5919 SE 82nd Ave., 503-774-1468, facebook.com/lionseyetavern. Noon-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 3-7 pm daily: $3.50 drafts, $1 off local liquor; $3 for two barbecue sliders, veggie egg rolls or cheese bread.
Established: April 2009
Calling Lion's Eye a dive bar is an unfair assessment of what's easily the best bar on Southeast 82nd Avenue. Sure, it's next to a pawn shop and up until recently sported an infamously defunct urinal that management simply gave up on and covered in trash bags, but the grime and the grimacing barflies that make many establishments along the east side's socioeconomic equator inhospitable dens of drunkenness are largely absent at this friendly neighborhood boozer. Hell, there's even a handwritten sign on the door that says "NO VIDEO LOTTERY." In place of more common shithole symptoms is a pair of saggy booths, two well-worn pool tables used every Sunday for a weekly tournament, a fantastic patio outfitted with cornhole and a generous awning, and a toaster oven-based kitchenette the lone bartender uses to whip up a small yet satisfying menu of snacks like fish tacos, grilled cheese or barbecue pulled-pork sliders (all $7). The real marvel of Lion's Eye, however, is the tap list, which is both cheap—$4.50 for a pint, or $15 for a pitcher—and well endowed, with walnut Belgian dark from the Commons, El Dorina IPA from Pelican and Do You Even Sour, Bro? from Ex Novo being recent highlights that would be rare finds even at nominally "nicer" bars in hipper environs. Whether the rest of the area will soon follow suit is yet to be determined, but it's safe to assume most Portlanders would feel quite all right with migrating east if easy access to a bar as great as Lion's Eye was part of the package.
Bar story: The Lion's Eye came to be after the previous bar, Becken's Winning Hand, was closed after a drug raid.