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The Southside Hideout

Tom Carr - February 14th, 2011
The Southside Hideout muscles into the nightlife scene
By Tom Carr
Waitresses in fedoras carry hot wings and drinks past the three flat-screen TVs that peer down on the dinner crowd in front of a stage decorated with large faux bullet-holes.
The gangster theme dominates the Southside Hideout on M-37 in Buckley, from the menus – featuring Scarface Meat Lovers Pizza and Gotti’s Stuffed Mushrooms – to the framed pictures of Dirty Harry, Michael Corleone, Jessica Rabbit and others.
Manager Ed Van Tassel would like it to become known for its dinners and dance floor, as well as for its theme.
“The food is phenomenal,” he said. “We go from burgers and fries to lobster, crab legs and oysters.”
He’s also enclosed a smoker outside the kitchen to prepare ribs.
Van Tassel’s “best decision yet” was to promote Brandon Stevens from line cook to kitchen supervisor. He made the move after tasting Stevens’ meatloaf, saying it was the best he’d ever had.
Stevens recommends his 3-2-1 ribs, named after the process he uses; his pork cordon bleu; or his grouper in a banana leaf.

FLAVORS OF ROCK
After the dinner hour, on weekends, Van Tassel promotes a musical lineup ranging from metal to ‘80s to blues and country and other flavors of rock.
They’ve hosted a local Black Sabbath tribute band, and a rising country singer from Nashville.
Singer/songwriter Tammy Sundelius works there as a waitress and hosts the weekly karaoke night on Thursdays. She’s also played for dance crowds there with her pop-rock group that bears her own last name. And in conjunction with two area rock stations, the bar has been hosting the Battle of the Southside, an acoustic musician competition.
“We’re definitely branching out,” Van Tassel said.
Joey Callahan, who works the sound system from an enclosed booth, lauded the roomy stage and enclosed mixing booth, saying it’s one of the best systems he’s worked with. He said the bar will be able to make professional level recordings of bands’ sets.

GOT SPORTS?
Van Tassel hopes for the Hideout to also become a destination for sports fans looking for a place to watch the big games.
Being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, he’s got a bit to learn about the fan base here. He’d hoped for a big Monday night turnout for a Steelers game earlier this winter, but it didn’t happen. Lions games “haven’t panned out” because of the team’s losing ways, but he hopes to see a better response for Red Wings games.
Still, with 10 TV screens, including three large flat screens above the dining area, it may just be a matter of getting the word out.
The Hideout opened in July in what used to be the Skyliner on the west side of Buckley. Van Tassel stresses that it’s a short drive from TC city limits.
“We want people to drive the 14 miles from Traverse City to come see us,” Van Tassel said. “We’re going to let them know it’s worth the trip.”

 
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