The hideout Toronto

The Hideout is closing for good after more than 13 years in Toronto

One of Toronto's most-iconic (and resilient) live rock music venues is calling it quits for good after being forced, like all bars and clubs, to shut down during Ontario's current pandemic-mandated state of emergency.

The Hideout, a self-described "rock n roll 'dive' bar" that anchored Queen West for more than a decade before losing its space in 2017 to a (now-defunct) Taco Bell and moving, said its final goodbye to customers through a heartfelt letter published Friday night.

"The Good Brothers and cousin Phil started this little rock n roll 'dive' bar on Queen St. way back in 2006, and when gentrification forced us from that location, we luckily found, and have since enjoyed the past three years at our new location on College St.," reads the message, posted to the venue's website and social media channels.

"We have enjoyed the most incredible support, loyalty and friendship with our fantastic team of staff. We are, and always will be, eternally grateful for all your hard work and dedication over the years," it continues.

"We wish you all the very best of luck and hope that someday we may re-unite forces and be able to work together again."

The Hideout's founders go on thank the many "amazing and talented musicians we have been lucky enough to host" and praise a supportive community for keeping the venue afloat despite "many difficult hurdles and challenges."

"Somehow YOU have always managed to keep the music alive," wrote the Hideout's founders of their crew and regulars.

"Unfortunately, this is different, it's a crushing blow, the drums are broken, the guitars smashed and the amps are burning… there can be NO encore."

The Hideout's newer, slightly less-grungy venue next to Sneaky Dee's at College and Bathurst is now officially closed, and fans of the long-running local business are sharing their condolences online.

"My heart breaks for this news. This place and everyone that has been a part of it are legends," reads one of the nearly 200 comments left on The Hideout's Instagram page since the closure was announced 14 hours ago.

"You created the best bar in Toronto that was filled with talent, great people, incredible music and love. You boys have created a name and a place that will forever be known in Toronto. Will see u all sooner then later. Much love."

"The Hideout impressed me from the moment I walked in the first time. Great bands, great vibe, and super friendly people. It was the kind of place that made everyone feel like they belong," wrote another loyal patron.

"I hope that one day you'll be inspired to bring this gem back to the people of Toronto. It's more than a place of business. It's a piece of culture that breathes life into the soul of the city."

"From watching Ireland lose to the uplifting taste of a round of free Jameson," wrote another still. "From the banter on Queen to the debauchery on College, amazing times left and right...thanks lads, the memories (and lack of... haha) will live on."

The Hideout isn't the first popular bar in Toronto to close amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; A few days ago we were all lamenting the loss of The Shore Leave, a Danforth East tiki bar that was just evicted due to non-payment of rent.

"The forced (and necessary) closure of bars and other non-essential business throughout the country has taken a toll on many, many lives and the long term effects are, and will be profound," wrote the Hideout's founders of the impact this pandemic is having on all local venues.

"We send our heartfelt thoughts and love and support to any and all small businesses in a similar boat to us right now, and to the entertainment industry and crews as a whole."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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