Barely Three Years Left at the Hideout

Bar is more of an art space than a for-profit venture.

According to the Hideout's mission statement, there are now less than three years left to enjoy the decadent, dark art-bar. Unlike those Seattle spaces whose unexpected closures cause a great deal of grief and uproar, the Hideout has given no illusions of immortality, with a self-imposed shelf life of five years, set to expire on Nov. 31, 2010. Less a for-profit venture than a long-running art installation, the unassuming spot on Boren Avenue draws the type of crowd one might expect a libation-focused art project to attract: Cornish students, painters, sculptors, other creative types, and those who want to be. In fact, the driving force behind the spot, Vital 5 Productions, encourages all to express themselves while in the space, compiling drunken drawings, writings, and musings done by patrons and publishing them in the quarterly Vital 5 Review. The walls are barely visible beneath the floor-to-ceiling mass of varying pieces from contemporary Northwest artists like Alan Hurley and Onepot mastermind Michael Hebberoy, but it doesn't stop there. The bar recently unveiled a gigantic vending machine that displays rows of works by independent artists. In the space where Fritos and gummy bears are generally clutched, there are now miniature paintings of horse heads, silver (inedible) cupcakes, and more, all for sale. These pieces ain't Reese's, though—be prepared to scrounge up more than just couch-cushion change to take one home. 

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