Just north of the intersection of Pecks Lane and Route 25, next to the antique store is a coffee shop called Hideaway Café. Inside is a warm environment of couches, tables, and chair accented with photography and music.
“It’s called the Hideaway because it’s a place to get away from reality,” said Doug Masek, owner of the café.
Masek, a carpenter for the past 25 years, started as a teenager working in a pizza place, first washing dishes and then making pizza. He never worked in the restaurant business again and never has owned a coffee shop until now.
Masek said he aspired to own the Hideaway Café because he was drawn to clubs and lounges, but as a single, recovering alcoholic felt like he didn’t really belong in those environments. That was when he had the idea for the coffee shop, and he said he prayed for the guidance to make it a reality.
Though he originally sought a larger location, Masek was driving down Route 25 when day when he saw and decided to check it out.
“I wanted a type of lounge café where people can hang out without booze and drugs,” said Masek. “The whole place is sober. I am not going to tolerate anyone coming in with a bottle. I want it to be a peaceful environment. I’m not into the riff raff.”
The new café offers its patrons coffee and tea, specializing in frozen lattes and smoothies for the summer, as well as larger fare such as sandwiches and wraps.
“We cater to everybody,” said James Chambers, restaurant manager. “Going from hogies to wraps.
While providing a safe location away from the everyday world Masek also wants the café to be a fun place. The café features a pool table and he is working on getting a dart board for the back hallway.
Events at Hideaway Café include an open mic night on Thursdays and also Bike Night on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., during which anyone who shows up with a motorcycle can hang out and participate in a raffle.
“About a dozen of my friends ride motorcycles,” said Masek, who owns a motorcycle himself. “Many people think that they want to cause trouble but really they just like to have fun.”
Bikers who show up can expect raffle prizes to include anything from gift certificates to bandanas and bungee cords for their bikes. A 50/50 raffle is also in the works where half the proceeds will go towards an as yet undecided charity.
Masek also hopes to include events like dances and music. He already has a few bands scheduled to perform during upcoming weekends and hopes to have the first dance sometime in July.
“I definitely want this place to have entertainment,” he said. “I encourage anyone interested, whether its high school or middle school kids with bands to ask about performing.”
To the left of the entrance there is a long table that folds up and a set of stackable chairs.
“That goes away and that area is where the bands perform,” Masek said.
The biggest challenge for the café so far is drawing a crowd, he said. Last week Masek placed a sign with seven inch lettering saying “Free medium size coffee with any purchase.”
“I gave away probably three cups of coffee,” he said. “I’m doing what I can; unfortunately the town of Newtown is very strict with signs.”
The café opens at 6:30 Monday through Friday and on Saturday they are open from 9 to 11 and 9:30 to 6 on Sundays.
“I know I will make this coffee shop a success because we will keep consistent hours, always be improving for our customers, never running out of product, and having lots more entertainment,” said Masek. “I want it to be a hopping hot spot. You can come here, spend $2 on something and sit here all day if you want to. I am not going to kick you out.”