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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Monday, May 03, 2021

#4204 - The Hidden Door, Shoreline, WA - 5/2/2021

The Hidden Door, Shoreline, WA

It doesn't look like it from the outside -- and certainly not from the inside -- but this little building on the Shoreline side of the street dividing that city from Seattle, has been here since 1917 and hosted a bar since at least 1935. It has claimed to be hiding something for all of those 8+ decades, named with variations of "Hide-a-way" for 80-some years and now the "Hidden Door."

For the 25 years that I've lived some 3 miles south of it, the thing the establishment has been hiding is mostly gambling -- it was one of a string of tiny to medium sized casinos and card rooms living off the more liberal regulations north of Seattle city limit. But it's a very different place with a very different vibe in its latest incarnation. "BBQ, Booze & Bands" says their logo. Gone are the poker tables and plush carpet; in its place a homey decor that seems like your hippy friends' recording studio. Little sections of sofas, lamps, and edgy paintings. A pool table and pinball machines punctuate the roomy exterior with a music stage in the corner and sound booth across the way.

Even if the blues and rock music focus were not evident from the setup, as well as the Grateful Dead poster and psychedelic banner, it was plain when the owners had to deal with opening during a pandemic. The joint started live streaming music in May 2020, before serving any food or drink. After completing their build out they had a couple soft open days in July and officially opened their (hidden) doors on August 5th, 2020.

While the old Hideaway had a small porch overlooking the parking lot, the current version, perhaps out of COVID necessity as much as inspiration, has an expansive patio area on the parking lot below. The server was nice, and I liked my BBQ fine, but I may wait until COVID is more behind us before considering it an eating option, as I prefer to be outside and, at least on my visit, the entire patio tends to serve as one big smoking area. But I am much looking forward to having a funky new live music option whenever, God help us, some semblance of our old social life returns.

The Hidden Door, Shoreline, WA

Oh, and the door? It's not that hidden -- just in back ...

The Hidden Door, Shoreline, WA

14525 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133 - (206) 420-7285
Est. Aug 5, 2020 - Building constructed: 1917
Previous bars in this location: Hide-A-Way Beer Parlor / Tavern / Card Room / Casino, Redbird's Hideaway
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: yelp 

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