14 NE 28th Ave., 239-3804. 5 pm-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday.
Angel Face is precious. The food is little and lovely from oyster to meurette—not surprising, since it’s a product of Navarre and Luce’s owners—the “wallpaper” turns out to be meticulously hand-painted, and the cocktail menu is trapped somewhere inside bar manager Kelley Swenson’s head. It’s a neat little negotiation wherein you say something terribly douchey like “I want something gin, but savory?” and he humors you with a lovely improvisation. The niceties seem almost destined to make the just-opened bar into a bit of an insiders’ club, a place that comes with an admission price of slight bewilderment, but Swenson is an enthusiastic and friendly enough drink ambassador that the process is painless. Still, it’s kind of like being inside a luxury pillbox. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Alibi Tiki Lounge
4024 N Interstate Ave., 287-5335, alibiportland.com. 11 am-2 am daily.
Lemme put this out there for the uninitiated: Shit gets weird at the Alibi on a Sunday night. Not that Portland’s best black light-infested, hula-girl, tiki coke den ever really sleeps, but the end of the weekend seems to bring out all the Interstate freaks, from a dude in a baggy tank top murdering Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper” during drunken karaoke to a party bus full of ladies trying to make “fetch” happen. The Alibi has an extensive food menu, with a range of fried staples and meat-heavy Hawaiian fare, but let’s be real: Nobody comes here to do anything but get super wastoid, belt out “We Didn’t Start the Fire” after downing five High Lifes and two very questionable Singapore slings, and send sketchy messages to every single Tinder match. Swipe right forever, dudes. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
Happy hour: 3-7 pm daily. $3 wells, $2 PBR, $5 mai tais.
Entertainment: Karaoke seven nights a week after 9 pm, lottery, video poker.
3552 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3231, mississippipizza.com. 5 pm-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday.
With its low-slung ceiling, windowless walls and stained-glass mermaid paraphernalia, Atlantis Lounge approximates a ship’s hold. Though it may not be as committed to its nautical theme as, say, Linnton’s Lighthouse Inn, remember that this bar looks out on a pizza parlor, not the mighty Columbia, and the music outside is likely to be a painfully earnest bluegrass set. A cushy black booth spans two walls, hugging beat-up wooden tables and facing a narrow bar where a bartender prepares cocktails designed less for salty-mouthed sailors than for a Caribbean cruise—think guava coladas and lots of scurvy-thwarting orange juice. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 5-6 pm daily. $3-$5.50 drinks.
Entertainment: Eavesdropping on music, ogling mermaid boobs.
3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895, mississippistudios.com. 11-2 am daily.
It’s tough to separate Bar Bar—the complex of stubby picnic tables and long banquettes—from Mississippi Studios, the acoustically ideal venue adjoining it. But let’s try. Sure, most people at Bar Bar are sunning themselves on the patio or sipping tall boys with the very reputable $5 burger before catching Red Fang. But, if you’re inclined to dig deeper, there’s also Islay and single-cask Balvenie scotch, Booker’s, Baker’s, Basil and a 3-liter bottle of gamay noir for $125. That last, we expect, pairs well with housemade corn nuts. The music is, as expected, unimpeachable. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $3 draft beers, $3 well drinks, $1 off cocktails.
Beech Street Parlor
412 NE Beech St., 946-8184, beechstreetparlor.com. 5 pm-2 am Monday-Saturday.
If drinking at home can be depressing, why does drinking at the homey Beech Street Parlor feel so nice? This converted 1906 foursquare house, with its variously decorated rooms, Victorian couches and old-timey portraits on the walls, has all the wonderful warmth of home, with the added perks of a pretty decent pierogi plate, 12 taps and rosemary- and beet-infused alcohols (the latter makes for an excellent, earthy martini). There’s a lovely front porch, a DJ spinning vinyl beneath the stairs and, apparently, a house cat, though I have yet to spot it. Even the wallpaper has more personality than many bars can muster in their entire beings. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 5-8 pm daily. $1 off draft beers and house wine, $3.50 wells, food specials.
Entertainment: DJs, board games, front porch.
