When he gets to a certain point in his life, a man knows what he wants. For former Ducks, Lions, Dolphins, Falcons and Saints quarterback Joey Harrington, that's a woody room that takes reservations and serves up a good rib-eye ($31) and a glass of Wahluke Slope primitivo ($11) while showing the day's ball games. And thus, Pearl Tavern (231 NW 11th Ave., pearltavernpdx.com), the upscale new sport lounge with bottle service and spiced toffee beer nuts ($3).
"I'm at the age where I don't want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings," Harrington told The Oregonian when announcing his new project with ChefStable. "If I want to hang out and get a good meal, and maybe catch a game, where am I going to do that?"
Now, there's a place, the former Parish space, outfitted as a manly study, with rugged wood floors, stately green walls and lots of big, cushy booths. If you're headed to this Pearly pub during peak hours, reserve one of those booths. Otherwise, expect to be crammed into a narrow space behind the bar, waiting for a stool to open.
Once you're seated, it's a very pleasant place. Barman Ryan Magarian has put together an excellent and distinctive drink list, with cocktails like an Angostura fizz ($14), which uses bitters as its only liquor and combines them with lemon, simple syrup, cream and soda water, and what's probably the only keg of Great Notion's wildly popular Juice Jr. ($7) tapped outside its own brewpub right now.
The TVs are optimized for bar viewing, with some of the tables qualifying as "obstructed-view seats." But if you've got a good spot, and the scratch for a nice steak, and a taste for fine bourbon, there's now a place for you, away from the ball-capped riffraff eating mini corn dogs over at Lloyd Center.