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September 7th, 2011 JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG | Bar Reviews
 

Al's Den: Hold The Iniquity

clublist_alsden_3744AL’S DEN - IMAGE: cameronbrowne.com

Considering that Al’s Den (303 SW 12th Ave.), the live-music venue in the Crystal Hotel’s basement, takes its name from Al Winter, a Portland gambling kingpin who purportedly directed his vast vice operation from the room in the 1940s, one might expect the venue to be just the least bit edgy. But then, this is a McMenamins establishment: The edges come rounded off. The drinks and food at Al’s Den are decent—the paper-thin house chips melt in your mouth and are served with interesting dipping sauces like Sriracha ketchup—but all the lounge’s menu offerings come from the adjoining Ringlers Annex or Zeus Cafe, so there’s really no reason to be in Al’s except to see a show. On that account, the venue succeeds quite well: High-quality local musicians and DJs grace the stage of the super-intimate space nightly.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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