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June 19th, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Bar Reviews
 

Church: Come All Ye Faithful

clublist_church_3933CHURCH - IMAGE: nataliebehring.com

The sign in front of Church (2600 NE Sandy Blvd., 206-8962, churchbarpdx.com) says “Eat. Drink. Repent,” but they’ve got it all wrong. If you’re Catholic, at least—the borrowing place for a lot of the bar’s iconography—church is where you drink for salvation. And the bar does indeed have its saving graces. With its loosely themed knickknacks, even more loosely matched wood and decadent Southern comfort-food menu, the bar would not be out of place on Southeast Belmont or Division streets, nor would bartenders who all put their hair clippers on setting 3. But on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, across from the Pepsi factory and next to the back clinic, it is an incongruous and welcome respite. During happy hour, there is a plate of three tender ribs slathered in house barbecue sauce for a mere $5; the $3 wells ($4 after 6 pm) are Burnett’s gin, Monopolowa vodka and Evan Williams bourbon; and the airy house punch is always $4. The bar is weirdly short on beer taps but has a fine selection of reasonably priced whiskey, with midpriced craft cocktails heavy on same. You’d have to be a bit desperate for exhaust-pipe black lung to hit up the industrial-district patio seating during rush hour, but still: The late sun streams as brightly and warmly through the massive windows as through any stained glass. Though it is a neighborhood bar in no neighborhood at all, it’ll likely still gather a congregation. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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