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David’s Hideaway

David’s Hideaway

Let’s take a little trip back in time – all the way back to the 60’s. It was the disco era: go-go boots, mini-skirts, DJ’s, and non-stop dancing.

David’s Hideaway is located at 68 US Rt. 11 (14.21 mi) Central Square, New York 13036. It s open Wednesday – Saturday 4:30 – Close.

A young man, David Buono, owned a neighborhood bar on Butternut Street called The Shack. It was a popular spot, especially for the northside crowd – Ron Keigy, Ray Haler, Vincent Lioto, Joe Mancini, Joe Marnelli, Joe Ricelli, and both brothers David and Donnie Samora – some friends, some popular bartenders. While live music wasn’t an every week event, he booked bands: The Campus Walkers (with lead drummer Tommy Rosanno), The Magnificent Seven, The Seven, Aunt B’s Canned Music, The Coachmen and The Reflections. Every band, though, would draw hundreds of young people anxious to have a good time.

Some time in the late 60s, Buono took a trip to Las Vegas and witnessed his first discotheque. “Ten miles out in the middle of nowhere,” recalls Buono, “and there were a thousand people. A thousand.” He went in and experienced his first disco night, and his first DJ spinning records. He was so impressed he returned to Syracuse, closed The Shack, and started remodeling – then calling the newly remodeled club Orpheus.

David Buono, owner of David’s Hideaway.

The result was an 8 foot sunken dance floor, fog machines, laser lights, and DJs pumping the music out – loud and non-stop. He called it “Orpheus,” after the Greek God of Love. The place was a hit, and crowds waited in line for the 88-maximum-allowable capacity. “We’d move 300 or more people through on any given night,” recalls Buono. Call him a trend-setter, but it wasn’t long before the Baby Boom Syracusans were enjoying clubs and discos all over town. “Club 37, Suburban Park, The Machine Shop, both R.J. O’Toole’s, The Back Door, The Zodiac Club, Lost Horizon, The Sugar Mill —owned by Dominic Pagano— and last but not least, Tony Manacone’s Velvet Underground,” he can name them all. “This was with very little air conditioning,” Buono remembers, “and smoking was legal indoors at that time. And bars stayed open til 3 a.m. – it was still hard to get them to leave. We had some famous customers, too. Our late former Mayor Lee Alexander and entourage would come in, and also his son, Jamie, to enjoy the music. Parking was an issue. For Orpheus, we had 4 parking spaces behind the building. People would walk a half mile to get in. The owner of Suburban Park, Gene DiNino, was a frequent customer, drinking a Coke, and just looking at everything in amazement, and copied the sunken dance floor in both of his locations.”

The club boasted some big names in the DJ business – Don Corilli, Alan Langdon, Norman Morittzi, Pat Testa. It was a great time to be young, energetic, and out on the town.

Buono branched out into the used car, and eventually new car businesses, owning Dave Buono’s Datsun, which became Liverpool Nissan; Dave Buono Dodge in Cortland, and DA Buono Construction. But the siren song of night life kept calling, and Buono opened a second disco above the Cafe Metro —owned by Joe Marnelli— across from the famed Hotel Syracuse Library, and Scratch Daniel’s, owned by Vinnie Nametti, in downtown Syracuse: Crystal’s. “It was an all-mirrored disco … (a hit also with downtowners)” says Buono. 

But as they have a way of doing, times and tastes changed, and eventually Buono began to scale back and settled into a used car dealership in Central Square called 3-Extreme Motorsports. But just down the road a place came up for sale – and Buono couldn’t resist. Could “Orpheus Two” be the charm? Opening as a duplicate of Orpheus, the original, was, says Buono, “A way of bringing back old memories. Fun for the people who remembered the original.”

The outdoor tiki bar and stage area.

Eventually, Buono determined that a new mix of food, drink, music and fun meant re-thinking for today’s crowd, and he closed down to re-assess. With the opening of the summer season came the opening of David’s Hideaway. So, what will you find there? An absolutely fascinating blend of food favorites, great dance space, and outdoor Tiki Bar and a 30 x 30 foot band stage, with comfortable seating for everyone and your choice of settings, from cozy to energized to somewhere in between. Oh – and a disco ball, of course, on the inside stage!

On Wednesday there is beer pong. Wednesday and Thursday you’ll enjoy Littleneck Clam specials (Two-for-$10.99), and on Thursdays try the $.25 wings with your Karaoke. Fridays and Saturdays are for live music along with a snack or a meal, some drinks, and good company. And as it’s laid out, there are no “bad” seats in the house for viewing the bands on the outdoor stage. Buono has been in the business long enough to have attended to every detail. “From time to time a celebrity bartender will come in,” he notes. “David Samora or Sam Misita. Names you’ll recognize.”

The indoor stage area complete with a disco ball!

The venue will book your wedding, stag party, shower, or fund raiser, (and beat anyone’s prices) as well. There is also special roped-off parking for motorcycles.

And one final note: did we mention the Ladies Room? All by itself, this splendid room is reason enough to stop by: marble, granite, polished floors and perfect lighting – along with
grooming products and even a candy dish thoughtfully placed by the door. Your mom would be happy – and so will you.

Jamie Wallace