20 years ago, Reef Palaj and his father purchased the old Charlie's Pub in Clawson and opened the the Hideout. And for years, the Hideout had an ambience that was true to its name — until a recent series of renovations. "It was time for a change, basically," says Palaj. "Back then, 20 years ago, a dark bar was what people wanted." But now, he says, patrons want a brighter, more open space. So Palaj gutted the interior, and installed brand-new flooring, seating, and a back bar. Other changes include the addition of a tobacco lounge, which is able to skirt anti-smoking laws since it doesn't have beverage or food service.
But not everything has been changed. "We're still pouring good drinks and serving good food," Palaj says. "We want to make everybody happy so we can stay open another 20 years."
While Palaj expects the menu offerings to update within the month, he says the bar will still serve its renowned burgers. "We've got the best burger deals in town," he says, which includes a 1/2-pound burger and fries for $4.99 on Thursdays. Other deals include half-off pizzas on Wednesdays, and buy-one, get-one free calzones on Saturdays.
Other changes include the addition of high-definition 133-inch TVs in the bar's front room, where patrons can catch the latest game. "Honestly, the new TVs in the front room — if you're a sports fanatic, you'll love them," he says. "You can see them from 14 Mile when you're driving by at night. That's all you see are TVs." Palaj also expects to install a more up-to-date sound system in September.
"People will love the new look. It's a more open area. They'll love it," he says. "It's your neighborhood Cheers bar," he says. "Everybody knows you."