1430 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-235-7972. 2 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 10:30 am-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday.
Sandy Hut was once a 90-year-old bar that no one in particular could be nostalgic about—an early-morning den of vice favored mostly by drunken morning people who never quite slept. Its brighten-the-corners rehabilitation by owners Marcus Archambeault and Warren Boothby has been a strange sort of magic trick—turning the bar into into a replica of its former self that never quite existed in anyone's memory. The Skinny and Fat Man burgers purport to come from a 90-year-old recipe—and both are among the best bar burgers in town.
The Al Hirschfeld mural, once forgotten, now presides as if it always had, in a bar whose paneling makes it look like a drunken dad's drinking den. The $14 prime rib on Wednesday, meanwhile, is surprisingly excellent, as are the Filipino-inspired lumpia that grace the pu-pu platter. The midcentury-tiki-esque cocktails are sugary and ill-advised, perhaps, but the simple pours are blessedly loose-wristed, the DJs skewed toward the classic and psychedelic, and the crowd consisting of an equal-parts mix of service industry, old-school barflies and beautiful 23-year-olds—which is to say, it is a perfect crowd.
Bar story: That giant Al Hirschfeld mural of 1930s celebrities is one of only two original Hirschfeld murals known to still exist in bars. The other, in Los Angeles, looks exactly the same.