Sports on TV, darts on the walls, a pool table, Golden Tee and karaoke singers on stage all carry on in unison at the Hidden Cove, a not-so-hidden bar along a narrow and winding North Side stretch of Lincoln Avenue. This large and roomy late-night destination is known for hosting national trivia competitions, but it's well stocked with bright lights and singing drinkers on an average evening. While the bar doesn't offer drink specials, it does promise $4 mixed drinks and karaoke sessions nightly.
I'm not sure how it's possible for a sports bar to only close its doors for a mere three hours a day, but the Hidden Cove's 7 a.m. opening time announces itself proudly near the old-school flashing sign out front. This year the bar began serving food from breakfast eggs to late-night snacks for an average of $3, and the Cove keeps on both the neon lights and the television screens to either wake you up in the morning or keep you from fading out at night, depending on when you stop in.
Its bar seems to stretch on forever, and the open space with high tables in the middle doesn't exactly let you sip inconspicuously. But a few tables near the corner jukebox make for a better spot to lay low, even though it sort of feels like you're at an odd indoor picnic full of TVs and beer banners.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Heather Blaha