The entrance to the temple is guarded by golden lions—or would be, anyway, if this were Las Vegas. But this is Portland, so the temple honors the gods of bikes and beer, and the lions are electric-power-producing exercycles with cup holders. BikeBar, the soon-to-open scion of Hopworks Urban Brewing, scheduled to open mid-June on North Williams Avenue, is a monument to sustainable construction and bicycle culture—and, of course, beer.
Owner and brewmaster Christian Ettinger says BikeBar strives to serve up pints and plates in a "carbon neutral" atmosphere. (The bar is on the ground floor of EcoFlats, a project that aspires to be the first apartment building in the nation to use no more energy than it produces.) The bar is outfitted with recycled wood (saved from the construction of Hopworks' brewery on Southeast Powell Boulevard) on the walls, insulated floors, LED lights in the ceiling, and solar panels on the roof. The fryers use energy-efficient infrared lamps. Even the restrooms are eco-friendly: A water-saving toilet-sink combination fills the tank with used water from the sink located on top of the toilet tank.
Inspired by the bar's location on North Williams Avenue—a street so heavily used by two-wheeled commuters that he refers to it as "the bike highway"—Ettinger has worked bicycles into every corner of BikeBar. The space, which seats 100, has parking space for 65 bikes behind the building. A "gallery" of frames, made by the best of Portland's many frame builders, overhangs the bar. The front patio features a "bike plank"—a drink rail facing the street, so as to give drinkers the best possible view of passing bicycle traffic. The bar will even offer a beer-and-sandwich deal, dubbed "Hopworks on the go," for riders in a hurry—the beer comes in a 22-ounce bottle, and the sandwich is designed to fit perfectly in a water-bottle cage. "The location is perfect for encouraging people to use alternative forms of transportation," Ettinger says. Sure—Portlanders will do anything for a beer.
GO: BikeBar opens in mid-June at 3947 N Williams Ave. See hopworksbeer.com.
FIVE MORE BIKE-FRIENDLY BARS
With only two fewer parking spaces than BikeBar, Apex (1216 SE Division St.) extends a similar embrace to cyclists. Whether you ride a fixie or freewheel, Apex has U-locks to borrow (for free!), a tire-truing station at the bar, and a place to hang your helmet. A patio facing the racks offers the chance to exhibit your ride while lusting over others. If you're done sizing up the bikes outside, there's usually bicycle racing on the flat-screen inside.
Spirit of 77
As if free Pop-A-Shot weren't enough, Portland's hippest sports bar (500 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) makes up for the egregious shortage of bike racks around the Convention Center with indoor space for 15 bikes.
The German pub (4239 N Mississippi Ave.) has a covered, off-street bike corral with eight staple racks.
The sleekest bar in the Alberta neighborhood (1101 NE Alberta St.) also has eight off-street staple racks, although they aren't covered.
A 14-seat bike with a central bar is expected to hit the streets in early June. If you're hoping to throw back a beer while pedaling, you should visit Minneapolis or Chicago, where PedalPubs are permitted to tap a keg, ensuring you're good and intoxicated before arriving at the bar. If you don't mind pulling over for a swig, the Pedalounge (pedalounge.com) will be renting out bikes soon.