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March 28th, 2012 12:01 am AARON MESH | Bar Reviews

New Portland Rose: Rose-Colored Glasses

music.clublist.newportlandrose_3821NEW PORTLAND ROSE - IMAGE: leahnash.com

The great big sign atop St. Johns recourse New Portland Rose (8728 N Lombard St., 286-2815) promises Chinese food and “RESTAURAT,” but neither are available after dark—if you don’t know to walk around to the back-alley bar entrance, you might end up resorting to the nearby Wishing Well. You’ll learn the two places share owners, bartenders, sexual partners and a karaoke machine (it’s at New Portland Rose Tuesday through Thursday, and at Wishing Well on the weekend). New Portland Rose is distinguished by a round wooden mallet on which the bartender has inscribed the names of her problem patrons. Also by its general lugubriousness: The only song played on the jukebox over a 30-minute period on a Friday night was Adele. “We don’t really have a happy hour,” said the barback. “It’s just kind of a bad day.” Still, a gin and tonic is $3.50, and poured strong enough to make you forget the many things you are here to forget.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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