When Eugenio's closed to make room for Gestalt Haus, it was hard not to see some symbolism. Eugenio's featured live music by middle-aged white guys playing jazz on acoustic guitars while drinking lattes and eating pizza topped with avocado. Eugenio's (established in 2002) held a funeral procession for Old Portland on its way out, then became a bikey lagerhaus spin-off run by transplant San Franciscans.
So what does it mean that the space is now Sessionable (3588 SE Division St., 503-501-4663, sessionable.com), with gender-neutral restrooms that have bidets? I wish I knew.
While the crusty Gestalt Haus seemed to take pride in repurposing the decor of the previous tenant in the manner of a punk house, Sessionable has redone everything. The bar now has barley grains under glass. Behind the bar, a shiny new digital taplist displays Hop Valley Blonde and Fremont Lush. On the back wall is a silvery curtain, as though you're backstage at an insurance conference awards show.
But despite the full makeover, the summer menu isn't fully committed to the concept, with seven of the 30 taps coming it at 5% ABV or above. All of these beers are available in 10- or 20-ounce pours, the former mostly running $3 each. The food menu includes a $3 "melange of olives," a cheese plate and house-seasoned pretzel sticks, which are pleasantly spicy and a buck a bowl. Some pretzel sticks, a sessionable beer from Eugene and maybe a turn on the bidet—a nice little Saturday on present-day Division Street.