5128 N Albina Ave., 282-2934, redfoxpdx.com. 3 pm-1:30 am daily. Happy hour: Food specials and $1 off beer and well 3-6 pm daily.
Happy hour at Red Fox starts at 3 pm. This is a good thing: Itâs going to be a long night, so it pays to start early. Squeeze onto a wooden bench out front, between the bamboo shoots and itty-bitty planter boxes, or head inside the red-walled pub and sink into one of the black vinyl booths, their fissures sealed with duct tape. Itâs a delightfully convivial place, so ask about the taxidermied fox, or better yet, about the shrine in the back corner. There, on a tiny round table, rests a framed portrait of a man wearing a long curly wig and a vaguely Elizabethan tunic. Next to his distinguished visage is a flower made from an empty can of Rolling Rock. Who is this fellow? His name is Doug, the bar staff will tell you, and heâs a friend of the owner and a man of many trades: Shakespearean actor, fly fisherman, house painter, cat owner, general grump. As you line your belly with some spicy gumbo or a burger laden with pancetta and blue cheese ($9), dream of the day when Doug might stop by.
The Florida Room
435 N Killingsworth St., 287-5658. 3 pm-2 am daily. Happy hour: 50 cents off drafts and wells, food menu $3-$4 3-7 pm daily.
After several Old Germans at Red Fox, a bloody mary will do you well. The Florida Room is not a particularly somber (or sober) place, but it is serious about that particular cocktail. Try one with bacon or hot pepper vodka, or with cucumber gin if youâre going easier on your stomach lining ($5-$8). Portland Community College students play Magic: The Gathering on the patio, too engrossed by their game to notice the giant plate of nachos congealing next to them (in other words, steal some tortilla chips). Or pet the bichon frisÃ© skidding across the patio as its owner languidly sips her PBR. Before you leave, wend your way through the labyrinthine set of turquoise-walled rooms and past all the chintzy gewgaws to the photo booth. Itâs the only thing helping you remember the night.
1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252, saraveza.com. 11 am-midnight daily. Happy hour: $1 off drafts 4-6 pm daily, food menu $3.50-$6.75 4-6 pm weekdays.
At comfy beer bar and bottle shop Saraveza, curse the fact that you didnât bring along those PCC friends you just madeâthose lucky bastards get special deals here (11 am-4 pm weekdays). Goodness knows that sipping a Russian River barrel-aged sour (or anything else from one of the nine rotating taps) helps with those Spanish flash cards, though you might end up too distracted by the bottle-cap-topped tables or the Green Bay Packers paraphernalia to do much studying. Make plans to return the second Monday of the month, when your pint is served with a side of free bacon.
Georgeâs Corner Sports Bar
5501 N Interstate Ave., 289-0307. 10 am-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: 50 cents off wells, $1 PBR 4-7 pm weekdays.
Itâs about time to hit a dive, and thatâs what Georgeâs Corner Sports Bar is. The blue-collar regulars are chummy and the beer is cheap ($1 PBRs at happy hour), and you can eat some fine fried chicken while watching a game on one of the barâs many screens. Go find that guy who selected âSuper Freakâ on the jukebox, and youâve got a friend for the rest of the night.
The Old Gold
2105 N Killingsworth St., 894-8937, theoldgoldpdx.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Tuesday, 4 pm-1 am Wednesday-Thursday, 2 pm-2 am Friday, noon-2 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday. Happy hour: $1 off wells, house wine, micros and sandwiches 4-7 pm weekdays.
Adding kombucha to a drink makes it good for you, right? Thatâs all the excuse you need to skip west to the Old Gold, which does that. Employees from nearby Adidas cluster at wooden booths, with cartoon portraits of baseball greats keeping watch over the bustling space. The drawing style makes senseâthe Old Gold is co-owned by Ezra Caraeff, former music editor at The Portland Mercury.
Once the Old Gold has booted you out, totter back to Georgeâs for the latest last call in town.
1015 NW Everett St., 445-8109, teardroplounge.com. Happy hour: Food and cocktail specials 4-7 pm weekdays.
One starts off any night with the best of intentions, perhaps at a sleek-surfaced barâmuch favored by airplane magazinesâarranged in concentric rings around the hallowed cocktail station, where bitters line up in a variety that would make Crayola blush. A staid $5 happy-hour highball, perhaps, with 10-year Scotch, soda and Lillet Rose? We will all dazzle the tippling tech startup CEOs with trenchant wit and get marketing jobs that take over our lives, using venture-capital money as kindling for a candle burnt at both ends. Surely no one is foolhardy enough to get the $26 Church and State punch bowl that mixes vodka with green tea and the eggy sacrament of oleo saccharum?
