If it’s on the wall at Double Barrel (2002 SE Division St., 234-1420), it’s either a gun or something it shot. The walls pack more heat than a Texas wedding party. Even the clocks and mirrors boast taxidermy—or at least the bronze visage of an eagle—hung against the old building’s brick. An old Oregonian mailbox hanging by the door looks like it’s been shot itself, whether as commentary we don’t rightly know.
But whatever the Western branding, the new Division Street bar by the owners of Club 21 and Gold Dust Meridian is a place of Dirty Harry pinball and fireside comforts, with a warm-toned horseshoe bar made of wood recycled from the building’s roster of now-cut sports bars: KJ’s, Wynners, Seven Corners, and Dilly’s. Above the bar is a rough awning of mismatched wood, harvested from the defunct deck of the bar contractor’s cousin. In mood, it’s a rock-’n’-roll party held at dad’s private bar, packed on a Friday night with musicians in their 30s and women in their 20s.
Double Barrel’s insistence on carrying not only Pabst and Oly, but also Hamm’s, Coors, Rainier, High Life and Tecate seems like an almost ham-fisted statement, though there are also eight taps spouting local standards like Migration and Boneyard. The cocktail menu is a statement as well: It’s awful. Three different $8 concoctions of Root liqueur or marionberry habanero were passed around the table and pronounced undrinkable. Meanwhile, the bartender will make you a terrific Bulleit bourbon with lemon and freshly shaved ginger for $2 less.
But a month in, Double Barrel is classic in form, dim of light and somehow already aged into its space. It feels like yours the first damn time you walk in. Order a bourbon and a shitty back, and drink to dear old dad.