118 NE 28th Ave., 235-2794, beulahlandpdx.com. 9-2 am daily.
Don’t let the address fool you: This beloved Kerns watering hole has the heart and soul of Southeast. Don’t try to explain Beulahland. Just bait your friend with a round of free drinks and consider it a sound investment in your future. Between the service industry-appeasing stiffness of the wells, the $2 cans of Old German, and the ramshackle charm that’s divey when it matters most, you can bet your $8 bar tab your friend will return the favor. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of a Burnside bar crawl. In a bar scene that thrives on exploiting niches and pushing $12 cocktails, there’s comfort in knowing there’s still a home for people that want nothing more than a cheap drink and a bullshit-free place to enjoy it in. PETE COTTELL.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $3 wells, $4 martinis, $3.50 micro pints, $2 PBRs, $1 Old German cans.
Entertainment: Blazers and Timbers games, DJs, video karaoke Sundays.
2016 NE Sandy Blvd., 230-9590, bluediamondpdx.com. 10:30 am-1 am Monday-Saturday, 5-10 pm Sunday.
You want to show up to Portland’s best juke joint, the Blue Diamond, on the second Saturday of the month, when Lloyd Allen Sr. plays–in part because the guy’s a town treasure of the blues, and in part because the rest of the room knows it, too, and something between reverence and abandon takes over a room of the mostly dignified. Allen’s wife brings the hat around for the band’s take, and you should throw in a fiver just for the sake of the feeling in the room. Old men dance with young women or, if they must, their wives. The food and drinks are cheap and simple, and both do their job. But take note of the oddly large wine selection. That’s what ladies drink. And Blue Diamond is all about the ladies. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $.50 off drinks, food specials.
Entertainment: Music every night. Dancing when the mood strikes.
820 NE Dekum St., 719-6475, breakside.com, 3-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday.
A tandem of strollers parked outside a bar is usually bad news, but it’s normal in Dekum, Portland’s Switzerland of suburbia. The finished wood and clean metal lines of Breakside Brewery create an inviting space you could effectively coax your parents into visiting without their ever knowing they’re at a brewery. Take note of the skater dads up in the mezzanine downing taster paddles—a half-dozen 5-ounce pours with four fixed standbys and two rotators of your choice for $8— while their kids run amok covered in sauce from the Buffalo Nachos. A Pandora station dialed in to Kid A drowns out the elation of the drunken Blazer fans parked at the bar, and the group of Golden Girls nursing tasters of Salt & Straw Salted Caramel Stout wonder aloud if these guys are in the right place. This is a bar, after all. PETE COTTELL.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm, 9 pm-close Monday-Thursday. $1 off pints, food specials.
Entertainment: A couple TVs at the bar, but not much else.
(NEW!) Central Hotel
8608 N Lombard St., 477-5489, centralhotelstjohns.com. 2-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 2 pm-2:30 am Friday, 10 am-2:30 am Saturday, 10 am-10 pm Sunday.
Central Hotel splits the difference between an old dive and the Teardrop North. There’s still an ugly drop ceiling, a wall of lottery machines, an old piano and an aging house phone rung by someone who wants the bartender to tell his buddies he’s running late. But when not lying to callers about customers’ whereabouts (bribe required), the city’s least pretentious mixologist is chopping fresh hunks from a big block of ice and mixing cocktails using clover and lavender bitters she made herself. An excellent Bachelor ($9)—a mix of bourbon, alcohol and more alcohol—would cost at least $12 anywhere south of here, and the house tap list shows a particular affinity for Old Town’s underrated Pints. What would help? Finishing the hotel upstairs. Because after two of these cocktails, you ain’t driving anywhere. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Monday-Friday, all day Sunday. $1 off house cocktails, 50 cents off drafts.
Entertainment: Pool, pingpong, Friday-Saturday poker games.
2651 E Burnside St., 234-6171, chopstickskaraoke.com. 2 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 5 pm-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday.
