14 NE 22nd Ave., 503-233-4181. 3 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 3-6 pm daily: $1 off wells and draft specials. Daily drink specials include $3 crafts Sunday, $1 Hamm's pints Wednesday.
Established: October 2007
The Standard is standard only in one regard, and that's the way it insinuates itself into your regular schedule if you live anywhere near its location just north of East Burnside Street—a weirdly well-lighted bar whose most regular regulars form a shuffled deck of jokers along the barstools. These face a Blazers-jerseyed Hamm's bear, an artfully cracked bar mirror and a TV that's tuned to Blazers games or RuPaul's Drag Race whenever possible. Sundays are $3 craft beers including a permatap of Pfriem Pilsner, while Wednesdays drop the median age of the bar by six years with dollar Hamm's pints. Jell-O shots are a dollar even with Pop Rocks on top, and the rotating summer slushies are some of the best in town, especially a creepily verisimilitudinous Orange Creamsicle and a stiff Moscow Mule. The walls, meanwhile, are a gallery of vintage beer kitsch—an aesthetic owner Reed Lamb had perhaps picked up from his previous job at Club 21—and the borders of the bar are formed by a sparse game hall of (clockwise) shuffleboard, pool, pinball, Big Buck Hunter, jukebox, novelty vending machine, other novelty vending machine, photo booth, video poker, Pac-Man. The bar is cheap, no-nonsense fun in a way that takes all comers and yet is loving toward its longtime regulars. These days in Portland, that makes the Standard not very standard at all. It makes it a goddamn treasure.
Bar story: When Annalies—the Dutch woman who made the Standard's homestyle food for many years—decided to retire, the bar threw her a going-away party and put up an offering to help her buy a scooter, which she'd always wanted. Seemingly everybody in the 'hood showed up, and the line for drinks went all the way out the door.