Montavilla's Stark Street mixology bar Vintage Cocktail Lounge has long been known for its vast Prohibition cocktail menu and downright reasonable prices, whether $8 Hemingway daiquiris or esoteric $11 drinks.
Now, it seems, they'll be coming to the center of the city. After being contacted about a liquor license application fild with the state, co-owner Ray Hendricks confirms Vintage hopess to buy the Pearl District's long-running Vault Martini bar on 226 NW 12th Ave.—a lounge-y refuge serving up umpteen versions of the classic martini, vodkatini or chocolatini. He couldn't comment on any pending deal, but hopes to moveforward with the help of Vault's original owner Casey Hopkin.
"We love Vault," say Hendricks. "It's as close to a Portland tradition as you can get in the cocktail lounge scene."
They hope to be open by June 1, after updating the decor and training barstaff on a new cocktail menu. They would change the name only subtly, as the application shows—Vault Martini Bar will become Vault Cocktail Lounge.
Hendricks says he also hopes to serve drinks in the Pearl at the same prices they're charging in Montavilla, saying his goal is "high quality cocktails at prices all of us can achieve."
In that regard, at Vintage in Montavilla since November, Hendricks has instated a "Socialist Bartender" program every Sunday.
"We buy expensive and rare bottles. We release it Sundays and pour it at our cost," says Hendricks. "We pour it till the bottle is gone—one pour per person per day. It's a way of getting these things we all read about but no one ever gets to try because they cost hundreds or thousands of dollars."
If the deal finalizes, they would also bring their particular brand of socialism to the Pearl as well, says Hendricks.
Otherwise, Vault Cocktail Lounge would be a "more modern" version of Vintage in Montavilla."
"It is going to be heavy on the lounge side, very cozy and comfortable," says Hendricks. "We'll keep the fireplace in there. We're working on the lighting to get the right atmosphere."
Though he's mum on most details, there's one thing he knows will be present.
"Floor to ceiling bottles," says Hendricks. "A giant wall of booze."