INNside / Out

a blog serving shots of hideout news

Hideout Bartender Launches Free Meal Service For Workers Impacted By Coronavirus Shutdown

GARFIELD PARK — When the Hideout announced it would close because of coronavirus, bartender Jessica Romanowski knew she would land on her feet.

The bar and music venue was one of the first to create an online tip jar to help pay employees during the closure, and bargoers were generous — donating more than $28,700. But Romanowski, a private chef by day and bartender by night, knew many in the service industry wouldn’t be as lucky, so she’s putting her chef skills to work, delivering care packages of meals to people who need them.

Called Care Kitchen Chicago, Romanowski launched her own GoFundMe to help fund the project. As of Friday morning, she’s raised $2,500 of her $5,000 goal on GoFundMe and has raised another $900 in other donations.

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Chicago music venues look to get a helping hand through the coronavirus crisis through crowdfunding

A Chicago without live music is just another major city. Known as the birthplace of many genres — from house to drill to blues — Chicago’s reputation as a place where music lives and thrives extends far beyond the borders of the city. And yet, as the city faces the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis (which more than a week ago closed all bars and restaurants for public seating), many of the city’s most beloved music venues have faced another crisis: their own survival.

Although some venues like Schubas and Thalia Hall also include a food service component, many restaurants rely solely on the culture around live music. Think touring bands, local acts and plenty of bar and ticket sales. Without that steady stream of shows, numerous venues have turned toward crowdfunding to ensure their staff of bartenders, security guards, managers, and even performers can receive some money in a time when little is flowing in their pockets.

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USA Today Names The Hideout As Best Venue In Chicago

Music fans and musicians love this sweet 100-year old spot that has a bar in the front and a performance space in the back. You could catch Jeff Tweedy or The Dream Syndicate one night, a young torch singer the next, Jon Langford and Sally Timms performing an impromptu Sunday afternoon show, a blues jug band, experimental dance artists and various surprises like Andrew Bird adding a whistle from the crowd. Truly a community gathering place, The Hideout also hosts stand-up comics, political debates and monthly talk shows. But always, live music, especially alt-country for which the bar is known. The Picnics on the Porch series in summer is an outdoor event hosting national acts like Robbie Fulks, Joan Shelley, Jake Xerses Fussel, and some of the best local talent. Read about The Hideout’s history on its website and you’ll love it even more.

Recommended for Live Music because: The Hideout may be the best little music joint in Chicago offering an incredible range of talent and a heck of a lot of heart.

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Soup & Bread Is Back At The Hideout

BUCKTOWN — A weekly fundraiser for local anti-hunger organizations is returning to The Hideout this week.

Soup & Bread, a weekly community meal, will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays beginning this week and ending April 1.

The cost of the meal is based on a pay-what-you-can donation. Over the last 11 years, Soup & Bread dinners have raised more than $90,000 for local hunger relief organizations.

“We are aiming to crack the six-figure mark this year,” organizer Martha Bayne said in an email. “We are confident we can do it!”

This week’s food pantry partner that will receive door donations is Ravenswood Community Services.

Located at 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., The Hideout has free street parking.

Soup & Bread meals are prepared by a pre-scheduled group of chefs and amateur cooking enthusiasts. Bread is donated by Publican Quality Bread.

This week’s soup chefs are Cyndi Fecher, John McKevitt, Danica Kempe, Jamie Gentry, Kelly Hewitt, Cinnamon Cooper and Erin Drain. Local Foods will also provide a soup.

To get on the chef list for a future Soup & Bread, email Martha Bayne at

This article originally appeared in The Block Club. Read it here.

Chicago Tribune Names The Hideout ‘Chicagoans Of The Year In Music’

The Hideout is the little club that could. It’s one of the smaller clubs in a city saturated with music venues, but few have had a bigger impact on their community, a community that’s like family.

Hideout co-owners Tim and Katie Tuten are a married couple, and fellow owners Jim and Mike Hinchsliff are twins. They have watched musicians who have performed at the club in their 23-year history become parents whose children have also come of age on its stage. They’ve thrown fundraisers for countless charities, staged political rallies, spearheaded civic organizations and hosted everyone from Chicago stalwarts (Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Mekons, Eleventh Dream Day, Billy Corgan) to up-and-comers-turned-stars (Neko Case, Andrew Bird, jazz luminaries Ken Vandermark and Makaya McCraven).