Low Brow Lounge
1036 NW Hoyt St., 226-0200. 3 pm-2:30 am Monday-Saturday. Happy hour: $1 off drinks, food specials 5-7 pm.
After the punch bowl, nobodyâs getting a job with IT Santa Claus. Might as well get back to our own kind, play rounds of Big Buck Safari and Big Buck HD, and sober up with some carb-laden $7 Tits ânâ Tots (thatâs chicken breasts and tater tots, people, nothing legally actionable) at the well-named Low Brow Lounge, the Pearlâs last bastion for the indelicate. Too bad the bar refuses to serve well drinks at an amplitude below face-blistering. All seriousness departs.
1033 NW 16th Ave., 971-229-1455, slabtownbar.net. Noon-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: Noon-7 pm weekdays.
Itâs all fun and games from here on out. Old-school rock venue Slabtown is, as ever, a playtown for putative grown-ups (with occasional all-ages shows served up from the back entrance), with pinball, air hockey, Skee-Ball and Pop-A-Shot. The shows are always inexpensive and almost always local, and loser at air hockey buys pitchers, in a tradition established long ago, in ancient Portland. The barâs jukebox remains, sadly, only as a nonfunctioning relic. But for any itinerant musicians, the bar does offer a vending machine that sells only bass and guitar strings.
1020 NW 17th Ave., 943-2780. 2 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: Food specials, 50 cents off taps and wells 2-6 pm daily.
On to Moonshine, home to the one of the best hidden pinball selections in the cityâhidden doubly because the bar is housed under a sign for a Paymaster check-cashing station and because the long row of games is tucked behind a retaining wall, near the restroom. At the front of the bar, a drawing of the barâs putative owner, Balls the Cat, pees happily, in anatomically disturbing fashion, into a moonshine jug; other jugs are shelved on the walls. Note to self: Order no liquors that come in jugs. Pinball loser buys a gin and tonic, to be drunk on the patio.
1011 NW 16th St., 226-1258, lehappy.com. 5 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-1:30 am Friday-Saturday. Happy hour: $1 off most drinks 5-7 pm Monday-Thursday.
It is now time for yet another sobering stationâthis one with the feeling of oneâs own living room. Once a raucous home to after-hours food, creperie Le Happy has calmed into a classy-to-casual cocktail-and-date spot with a few screwball touches, such as the wall of decade-old bar-patron photos lining the restroom door. But after a long night at the wells, thereâs nothing more appropriate to ease past the finish line than a $7.50 special featuring a Le Trash Blanc bacon-and-cheddar crepe plus a PBR tall boy, and a rousing board-game session of Thatâs Truckinâ, Santa Barbopoly or Connect 4. And if that 1 am last call is too early, Moonshine still beckons around the corner.
LaurelThirst Public House
2958 NE Glisan St., 232-1504, laurelthirst.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 4 pm-1 am Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday, 9 am-2 am Saturday, 9 am-midnight Sunday. Happy hour: $1 off micros, $2 PBR pints 4-6 pm weekdays.
A night out in Northeast must begin at the LaurelThirst, because the night always begins there first. Youâll have a beer in your palm by 5 pm, be on the dance floor by 6 and out the door with a good starting buzz and a slight ring in your ears even before the sun has fully set. Nightly free music during happy hourâfrom rootsy party-starters like Lewi Longmire, Jackstraw and Freak Mountain Familyâhas grown this small brick-lined tavern from a quintessential corner bar into a destination, even for less folk-inclined folks. Finding a seat is usually a challenge, but taking a pint out to the sidewalk on a warm early evening is all part of the experience.
344 NE 28th Ave., 232-0507. 4 pm-2:30 am daily.
A sign near the cash register warns, âIf you were born after todayâs date in 1992 or are Mumford & Sons we will not serve you.â Indeed, the indie-rock Red Flag does not take kindly to those who suck. A policy against chart-topping folk-pop acts might not seem particularly welcoming to the pretension-free LaurelThirst crowd, but the often-open booths and lack of live banjos provide a relaxed atmosphere in which to regroup and quaff a stiff whiskey and soda. And, judging by the cardboard cutouts hanging above the pinball machines, if Snoop Dogg or Billy Dee Williams happens to be in your crew, the drinks will be on the house. Just avoid the frozen margarita machine, or your crawl will turn literal in a hurry.
118 NE 28th Ave., 235-2794, beulahlandpdx.com. 9 am-2 am daily. Happy hour: $3 wells, $2 PBR pints, $3.50 micro pints, $1 Old German cans, $1 off all menu items 4-7 pm daily.
