Five years ago Greg Lundgren bestowed upon First Hill the undeniably rad bar The Hideout. Soon the artist and his business partner Jeff Scott will bring the nabe another surefire hang when they reopen the shuttered Vito’s on Madison. Their plan for the storied old-school lounge? To restore it to its mid-century glory by way of live performances, an East coast–style menu, and intense refurbishments.

Vita, Stumptown, or Starbucks?
Wow, I am going to flunk this test. I don’t drink coffee. Caffeine gives me the jitters and I don’t own a laptop. When it comes to hot drinks, just pour a splash of Canadian Club into my hot chocolate from Texaco.

Where do you take out-of-town guests to eat?
Last year I was entertaining a group of Japanese businessmen and was trying to figure out what they wanted for dinner. A steak house? Sushi? I wasn’t sure. When I asked them, their reply was, “Take us where you would go if we weren’t here,” so I took them all to Paseo and we waited in line for 20 minutes, pushed together a few plastic tables, and ate fish and corn.

Dessert or appetizer?
Dessert. More specifically, chocolate. Even more specifically, El Diablo from Tango. It is one of those desserts you need to eat before you die.

Burgermaster, Dick’s, or Red Mill?
I haven’t had a real hamburger since I was 18, so maybe I am the wrong person to ask, but I had a pretty serious affair with the gardenburgers at Burgermaster, served on grilled sourdough. I’ve since moved on to the Verde Veg Burger at Red Mill and I don’t see myself straying.

What’s your desert-island condiment?
Salsa. Really hot salsa. I think my favorite salsa is from El Gallito on Madison. Stuck on an island with a bathtub full of that salsa, I would use palm leaves and old shoes to spoon it out.

Name three restaurants that sum up Seattle.
Maneki, Ivars, and Sitka and Spruce.

Poutine: gift from Canada or scourge from the North?
I need to get out more… I have never had poutine before, but I did ask around and am pretty sure that it is something that would be really tasty at about three o’clock in the morning.

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