Barhoppin': The Hideaway in Lake Elsinore, California

The town of Elsinore sleeps on the slimy shores of the eponymous lake in the heart of Southern California's ostentatiously named Inland Empire. Lake Elsinore's star turn in the motorcycle scene occurred when Harvey Mushman a.k.a. Steve McQueen raced his enduro bike down Main Street and into Elsinore's dusty hills in the Bruce Brown opus, "On Any Sunday."

Except for an explosion of titty-pink tract homes in the late '90s, not much has changed in Lake Elsinore since Harvey strutted down her dusty sidewalks in '72. Although the town's population has doubled since I moved there in 1996, fewer than 50,000 people call this geographically and culturally arid burg their home. Cast your eyes on the walls of The Hideaway, Lake Elsinore's most famous biker bar, and you'd swear at least two-thirds of the city's thirstiest and most desperate citizens have stapled their last dollar bill to its plywood walls.




In Lake Elsinore's prime as a whistle stop for dune-buggy racers and dirt-bike hooligans in the 1970's, there were over 20 bars on its unspoiled shores, and nearly as many AA clubs. Today there are fewer than three 12-step clubhouses, and just six bars. Among these, only The Hideaway still clings to its original charms. The jewels in The Hideaway's crown include a pool table, a juke box, a stripper pole and not one but two outhouses for your convenience. If the outhouses are full, barmaids encourage customers to piss on the chainlink fence in the parking lot.




Like every good watering hole, Hideaway regulars account for the lion's share of all the cash in her till. And while every one of these locals clearly drinks more than her fair share, none of that booty has ever been wasted on pavement, paint or interior decor.




Anything The Hideaway lacks in sanitation or hospitality it makes up for with local talent. This cross-dressing truck driver in the pee-stained mini skirt and the two women to his left are the prettiest things you'll see on The Hideaway's Myspace page, and they are stunning anomalies in the pantheon of poontang that calls this place home. I once witnessed what I assumed was a domestic squabble between a drunken husband and wife in the red glow of the Budweiser sign by The Hideaway's side door. Neither combatant was very attractive, but the man became even less so when his wife extinguished her cigarette on his forehead and stormed out the door. In a hail of "You bitch!" and "Fuck you!" the guy chased the fiery female into the parking lot. When I asked the barmaid if one of us should call the cops, she replied, "Those two? Don't bother--she does that to her brother every weekend." Drink up, Johnny--The Hideaway is that kind of bar.

The Hideaway is located at 32392 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530-4576. Their phone number is (951) 245-4919, and the bar is open until 2:00 a.m. seven nights a week, unless the barmaid decides otherwise.


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Commented on 8-5-2009 At 08:47 pm

Cross dressing truck drivers in pee stained mini skirts, oh shit I'm there dude.

Commented on 8-5-2009 At 08:56 pm

I got the pee stain covered no prob.

Commented on 8-5-2009 At 09:34 pm

but seriously, McGoo...the Hideaway is NOT the spot to be caught after dark! when the lights go out in the city, and the moon shines on the bay....Joannies in ol' towne Murrieta is the place to be

suckafree mike d

Commented on 8-5-2009 At 10:08 pm

I'll let you make the Journey To Murrieta... I'm a Foreigner at Joannie's, and that's the way uh uh I like it...

Commented on 8-5-2009 At 10:51 pm

Really Mike? I musta caught Joannies on off days, never cared much for that place. I'll have to give it another shot. It's probably walking distance for you.

Last time I spent any real time at the Hideaway was a few years back and it ruled. Ended up with my truck in a ditch and a new street sign with my name on it hanging in the garage. Good/bad night!

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 07:09 am

Sounds like a good time.

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 08:59 am

i may have to take a road trip....

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 09:46 am

Oh, I too have had a few Good/bad nights at the Hideaway.
It's all true boys.

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 02:50 pm

If heaven is half as awesome, I had better repent now.

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 02:51 pm

gotta check it out. I should be proud home owner in the city of Lake Elsinore in 2 months if all goes well CHEERS!

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 04:48 pm

i can drink those chicks pretty... lets roll

Commented on 8-6-2009 At 09:40 pm

If all goes as planned, and it rarely does, I too will be living back in the Elsinore area after a few years of parole from the area. The shack that I'll call home is on half or 3/4's of an acre with plenty of room for camping after a bender at the Hideaway. And I know all the side streets out of there.

Commented on 8-7-2009 At 06:16 am

"Drink up, Johnny--The Hideaway is that kind of bar." Fuck dude....I was drinking espresso and trying to wake up for my ride to work. This has got to be the most fucked up but funny thing I have read in a while. Thanks for the laughs!!!

Commented on 8-8-2009 At 09:08 am

We have several bars around our area like that. Well maybe not with the fancy decor but the women are just as ugly.

Commented on 8-9-2009 At 12:15 pm

I gotta check this out...

Commented on 8-13-2009 At 10:20 am

I got drunk there a few years ago. Was on my way to LA for family shit. I didn't really want to go to LA either.,So being drunk helped me convince myself to tell the family I would not make it. Dont remember leaving the bar though. I think I kissed that truck driver on my way out...

Commented on 3-3-2010 At 04:59 pm

joannie's is the shit.

Commented on 4-9-2010 At 04:09 pm

another place to get thrown out of.

Commented on 9-9-2011 At 10:53 am

Was there in 03...seems like a lifetime ago.

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