1305 SE 8th Ave, 503-236-9672, whiteowlsocialclub.com. 3 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 3-7 pm daily: $3 drafts, $6 cocktails, $5 football-sized plate of chili cheese fries.
Established: January 2013
Despite the fact that there are many elements signaling that inner Southeast Portland's White Owl Social Club is, like its name states, a club, you'd be hard-pressed to find another club like it. Yes, there's a doorman, a DJ and often a decade-long drink line or even weekend sidewalk line filled with young, pretty people. But that's where the similarities end. The drinks are more reasonably priced than you might expect—like the $6 Tecate-and-tequila combo and a world-beating $3 draft price during sunny happy-hour days on the mammoth rear patio that makes White Owl Portland's default day-drinking option when the sun shines hot. For the more diet-conscious crowd, almost everything on the food menu—from Buffalo-fried cauliflower to the Michigan-style chili dog—is offered with a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free option. On that endless patio, you might find a local author privately reading short stories, young couples snuggling by the fire or a white-capped party crew whoo-ing by an outdoor DJ. White Owl accepts all. It's kind of like capitalism that way.
Bar story: This patio has a long history. Before White Owl, it was an often-ill-advised outdoor venue called Plan B, troubled by overaggressive security guards. And then before that it was a lovely, insidery horseshoe-bar joint called Acme that never quite figured out how to use the patio. Bad move, Acme: White Owl is all about the the patio.