In addition, the club may be the only bar in Chicago with an in-house “classroom” – which makes sense, because Tim Tuten is a longtime Chicago schoolteacher. The Hideout High School provides informal classes on civic issues, from pot legalization to gerrymandering.

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Chicago Teachers Union Walkout at The Hideout

The Chicago teachers strike is headed into a 10th school day after union delegates emerged late Tuesday without any announcement of a contract deal, leading Chicago Public Schools officials to cancel classes again for Wednesday.

Hours after the CTU summoned representatives from city schools to discuss negotiations, and following a day the union and city leaders traded barbs over counterproposals, classes finally were called off around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, continuing the city’s longest strike in decades.

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First Tuesdays With Mick & Ben

As the clock ticks closer to a teachers’ strike this week, I’d like to interrupt my coverage of the showdown to bring you some news about my own life . . .

Mick Dumke and I are breaking up.

OK, I didn’t mean to be so melodramatic. It’s not like we were, you know, going steady. And I’m not saying the talk-show partnership of a couple of reporters amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

It’s just that it’s a little melancholy for me. Mick and I have been cohosting First Tuesdays—our monthly political talk show at the Hideout—for five and a half years. Or since not long after the last big teachers’ strike.

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Rob Miller and Jon Langford Interview At The Hideout

“It was an absurd proposition,” admits Rob Miller on the indie record label he helped found 25 years ago. “The city and everyone we’ve surrounded ourselves with has allowed it to happen.” Bloodshot Records has celebrated roots music with a punk edge—be it country, soul, or rock and roll—since its 1994 debut. Its first release was a compilation of Chicago’s “insurgent country” scene at the time. To mark its silver anniversary, Bloodshot is highlighting the city again with a new compilation entitled Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots.

Among the artists featured on the 25th anniversary compilation is longtime Bloodshot collaborator Jon Langford. The Wales native is known for his country-punk band the Waco Brothers, and for the pioneering punk rock collective the Mekons. The Mekons also celebrated an anniversary this year, 40 years together, with their first full-length album in eight years.

I caught up with Rob and Jon at the Hideout in Chicago to talk about their latest projects and just how much the work—and beer—has changed in the last 25 years.

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Thrillist Says The Hideout Is A Chicago “Must See”

Tasha at The Hideout

You’d have a hard time finding anyone in Chicago who has visited this tiny bar/live music venue and didn’t immediately fall in love. To call it “beloved” (as Hideout does on its Twitter account) is an understatement right up there with calling Chicago winters cold. Located in an obscure industrial sliver of land far from the typical bar/restaurant circuit, there is little to signal the existence of this 100-year-old balloon frame house from the exterior other than a vintage Old Style sign out front. Inside, the scene is fun and communal, with a cool basement-vibe back room showcasing live music as well as other occasional assorted weirdness from storytelling to comedy to something called “veggie bingo.” Stop by on warm Fridays for their exuberant Picnics on the Porch outdoor music series, and leave with a lifelong allegiance to the place.

This article was originally published on Thrillist.

It’s the final Hideout show for Helltrap Nightmare — which next spreads its Chicago strangeness to LA

“Hideout, do you want to see me put my dead great-grandma’s teeth in my mouth?” comedian AJ Marroquin asks the mostly standing audience packed into the performance space in The Hideout with a flirty but demanding flourish, nonchalantly holding up a pair of dentures. Indeed, the crowd does. And Marroquin, smartly dressed in a button-up shirt, matching skirt and tall black boots, is happy to comply. He’s already had a killer set but this macabre — and strangely hilarious — bit of physical comedy is the icing on the cake.

It’s a Saturday night and we are now in the exact center of an impressive set of performances from comedians, drag queens, musicians and multimedia artists. This is the nightmarishly funny Helltrap Nightmare — a monstrous monthly mainstay at The Hideout, the infamous dive bar-slash-performance venue tucked away in an industrial area near Lincoln Park, that showcases all kinds of comedic weirdness and weird comedy.

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