3006 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-1744, claudiaspub.com. 11 am-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-1 am Friday-Saturday. Happy hour 4-7 pm daily.
More local sports history is housed at Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard's Claudia's than at any other bar in Portland. Inside the nearly-60-year-old, TV-heavy pool hall and poker house, an entire wall is devoted to a trophy case endowed with the buffed, beribboned evidence of the bar's once titanic amateur basketball team, which won three national championships in the '60s. But there's even more history inside the iPad of bartender Troy Berry—championship-winning basketball coach at Lincoln and Benson, former basketball coach of Kevin Love and JR Ewing, and a one-time Major League baseball player for Philadelphia—quite probably the most knowledgeable sports-bar bartender in the city, who nonetheless wears that knowledge lightly, preferring to throw gentle shade on the guy in the Cavs hat while deflecting all misguided attempts at armchair analysis. "Better than Rodman? I don't know about that, man." Sure, the high-backed captain's chairs at Claudia's have been sadly replaced with regular barstools that are much more comfortable, and the beer list has been updated to include Fat Head's, Buoy and Ex Novo—a rare assortment at a sports pub—but the High Life and the high life are still dirt-cheap at Claudia's.
Bar story: If you get lucky, Berry will have a spare moment to flip through the photos stored on his computer—pictures of himself with a smiling and slightly swollen-looking Michael Jordan, hanging with his old college roommate Gary Payton, or—oddly—with his arm around a smiling, drunken Wolf Blitzer. "Wolf Blitzer gets down," Berry says, shaking his head. "That dude knows how to party."