| Heaters and Hipsters at The Florida Room |
IMAGE: Vivian Johnson
SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, shriveled testes and alien babies. With the implementation of Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace law in January, it also leads to gathering outdoors in the cold and rain outside local bars—indirectly contributing to whooping cough, frostbite and accidental arousal from rubbing against another fiend while huddled under an awning. WW’s surgeon general does not recommend smoking outside during a Portland tsunami. Getting loaded at weatherproofed smoking sections in local bars is recommended, however, and may result in increased tobacco use, bullshit sessions, and random hookups.
1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876.
EastBurn mixes basket chairs and music upstairs, a taproom downstairs (with Skee-Ball), and the city’s best smoking section outside. Throw in affordably fancy grub and killer daily drink specials (Whiskey Wednesday, $2 pints Tuesday) and it’s no wonder the place is always hopping.
Smoking section: EastBurn’s patio is partially walled and heated, with individual fireplaces embedded in tables and around hanging benches.
Con: Hanging benches and personal fireplaces are real-estate gold—and difficult to snipe.
Last drag: So comfy and unique you’ll have advanced lung cancer in no time.
2839 NW St. Helens Road, 222-6600.
With the look of From Dusk Till Dawn’s Mexican-vampire dive the Titty Twister, Casa Diablo traffics in cheap beer ($2 PBR tallboys) and Seventh-Circle-hot dancers (and topless bartenders) that make it worth the trek into Northwest Industrial’s no-man’s land.
Smoking section: The vegan vaginopolis boasts a massive heated patio with windows peering at the stage, making the dancers appear as mermaids in a human aquarium (with shorn naughty bits instead of fishtails).
Cons: The peeping-tom effect makes a solo smoker seem like a serial masturbator.
Last drag: Sex and cigarettes always go together.
3967 N Mississippi Ave. 288-6272.
Deceptively chic with moon chairs, white couches and infused liquors—hell, there’s even no signage identifying the Clockwork Orange-monikered joint—Moloko Plus is a spruced-up dive. Gourmet-thrifty happy-hour food and drinks, Atari, and tons of singles make it a cheap spot to go with or without droogies.
Smoking section: A piney, flora-covered backyard porch with a ceiling and heaters overhead, Moloko’s smoking section feels like a slightly twisted bed-and-breakfast garden.
Cons: Finding Moloko can be a pain in the yarblockos. (Hint: Look for neon signs and jazz).
Last drag: Real horror show—a classy place to relax, meet singles and smoke without busting the bank.
1000 SE 12th Ave. 233-0743.
Roadside Attraction looks like a boomtown saloon. Inside, it’s cavernous and decked out in velvety red with strange Asian-fusion decor (is that an opium den in the back?). Great food, funkiness, and the fact it’s hidden from the road by a gigantic wooden fence make this joint Portland’s Shangri-La.
Smoking section: Outdoor smoking takes on a deep-woods feel on Southeast 12th Avenue, with a diligently stoked bonfire providing heat and rustic shelters to keep smokers dry.
Con: Huddling around the fire can either be isolating, a flirt session, or an awkward experience with a drunken galoot who loves fire.
Last drag: All campfires should have full bar service.
New Old Lompoc Pub And Brewery
1616 NW 23rd Ave. 225-1855.
With some of the best beers and pub grub in Northwest Portland and a decent capacity for crowds (even when official home team the Boston Red Sox are playing on multiple TVs), New Old Lompoc is a neighborhood favorite for any demographic.
Smoking section: A tin-roofed enclosure with patio heaters contributes to the old-world feel, with picnic tables and an adjoining open-air deck for dry nights.
Con: Outside can be a lonely place…especially where service is concerned.
Last drag: Under the stars or a tin roof, a fresh Lompoc Strong Draft and a Camel can be bliss.
The Florida Room
435 N Killingsworth St., 287-5658.
NoPo’s hipster oasis is amply divey, with a stellar $2.50 food happy hour (sliders…mmm) and an ever-changing population of characters offering lively conversation. It makes you miss smoking in a dark bar with strangers.
Smoking section: The Florida Room is infamous for its summertime patio, but the front-deck smoking section gives it another notch in the belt—with heaters reminiscent of fast-food warming lamps and plastic insulation enclosing about a dozen tables.
Con: The omnipresent hipster alone at a four-seat table waiting for someone to ask what he’s reading (hint: something deep).
Last drag: Smoking in Florida: No longer exclusive to octogenarians with Virginia Slim menthols.
71 SW 2nd Ave., 222-2155.
The corporate English answer to Kells’ corporate Irish flare, the Thirsty Lion goes for a Soho pub feel, complete with a sea of TVs broadcasting soccer matches and the requisite loud dudes packing the place to cheer into imperial pints.
Smoking section: True to the Lion’s Brit aesthetic, its back alley, walled in by buildings and effectively tarped from above, is a snug place to inhale a pint and a fag between goals.
Con: The place can be as packed as Liverpool vs. Manchester.
Last drag: The smoking area of the Horse Brass’ preppy little brother is more British than its polished interior.
The Pied Cow
3244 SE Belmont St., 230-4866.
Southeast Belmont’s answer to a European comfort cafe is an old Victorian that shells out amazing home-baked desserts (a nut-bustingly delicious pecan pie among them), coffee concoctions, and a nice supply of exotic beers and wine.
Smoking section: Outside of what appears to be the funkiest grandma house this side of Little Red’s ’hood is a tented-off, full-service garden area that feels like a mutation of a Middle Eastern smoking lounge—complete with hookahs—and Burning Man holdouts.
Con: The Cow’s all-ages atmosphere inevitably leads to teenage dates trying to look cool while choking on perfumed tobacco from a hookah.
Last drag: It’s a garden of Eden, complete with decadent desserts, booze, and the necessary post-indulgence smoking section.