Dark, dank Mary’s Club—at over 40 years in operation, the undisputed grande dame of West Coast strips—has an enduring relationship with celebrity. Courtney Love stripped there, back when the neighborhood was seedy enough to be a place where Courtney Love would strip; a signed picture on the wall says she “bought my very first guitar here showing my teeny little titties.” Viva Las Vegas, Portland’s most famous dancer/author/union organizer, dances there still. Tom Waits reputedly sang about it in “Pasties and a G-String.” It’s maybe not always fun to be there anymore, amid local transients who cobbled together just enough for the one-drink minimum, the late-night frat-boy nightclub refugees and besotted couples on dates, but it will remain always a stubbornly degenerate landmark of what Portland once was and still often is. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
What to drink: Bad rum ordered neat, because at Mary’s, everyone’s a dirty sailor.
Happy hour: $2.50 PBR before 4:30 pm, for the nonworking crowd.
Entertainment: Girls/ladies, friendly also brassy, oddly classy, with sterling taste on the juke, who let you see all of their piercings and tattoos. Also, video poker.