Pete Vomvolakis and his business partner, Austin, had been bartenders in the local restaurant scene for over 25 years. Eventually, they wanted to open their own spot with their own vision. Pete says they were sold on the location that would become The Hideout because of its good bones, patio space and existing liquor license. The restaurant, initially a house built in the 1920s, needed a complete remodel before opening in 2015. The Hideout has endured a large fire—they had to close and rebuild again—and the pandemic, but the resilient restaurant reopened in 2021 and has thrived. Vomvolakis describes it as “the Cheers of Aptos.” He says the cuisine is refined comfort food, with big portions and “something for everyone.” One menu standout is the smoked gouda mac-and-cheese; they also have a popular ahi poke tower and Vomvolakis’ favorite: the salmon risotto. As for their burgers, bacon is cooked onto the patty, adding another layer of crunch and juiciness. The homemade bread pudding tops the dessert menu; they also serve Sugar Bakery cheesecake.
Hours are every day from 11:30am-9:30pm. GT picked Vomvolakis’ brain recently about his thoughts on the restaurant.
What’s your philosophy on hospitality?
PETE VOMVOLAKIS: We sincerely love the community and our customers, and we want to create an environment where they feel comfortable and have a good time. Hospitality is a dying art, but we are doing our best to keep it alive. The new trend in restaurants can feel a little cold, but we are trying to keep it old school and put the customer first.
Where does your passion for the industry come from?
My grandpa George was an owner of the DeLaveaga Restaurant for 46 years, so I grew up watching him do this. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. His restaurant was also a local gathering spot, and he was the best at making people feel at home. My business partner, Austin, and I are doing our best to have that same kind of vibe here at The Hideout. We’re blessed to serve such a supportive community.
The Hideout, 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 831-688-5566; thehideoutaptos.com.