‘The Hideaway Kitchen and Bar’ brings a new look to storied spot

From left, Patricia James served Lestina Trainer of Redding and Ridgefielders Mark and Hariett Riser among the midafternoon lunch crowd last Friday at The Hideaway Kitchen and Bar. An old sign on the wall recalls Joe’s Hideaway, a bar that’s part of the stories past at the Grove Street location that was most recently The Corner Pub. Mr. Riser, who works nearby at Morningside Private Investors, commented “Good atmosphere, better bar, and more open setting.” —Macklin Reid photo

Stonework and dark wood, a high tin ceiling framed by beams, hung lighting and exposed pipes, a working stone fireplace, pine floorboards, and a wall of old brick behind the bar. The Hideaway Kitchen and Bar seeks the congenial atmosphere of a pub, while honoring the grittier history of taverns that have thrived at its location on the corner of Grove Street and Sunset Lane in Ridgefield.

“On the pubbier side, sandwiches and burgers,” said co-owner Roy Reeves, who also operates The Bissell House on Main Street and The King Street Restaurant and Bar in Chappaqua, N.Y.

“And we’re definitely keeping some of what they did prior, with the nightly specials which we call ‘blue plate specials,’” he said, referring to the location’s most recent previous identity  as The Corner Pub. “Monday is meatloaf. Tuesday is roast turkey night. Wednesday is barbecue ribs. Thursday is fish and chips. Friday and Saturday are prime rib.”

Tribute is paid to two other past occupants of the location with old signs discovered in the renovation work, preserved, and worked into the decor.

“Joe’s Hideaway” proclaims a sign on the wall, overlooking the dining room, recalling a 1960s establishment. After being uncovered by workers in the fall it provided the inspiration for the new name.

“People said, ‘You should call it Joe’s Hideaway.’ We stuck with just ‘The Hideaway’  — ‘The Hideaway Kitchen and Bar,’ ” Mr. Reeves said.

“We also found a ‘Pierpaoli Tavern’ sign, which was underneath the Joe’s Hideaway sign,” Mr. Reeves said.

Recalling the establishment that gave the location its long-lived nickname “Perp’s” — that sign now graces a wall in the men’s room.

Patrick Lynch, an Easton resident, is Mr. Reeves’ partner in The Hideaway. In the few weeks it’s been open, he said, people have been attracted to the new place in its visible, well-known location.

“It’s been overwhelming, really. It’s been packed,” Mr. Lynch said.

“We did a ‘soft opening’ and it was packed every night for the first three weeks. We’ve just added tables,” he said last Friday.

“They love the atmosphere. It has kind of a lower Manhattan feel,” he said. “I get a lot of comments about the floor and ceiling and the new fireplace. The floor is recovered from an old textile mill in Tennessee.”

There were heart pine ceiling beams in the mill, and Mr. Lynch had them cut into floorboards.

The brick wall behind the bar was kept, but the new owners added a couple of 50-inch flat-screen TVs.

“We’re slammin’. At night, it’s crazy busy — a lot of families coming in,” said Patricia James, a longtime Ridgefielder who is part of the wait staff. “Everyone seems to really enjoy it.”

About 20 people work in the place, Mr. Reeves said.

“People just rave about our sandwiches and burgers,” Mr. Lynch said. “And about our hand-cut french fries that are double-fried to make them extra-crispy — both sweet potato and regular. Most places use frozen.

“They also like our prices — it’s a value-oriented menu.”

Sandwiches range from an “Avacado BLT” for $8.95 to the “open face meat loaf sandwich” with “ale bread, mashed potatoes, gravy” for $12.95. There’s also “The Balboa,” with “shaved prime rib, provolone cheese, sautéed onions, hot cherry peppers, garlic ciabatta roll, and onion rings” for $12.95. The Ruben, a barbecued pulled pork sandwich, and a buffalo chicken wrap are served with french fries for $9.95.

The menu offers 11 burgers on “classic potato roll with house-made french fries” starting with “The Common Man” at $8.95 and going up to “The Ultimate Burger” topped with “bacon, cheddar, fried egg, onion rings, mushrooms, green chili” for $12.95. Among the variations are “the French Onion Burger,” a “Grilled Turkey Burger” and “the Dijon-Brie Burger” — all $10.95.

“Starters” on the menu range from “vegetable spring rolls for $7.95 to “beer steamed mussels (Belgian white ale, garlic, onions, orange)” for $11.95. Other starters include chicken wings, fried calamari, chicken or steak quesadillas, nachos, “angry shrimp” and “Kobe hot dog sliders” on “pretzel roll with sauerkraut and spicy onion relish.”

There’ve been some new additions to the menu since the place opened a few weeks back, including “a beautiful codfish sandwich with tempura batter” as well as “fried oysters in a citrus aioli sauce,” Mr. Lynch said.

The Hideaway opens at 11:30 a.m. seven days a week, and Sunday through Thursday the hours go until 1, with the kitchen open until 10 at night.

Friday and Saturday nights the place closes at 2 and food is served till midnight. “A lot of people don’t have a place to go after a late show,” Mr. Lynch said.

The bar offers a choice of six specialty beers on tap: Brooklyn Lager, Captain Lawrence Pale Ale, Cisco Winter Shredder, Dogfish 60 minute IPA, Palm Amber Ale from Belgium, and Allagash Black Belgian Style Stout.

In bottles there are six domestic beers, five imports, and 13 craft beers.

The wine list includes offerings from Italy, France, New Zealand, Argentina, and California.

“The response has been great,” Mr. Reeves said. “I think what everybody says is, ‘This is what Ridgefield needed.’”

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