421 SE Grand Ave., 971-270-7760, thelovecraftbar.com. 8 pm-2 am Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday. Unhappy hour 4-8 pm Friday-Saturday, 8-10 pm Sunday-Thursday.
Established: Jan. 1, 2011
With an excess of graffiti pentagrams, jarred skulls and glow-in-the-dark Wiccan hieroglyphics, the inner east side's Lovecraft is Portland's quintessential queer-friendly goth nightclub. Entertainment ranges from VH1 throwbacks (Tiffany Pollard hosted a drag show) to literal pity parties—Sad Day, for example, which enlists depressed people to cry onstage. The specialty cocktail menu is absinthe-dominated; the stern-faced, punk customer base shies away from selfies like a crypt full of seething vampires; and the bartenders are fittingly unfriendly, as if their only other option was as a clothes buyer at the Red Light Exchange.
Just recently, Lovecraft added an additional bar in its back room, fittingly called the Expansion, which is open Thursday through Saturday night, 10 pm to close. This means you can choose a spooky dive over sweating to '80s death rock, if you dare.
Bar story: The Lovecraft was founded by its owner, Jon Horrid (no joke), because he hated bars, in general. Its most famed customer, according to Jon, was a spicy bald girl who punched out a window, "molested a coffin" and pretended she was in the company of Kid Rock (who wasn't actually there), all in one night.