In a city crawling with college bars and American pub fare, many of us crave something offbeat or unique. Hard Times Hideaway, a pre-prohibition style whiskey bar, and Cajun eatery, is set to settle our stomachs this Friday, December 21, when their doors open at the Madison Plaza in downtown Corvallis.
Located at 425 SW Madison Ave., where Einstein Bagels once stood, the Hideaway is intended as a conversation-fueled meeting place for Corvallisites 21 and older to sit back and interact, with a de-emphasis on technology. Though the establishment doesn’t necessarily disapprove of gadgetry, it won’t be shelling out a Wi-Fi password, nor condoning barstool selfie sessions.
Dudley Clarke, longtime owner and operator of Hard Times Distillery, says the Hideaway will be more of a bar than a restaurant, complete with a white oak bar top where spins on classic cocktails are served, as well as unique beers and wines from around the Pacific Northwest. Included in their tap lineup is Hair of the Dog brewing based out of Portland, a company that shares a knack for the unusual. Drinks will incorporate a variety of brands, however, Hard Times liquor will be sold exclusively by the bottle.
Both Clarke and Executive Chef Josh Shobe have a passion for travel and regional cuisine, making Clarke’s Louisiana roots the ideal focal point for what he calls an eclectic menu. Expect gumbos and other specialty items, such as a jackfruit po’ boy, served alongside a vast condiment selection. This is Shobe’s fifth gig as an executive chef, he expresses excitement to be a part of the Corvallis food industry, focusing his talents on locally-sourced produce and craft techniques.
Clarke is happiest about manifesting this new landmark in Corvallis. Since opening Hard Times Distillery in Monroe in 2009, he knew he someday wanted to be a part of the Corvallis social sphere. Clarke described his feeling after first moving to Corvallis, when his son was just three-years-old, knowing instantly that this was home for them. He particularly appreciates how the Corvallis community “cares about itself,” and wants to provide a semi-radical social setting for mature Corvallisites to “abide wisely.”
Hard Times Hideaway’s opening this Friday is just the beginning. Plans are already in the works for a future brunch menu, events, and old-timey mystery cocktail items.
By Cheyanne Simon