The Hideout on First Hill offers craft cocktails in an atmosphere of eccentricity and quirkiness.

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Happy Hour |

There was the bare-chested guy in gorilla mask, up on the balcony, peekaboo-ing out of a box every half-hour or so.

Another time, two women stuffed their tummies, pretending to be nine months’ pregnant while downing martinis.

The Hideout revels in its eccentricity and quirkiness and pays homage to the arts in a very peculiar way. This First Hill bar recently celebrated its sixth anniversary, and it has picked up lots of new fans along the way who head there for the stellar craft cocktails.

But to come away with just a good Trinidad Sour is to miss the fun and the soul of The Hideout.

Pens and clipboards are stationed around the bar. And maybe after downing a couple shots of Maker’s Mark, you can channel your inner Allen Ginsberg and pen a poem to be considered for the Hideout’s in-house publication, “The Vital 5 Review,” a smorgasbord of drawings, poems and streams of consciousness by artists and, well, lots of tipsy patrons.

Submissions also are taken for its “Discreet Theatre,” where artists act as patrons and perform — like the gorilla gag, the “pregnant” women or the singer who chatted up some unsuspecting patrons and sang to them.

Greg Lundgren is a bar owner with a sense of humor. A sculptor and performance artist, Lundgren, 41, picks the submissions for his Discreet Theatre and edits entries for “The Vital 5 Review,” published twice a year, with 500 copies each run, available free at the bar.

He wanted to create a surreal space. His bar is dimly lighted, almost theaterlike, with abstract, pop art and other paintings covering nearly every inch of the walls. In the back, a vending machine dispenses miniature artwork, poems on postcards and jewelry.

They come, the hipsters and the cocktail geeks and the after-work Pill Hill crowd. There are plenty of artists, looking bohemian cool, and laughing loudly when they’re not bumming cigarettes from passers-by. A dude with tattooed arms and getting his rye on stares at the hanging Blaxploitation painting. A woman tries to get his attention to tell her jokes. She seems tipsy. Or maybe she’s part of that Discreet Theatre.

The Hideout, 1005 Boren Ave., offers happy hour 4-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays with $1.50 Rainier beer, $3.50 well drinks and draft beers and $5 wine (206-903-8480 or

Tan Vinh: