BARKER, N.Y. (WIVB) — “We’re gonna make it happen out of here,” Vito Peritore, Jr. said while showing me around the kitchen of Barker’s newest establishment, The Hideaway.
Opening in just over a week, it’s a whole new adventure for Peritore and his wife, Stasha. Vito used to work for Niagara County’s highway division, while Stasha has been with the U.S. Military since the end of high school, working in Niagara Falls.
But this is the first time the two Barker Jr.-Sr. High School graduates have owned a business. Vito describes the feeling as being like getting your driving permit, with nerves and excitement balled up into one.
The couple’s pride in their community is very clear. When asked why they wanted to buy the building they chose, Vito, without hesitation, stated “To open up an establishment in this town that we grew up in.”
The Hideaway is aptly named, given its tucked-away location next to the village office on East Avenue, right off of Barker’s Main Street. Over the last decade, the building has served up beer, food and live music under a couple of different sets of owners, first as Barker Brewing, then later as In-the-Mix Brewing & Creamery.
Stasha says Vito had thoughts of opening a business for about five years before they finally pulled the trigger on The Hideaway. The couple, who are also parents to two children, had checked out a few other locations, too. But this one, right in their hometown, was the one.
“We’ve been here and we knew it,” Stasha says. “We just had a friend that gave us a call one day and was like, ‘Hey, you should go check out the old In-The-Mix brewing company.'”
“I think the minute I got to that door, from that side to this side, that’s when I knew, we’re gonna try to get this place,” Vito followed.
All in all, they’re about six months into the endeavor, which in our conversation, they often gladly referred to as an adventure. The Peritores give a lot of credit to the community that raised them, and the friends and business partners that helped make The Hideaway a reality.
That friendship isn’t ending on opening day, either. The Peritores want to see their small community shine and give opportunities to businesses to show off what they have to offer. That starts with what you see and continues with what’s on tap.
Serving and celebrating local brews from friends like Leonard Oakes and Blackbird Cider Works, they’ll also have various other domestic brews available. In addition to that, local wine is also in the plans.
If you need a bite to eat, the food taste test among the Peritores’ friends has so far been positive, with the feedback being that they shouldn’t change a thing. On the menu, The Hideaway offers a tasty selection with options like raviolis, chicken fingers, and of course, the perfect accompaniment to a Western New York get-together — wings.
By Fall 2024, the hope is to have axe throwing in full swing on the adjacent property the Peritores purchased. The building meant to host it just needs some sprucing up first.
“One step at a time, we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves,” Stasha said.
Activities like these are another way they want to celebrate and give thanks to the community. There was mention of doing cornhole and putting local businesses’ names on the boards.
“It’s like a shout-out to them, so people from other communities can see what’s in our general area,” Vito says.
The Peritores want The Hideaway to glow beyond the ridge of Route 104, too, with hope of drawing in folks from Erie County and elsewhere. Vito describes The Hideaway as an attraction that’s “a little more upper scale.”
“Where they feel comfortable, but it’s still to our roots,” Stasha said.
Wherever they’re coming from, there won’t be a single day out of the week when The Hideaway won’t be willing to welcome people inside. Starting at Noon every day, they’ll be open until Midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
“We want to be a bar where people don’t have to worry about checking to see when we’re gonna be open,” Stasha said. “Our doors will always be open.”
Soon, the venue will include a 1,000-square-foot patio with a fire pit, in addition to the connected deck, which is fitted with an outdoor heater for when the temperatures drop. The Peritores hope to have the fire pit lit soon as the weather changes.
The outdoor section of The Hideaway will play host to live bands, with smaller acoustic acts being welcomed to play inside during the colder months.
Music won’t go too late either, tentatively ending at 9 so as to not disturb nearby homes, Vito says. Maintaining peace with the neighbors and the community as a whole is paramount to the Peritores.
“We don’t want to be the nuisance in the town,” Vito said. “We also want them to enjoy to come here also.”
The Peritores’ display of friendship and welcoming presence is evident in that they’ve spoken with local police, as well as the village board, and even introduced themselves to residents of East Avenue.
“Everybody’s really been welcoming us with open arms,” Stasha said. “They’re excited to be able to have something to walk to and hang out at.”
“And we’re excited for them to be excited. That’s why we’re doing this,” Vito continued.
With only a small staff now, they’re planning to grow and provide ways to help the future generation, including hiring high schoolers in the community looking to make some extra cash.
“We want to put money in their pocket. We want them to be able to pay their mom and dad some money for their cell phone bill or their car insurance, or whatever the case may be,” Vito said. “We want them to learn responsibility.”
Whether you’re coming from just down the street, or taking a long drive up north, the Peritores want to make The Hideaway a place for everyone.
“To the community, we would just hope we all come together as a community and this would be the gathering spot, and that’s what we’re hoping for here,” Vito said. “We want everybody to come here, have a good time, good vibes, and have a place to enjoy yourself.”
The Hideaway will officially open at Noon on Sunday, October 15.