Three doors down from Red Flag, the deceptively cavernous Beulahland is where the party revs back up. Although it fancies itself a soccer barâTimbers games and Euro league matchups get equal TV playâdonât worry too much about running into a horde of rowdy hooligans. More likely are fashionably trashed rockers and off-duty bartenders dancing semi-ironically to DJs spinning â80s synth-funk, in between glugs of wacky cocktails made with Ovaltine and pepperoncini. If youâre prone to grumbling about so-called âhipsters,â this is basically the stereotypeâs ground zero. But, hey, at least most hipsters wonât crack a bottle over your head.
14 NE 22nd Ave., 233-4181, thestandardpdx.com. 3 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: $1 off wells and drafts, drink specials 3-6 pm daily.
Shoved into a corrugated steel shed behind a pet store right off East Burnside Street, the Standard is the Kerns neighborhoodâs best open secret, which got infinitely better when it replaced the cityâs worst shuffleboard table with the much rarer indoor cornhole beanbag game. At this point, youâre going to need something to coat your stomach. Order a plate of Little Smokies and a Hammâsâthe giant cartoon bear behind the bar commands itâand crawl into the photo booth, because your memories are about to become hazy.
2651 E Burnside St., 234-6171, chopstickskaraoke.com. Noon-2 am Monday-Thursday, noon-2:30 am Friday, 5 pm-2:30 am Saturday, 5 pm-2 am Sunday. Happy hour: 3-7 pm daily.
Youâre getting groggy. Your better judgment is turning to vapor. You started the night with music, and you want to end it with music. Actually, scratch that: You want to end music. At Chopsticks II, the art of singing along to Muzak renditions of bygone top-40 hits becomes an orgiastic communal experience. A few karaoke regulars have passable chops, but past midnight or so, every performance devolves into an atonal variation of âDonât Stop Believinâââit doesnât matter what the actual song isâfueled by drinks that hit like a wrench to the teeth. And no, youâre not hallucinating: The Asian guy on the banner near the KJ booth boasting the Engrish slogan âHow Can Be?â has materialized in the flesh to sing âSweet Caroline.â Get up there and help him out. He is your new best friend.
1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639, holocene.org. 8:30pm-close Wednesday-Thursday, 5 pm-close Friday, 8:30 pm-close Saturday. Happy hour: Free snacks 5-8 pm Friday.
Start at the sweaty Holocene dance club, which, at this hour, is not sweaty, nor a dance club. Rather, itâs a bright warehouselike space on the outer edge of the eastside industrial area. The dance floor is empty even as a DJ spins moderately loud indie rock and patrons here crowd into the narrow bar for free appetizers (âaperitivoâ). On one recent Friday, those free snacks included truffle-oiled popcorn, a radicchio and walnut salad, herbed rice and panna cotta. Happy-hour deals include two strong cocktails: âChord Bloodâ (tequila, mescal, pomegranate, lime and a little too much black pepper, $5) and âNo Nipsâ (bitter Stumptown coffee, hotly alcoholic Lemon Hart 151 rum, amaro and cream, $6). Consider leaving a little in the glass; itâs gonna be a long night.
Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont St., 265-8603, cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com. noon-10 pm Sunday-Monday, noon-11 pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-midnight Friday-Saturday.
Home of the best sour beers in the world, as determined by a New York Times tasting panel helmed by wine critic Eric Asimov, this steel-burnished tasting room is a barrel house where simple brews from Cascadeâs brewery at Raccoon Lodge are made magical by spending a few months in barrels brimming with tiny bacteria. The atmosphere is sterile and the crowd leans toward beer pilgrims and gentlemen of a certain age, so donât commit to anything beyond a few two-ounce tasters (priced between $2 and $3.50), and then make your way to the more friendly environs directly across the street.
928 SE 9th Ave., 517-0660, pdxgreendragon.com. 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-1 am Thursday-Saturday. Happy hour: food specials 4-6 pm and 9 pm-close Sunday-Wednesday, 4-6 pm and 10 pm-close Thursday-Saturday.
This green Quonset hut gets points for bigness: Taps, tables and patio space are all plentiful at this Rogue-owned alehouse. Try something from Buckman Botanical, the in-house maker of hopless brews called gruets. Check out the Parnold Almer Kolsch, made with lemon peel and leaves from Steven Smith Teamaker.
White Owl Social Club
1305 SE 8th Ave., 236-9672. facebook.com/WhiteOwlSocialClub. 3 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: 3-6 pm and 1 am-close.