Chopsticks II, the sequel to a karaoke bar that no longer exists, is a 19-year institution of terrible Chinese food, stiff drinks and singers of unpredictable talent and predictable slushiness, from punkers belting Belinda Carlisle to Greshamites wavering their way through a sincerely ruinous rendition of Adele. And then there’s the broom-bearded old man—missing a few teeth and a little bit of facial control—who sings a heartbreaking version of Louie Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” He might as well be proclaiming, sweetly, that Jesus’ blood never failed him. He’s there almost every week. Still, Chopsticks’ true stalwart is owner David Chow, whose disembodied face smiles from the bar’s T-shirts and on a cardboard cutout by the karaoke decks. “How can be?” he wonders. “How can be?” MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
2600 NE Sandy Blvd., 206-8962, churchbarpdx.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.
The sign in front of Church says, “Eat. Drink. Repent,” but if you’re really Catholic, church is where you drink for salvation. And the bar indeed has 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. On weekend nights it’s evolved into a less indie-vibed Dig-a-Pony Sr., a ‘90s hip-hop to modern-beats party bar for the late twenties-early thirties set that draws a more diverse clientele than most Portland bars can muster. The bar’s 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 patio seating during Sandy Boulevard’s rush hour happy hour, but still: The late sun streams as brightly and warmly through the massive windows as through any stained glass. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $3 wells, $1 off drafts, cheap food, including $5 ribs.
Entertainment: DJs, a photo-taking “confession booth” that doubles as a makeout room.
1501 NE Fremont St., 282-0956. 9 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 9 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm Sunday.
Daddy Mojo’s is the closest Portland will ever get to a Detroit bar. At least, this is what an enthusiastic Motor City friend tells me while touting the sports dive’s menu of crawfish, meatloaf and sushi. All available wall space is mounted with flat-screen TVs sporting basketball and football, when it’s not taken up with framed and autographed photos of retired Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters; the owner is a fan. He’s also a sushi chef, but nonetheless held onto the soul-Cajun recipes he’d bought from the bar’s founder, which range from jambalaya to racks of ribs. Meanwhile, a sawbuck at happy hour will net you a massive spicy-catfish maki roll that’s a lot tastier than you’d expect in a bar with $2.25 domestic beer and a $3.50 cheeseburger and fries. If this is what bars are like in Detroit, I have a $500 house I’d like to buy. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Monday-Saturday. Dirt-cheap drinks and sushi.
Entertainment: Sports and more sports. Video poker lounge.
(NEW!) Ecliptic Brewing
825 N Cook St., 265-8002, eclipticbrewing.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday.
Whether or not you’ve been to Ecliptic Brewing, you’ve almost certainly had John Harris’ beer. The Oregon brewing luminary perfected the recipes for Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Ale, plus McMenamins’ Hammerhead. Harris spent three decades working under others, most recently at Full Sail. Now, he’s his own boss, running a just-opened brewpub in a colossal former auto-body shop just off of Mississippi Avenue. The space pays homage to Harris’ love of astronomy, with constellations pinpricked in the concrete walls, and the beers are named after stars. Try the supremely balanced Procyon Pale Ale or the Spica Hefepils, which is bottom-fermented like a Pilsner but unfiltered—it’s a cloudy golden lager with a pleasant, lingering bitterness. The mildly roasty Mintaka Stout and the softly herbal Spica HefePils, especially, are well-suited to food pairing. Get them with the sweet and spicy drumsticks ($9), expertly confited and sparked with a caramelly sauce. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. $1 off pints and specialty cocktails, $2 off select food items.
Fire on the Mountain
3443 NE 57th Ave., 894-8973, portlandwings.com. 11 am-midnight daily.
There are many good reasons for Oregon restaurants to make their own beer. Each pint has a frothy head of profit, of course, and our state’s loose brewpub laws make it mercifully easy to get licensed. But brewing in-house also gives quality-conscious restaurants like Fire on the Mountain extra control over their drink program. The beloved local hot-wing seller’s biggest restaurant, on Northeast 57th, houses a brewing operation that churns out a line of food-friendly beers that elevate the experience across the empire. Brewmaster Ben Nehrling isn’t making anything you haven’t seen, but his lineup of fresh, mild brews is ideally paired with spicy fried food. Try the X-tinguisher wheat with a capicola-topped pie, or wash your hot wings down with an oatmeal stout. You might not hole up for a long night of sampling, but see if you don’t agree more restaurants should follow suit. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. $1 off pints and $3 off pitchers.
