36 N Russell St., 503-287-2262, sloanstavern.com. 11 am–10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Fridays. Happy hour 3-6 pm: $1 off draft beers and well drinks.
Aside from the stiff drinks and ice-cold cheap beer, North Russell Street's Sloan's is classier than the dive bar label it's been given. With dark-maroon floral carpet, gold-marbled mirrors, booths upholstered with brown-striped tweed and enough late-'60s and '70s kitsch to give any vintage store a run for its money, the retro watering hole feels like your great aunt's living room that hasn't been updated since 1972.
The lunch hours are filled with a lively mix of construction workers and n eighborhood regulars discussing their day over cold bottles of Miller High Life. By night, the crowd changes to a lesbian-ish bar with a few shy newcomers who finally got up the nerve to check out the bar "with the truck out front," sitting on the outskirts and fawning over the vintage jukebox. Blazers games are normally shown on the big screen, but sometimes you'll be outnumbered by the regulars who'd rather watch Wheel of Fortune.
Bar story: The original Chicago Coin's Band Box jukebox is the crown jewel of the bar. One of only a handful left in existence, the '50s-era music machine plays hits from the likes of Willie, Patsy and Charlie Daniels while the tiny toy band above dances their tiny hearts out.