Are you fit for membership to the White Owl Social Club? According to club propaganda, a $25 fee and pledging your soul to âYe Olde Serpent of the Bottomless Pitâ gets you a membership card and a few drink tokens. No membership is required to stop in for a drink, but a taste for Metallica and local liquor helps. Essentially a large-scale spin-off of the studded and shredded Sizzle Pie late-night pizzeria, the White Owl occupies a large space in industrial inner Southeast. There arenât any neighbors to disturb, which is good, because the music is loud and the crowd favors nicotine and leather.
The High Dive
1406 SE 12th Ave., 384-2285, facebook.com/thehighdivepdx. 4:30 pm-close daily. Happy hour: Drink specials 4-7 pm daily.
Just as the name suggests, this is a crisp, clean, better-lit version of a Portland dive bar. That, along with decadent late-night eats at the Cartopia pod next door, make this the perfect place to end your evening. Selection is limited and mixed drinks generally are low power, but youâre too old to end your night in a place where the restroom is too gross to use.
The Driftwood Room
729 SW 15th Ave., 820-2076, hoteldeluxeportland.com. 2-11:30 pm Sunday-Thursday, 2 pm-12:30 am Friday-Saturday. Happy hour: Champagne cocktails, glass or bottle of wine, draft beer, food specials 2-6:30 pm, 9:30 pm-close daily.
Drinkers on Portlandâs west side are increasingly faced with two options: Go to Old Town and sin, or cast your lot with the actually old in a place where all sins have been forgiven many times over. That means Goose Hollow, and the Driftwood Room. Once a candidate for the cityâs smokiest lounge (and still a prime adultery location, since there are no windows and there is an adjacent hotel), it has been retrofitted with mod furnishings and an imaginative cocktail list. Nurse a four-Manhattan sampler tray ($12) for the afternoon until all that poisonous direct sunlight slips away.
1538 SW Jefferson St., 222-3745, theleakyroof.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm Sunday. Happy hour: Food specials 3-6 pm.
The Driftwood looks like a preschool next to the Leaky Roof, a bar so established it has its own official-looking road sign pointing the way. Prime time at this restaurantâstarted as a food cart roughly 60 years before people took notice of such thingsâis the early-bird special. Now a reassuringly stable pub (though built, like so many structures in the glen, at three-quarters size), the Roof serves a stocked Irish whiskey shelf to a cast of ancient mariners. On a recent visit, one of them explained at length to the kitchen staff why he became a pescatarian.
Goose Hollow Inn
1927 SW Jefferson St., 228-7010, goosehollowinn.com. 11 am-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-1 am Friday-Saturday. Happy hour: Wine, beer, cocktail specials 9 pm-midnight Sunday-Monday.
The deck of Bud Clarkâs redoubtable tavern exists in a twilit shade where the time is always 1984, and the owner is conspiring to smash the face of Big Brother by getting himself elected Portlandâs mayor. Far be it from me to shatter that eternityâClark is my landlord, and his family just fixed my door lockâbut the best hour to be here is dusk, when you can take in the air, listen to the jingle of the MAX whisking Intel bachelor parties into Old Town, and get a bit of separation from the man inside carrying around a stuffed puma and asking fellow patrons, âHave you seen my pussy?â He is not quite the âstimulating companyâ promised by the beer coasters, but after enough evenings in City Hall, he will suffice.
1331 SW Washington St., 223-0054, cassidysrestaurant.com. 4 pm-2 am daily. Happy hour: All menu items $6.50 4 pm-6 pm, 10 pm-midnight.
At some point soon, youâll be needing some foodâand, if itâs Saturday, an escape from the army Goose-stepping out of Jeld-Wen Field after a Portland Timbers draw. One can actually eat quite contentedly at any of the three previous stops (Driftwood has a fine Kobe burger, the Roof prepares excellent salmon, and the Goose offers a deservedly celebrated Reuben), but the bar menu at Cassidyâs is a westside secret handshakeâwe only trust you once youâve admitted itâs the best in town. And it gets extraordinarily cheap at 10 pm. Try the pasta shells with pepper jack, and prepare yourself for a final push.
1650 W Burnside St., 224-7606, commodoreloungeandgrillpdx.com. 7 am-2:30 am daily. Happy hour: $2.75 wells 7-11 am.
Most of your earlier stops will be closed by the time you reach this final destination, the nightâs only true dive. Note the address: The Commodore last year was forced out of the apartment building that shares its name, so Italian restaurant Gildaâs could add an eponymous bar. The new location is not so wonderfully lived inâit still resembles nothing so much as an appliance showroomâbut the regulars have come along to enjoy tall boys of Shift ($3.75) along with views of flashing police lights on Burnside. The singularly stacked CD jukebox hasnât made the journey, but the patrons have acquired such refined musical taste that their selections on the Internet juke can inspire a last-call dance party.