Conde Nast: How to Support Local Business in Chicago During COVID-19

Tip your bartender, virtually

Chicago is a music city, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beloved venue than the The Hideout. The friendly dive is a favorite of patrons and artists, as well as a staple in grassroots programming. Hideout closed its doors ahead of state and city orders, and was the first venue to do so. It quickly launched a GoFundMe campaign with a virtual “tip jar” that benefits staff that exceeded its $10,000 goal (closing in on $30,000 by the time of publication).

In addition to donations, the sale of Hideout Bucks supports artists who have performed at the space who have lost commissioned work or tours. The artists design their own artwork ‘money,’ patrons buy them for $25; $5 goes directly to the artist, the remaining $20 is a gift card you can redeem at the bar when it reopens. “We immediately called Jon Langford, Steve Krakow, Izzy True, and Steve Walters,” Tuten says. “Everyone did it in a day.” To date, they’ve sold 617 custom-designed bucks.

While shows through April have been canceled or postponed, the Tutens are working on ways to livestream events—though Tim cautions the scene won’t be the same after bans on gatherings are lifted. “We are in a different world now,” he says. “At the Hideout, we don’t have an audience or customers. We have a community.”

This originally appeared as part of a larger article for Conde Nast Traveller