Too many bars in Portland struggle to find an identity. Often, a new spot can’t decide whether it wants to be a neighborhood watering hole or a weekend concert venue. Fortunately, the Saratoga doesn’t have to pick a side—it excels at both. With cheap, stiff drinks, a photo booth, four pinball machines and a sign above the bar announcing that twins (both ordinary and, uh, conjoined) drink for free, the Saratoga is a perfect spot to stop in for a quick pint. The killer is the bar’s second side, with a small stage and ample space for bands, DJs and the odd soul-funk dance night. Right now the live music is mostly relegated to Saturday nights, but the room is big enough that it could—and hopefully will—become a haven for local garage-rock newbies. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
What to drink: Hot toddy.
Happy hour: $3 well drinks, $1 domestic beers, 50 cents off microbrews 3-7 pm daily.
Entertainment: Pinball, darts, sports, live music, karaoke Mondays, photo booth.