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October 14th, 2009 BEN WATERHOUSE | Bar Reviews
 

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

     
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IMAGE: Vivianjohnson.com

I’m a finger into my second bourbon before I realize I’ve been here before. Pre-smoking ban, Yur’s (717 NW 16th Ave., 224-0160), an anonymous tavern standing like a North Korean redoubt overlooking the demilitarized zone of I-405, resembled a very happy cave lit by bioluminescent algae. It turns out that the blue-green glow at the back of the long, dim room is actually a phalanx of Oregon Lottery stations, which diminishes the mystery a bit. Otherwise, it’s the same old bar, with the same free popcorn, the same cheap drinks ($4.50 call bourbon!), the same funny bartenders and the same weird mix of drinkers. To my left, a pair of off-duty (I hope) Radio Cab drivers talk shop over wells. To my right, a trio of ordinary-looking dudes in hoodies down Bloody Marys, watch baseball and attempt to ignore the couple in the booth behind us: a mulletted fellow in a tight V-neck sweater and a woman dressed like Tiger Lily—headband and all—chatting about Spike Jonze and playing low-grade techno on the jukebox. When they leave, it’s back to Steve Miller Band. Keep on rockin’.

 
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