairs lounge for private parties.
Opened in 2007, the venue teeters on the edge between dive and lounge and refreshingly lacks any sort of pretentiousness. It's no surprise that customers adore The Hideout.
“It’s not overcrowded, people are great and I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” said Jeff Feldner, a regular customer.
During Thursday karaoke nights, The Hideout doesn’t start getting its groove on until 11 p.m., when enthused guests and cheerful tipplers grace the middle of the disco floor. In between karaoke sets, DJ Gold Dust blares popular hits that you can feel vibrate through your toes.
Out back on the patio, smokers engage in conversation and everyone seems to be in happy spirits.
“I’ve been five years' sober and I still come down here and pay six bucks to valet my truck just to hang out,” said customer Mike Diduri.
It’s no secret this place is a winner. On its song-filled karaoke nights, the bar offers specials such as $3 Coronas and $6 Patron shots. For a couple of dollars more, the appropriately named “Junebug” cocktail satisfies thirsty customers. Bartender Niko Vitacco effortlessly mixes Malibu rum, banana liqueur, Midori, pineapple juice and splashes of soda water and lime juice into a delicious concoction. Although on the sweet side, this drink gets the job done and leaves you with a gratifying buzz.
In addition to happy singers and a good crowd, The Hideout has a bar-top dancer named Amie Nicole whose fit body and lovely sway makes it hard not to stare. The bar also offers free tacos (catered by Byron’s) on karaoke nights, fulfilling late-night cravings for munchies.
Good drinks, good food, not-so-good singing but good people. At The Hideout, you can’t go wrong.
This article first appeared on Pacific Palisades Patch.