IMAGE: Ro Tam
Two months ago, the sizeable space last home to Rock’s on the corner of Northeast 20th Avenue and Alberta Street became The Hilt (1934 NE Alberta St., 971-255-1793). Unlike the previous tenant, the Hilt is not a sports bar; nor is it a pretentious hole-in-the-wall for creative types. It’s not glamorous and certainly not quirky. You won’t find 20 beers on tap or a single flat-screen TV playing college football overhead. Instead, you’ll find an unadorned bar with a moderately priced Mediterranean menu (entrees top out at $9) and a respectable drink list served by an authentically good-natured staff. Happy hour is held every day (4 to 7 pm), when all well and tap drinks, as well as appetizers, are reduced by a buck. Now, a buck may not seem like much, but it adds up, dropping a pint of Rainier to $1.50 and a massive appetizer combo (tzatziki, kalamata olives, calamari, pita) to $6. Did I mention that everything is made in-house, from scratch? As inadvisable as it may be to open a new pub in a city already littered with them, the Hilt still manages to be worth your pennies (and to succeed without a hint of irony).