4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-8303, spaceroomlounge.com. 11-2 am Monday-Friday,
9-2 am Saturday-Sunday.
There aren’t a lot of theme bars in Portland, so Space Room has an advantage right off the bat. But Hawthorne Boulevard’s dive bar of the future goes above and beyond in the chintzy decor department, and for that it is legendary: Its windowless walls are wrapped with DayGlo/blacklight Northwest nature scenes and a rough depiction of the Portland skyline; its ceiling is covered in white Christmas lights that stand in for stars. More Reno than Vegas, really, everything in the place, including the off-theme cafe/diner attachment on the building’s west end, feels endearingly artificial (“even for fake plants, these are pretty sad,” my girlfriend noted on our last visit). The drink list matches the interior design in gall: A wide variety of $7-ish fishbowl drinks (we prefer the tangy $7 Space Punch, but the Liz-a-Licious—a hideous concoction of strawberry vodka and Tang—has its appeal) join cheap happy-hour food (what other bar sells peanut butter-topped celery?) and a distinctly old-school cast of regulars and bar staff to make it one of the best afterparty destinations in Portland. Space truly is the place. CASEY JARMAN.
What to drink: The Space Punch fishbowl, of course!
Happy hour: $2.25 microbrews and $2.50 well drinks from open to 6 pm daily. Happy hour food 3-6 pm daily. Saturday and Sunday $5.50 Bloody Mary fishbowls from open to 4 pm.
Entertainment: TV, trivia Wednesdays, space shit.