Entertainment: Sports on the telly.
The Fixin’ To
8218 N Lombard St., 477-4995, thefixinto.com. 2 pm-2 am Monday-Saturday, 2 pm-1 am Sunday.
Owner Marli Blasengame isn’t from the South, but her husband is from Arkansas—a framed photo of Bill Clinton in a Razorback hat hangs in the corner of this bar themed with Southern whimsy. As a Southerner, I can attest it’s only an approximation: The St. Johns Sweet Tea, with bourbon and triple sec ($6), isn’t sweet enough for me, but I can’t fault the chicken and dumplings ($5.50-$7.50). It’s more an attempt at playfulness than authenticity. Out front, a new tent is home to bingo on Mondays. The shuffleboard table has been given the boot, but it’s replaced with a 6-foot Game Boy where you can play Earthworm Jim. AARON SPENCER.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm Monday-Friday. Food specials; $1 off wells, microbrews, St. Johns Sweet Tea and the Down ’n Out (a shot of Old Crow and a pint of Rainier).
435 N Killingsworth St., 287-5658. 3 pm-2 am daily.
Florida Room isn’t subtle. The exit lever on the front door says, “Get Out,” while an ever-changing marquee on Killingsworth frequently encourages passersby to “suck it.” But the front window display, featuring a nativity of demonic, blood-soaked holiday mascots, gives way to a cozy, dimly lit interior with ample booth seating, and a porch with a loyal roster of chain-smokers, dog owners and perky PCC students. As for drinks, well, there’s whiskey, and $1 cans of Old German around the clock. They’ve also got a selection of bloody marys ($5.50-$8.50). The Mary Magdalene ($5.75), a dirty martini with a splash of bloody mix, is a tasty combination of flavors and probably the classiest thing you could be seen carrying around this joint. GRACE STAINBACK.
Happy hour: 3-7 pm daily. Fifty cents off drafts and wells, and bloody marys Saturday and Sunday; food specials.
Entertainment: Patio, pinball machines, pool table, photo booth.
The Foggy Notion
3416 N Lombard St., 240-0249, thefoggynotion.com. 5 pm-2:30 am Tuesday-Sunday.
Big changes could be coming to the Foggy Notion. Or...not. In early March, the North Lombard dive, our sources say, was subject to the attentions of Belly Up!, a Cooking Channel show that reinvents bar-food menus. But a visit shortly after the TV shoot revealed few changes: a bit of furniture rearrangement seemingly in the name of feng shui, some new wall art (including an uninspired knockoff of the White Stag sign) and the tragic removal of both the dome hockey table and psychedelic pony paintings. Bangers and mash had been added to the otherwise unchanged food menu of pierogi and mozzarella balls, and the booze still straddled the line between refinement and punk-rock (small-batch Gompers gin from Bend; pints of Rainier). I’d implore the Foggy Notion not to push for further alterations. With its cassette-tape votive holders and countertops decorated with Prince and Ozzy Osbourne record covers—not to mention the big ol’ stack of board games that includes Battleship, Scattergories and Bibleopoly (“Wavering faith sends you back 7 spaces”)—this 4-year-old outpost has character beyond its years. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 5-8 pm daily. $1 off wells, drafts, specialty drinks and food entrees.
Entertainment: Live music, trivia, bingo, Skee-Ball, pinball, jukebox, board games, patio.
George’s Corner Sports Bar
5501 N Interstate Ave., 289-0307. 10 am-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 8 am-2:30 am weekends.
Let’s admit, right up front, that the best dive-bar fried chicken in town is still at Reel M’ Inn on Southeast Division. That said, this is the better bar, and given how long it takes the birds to get good and crispy, that gives George’s an edge. Put in a three-piece meal order ($6.75-$7.50) and prepare to kill upwards of an hour in the little tavern that hipness forgot. If there isn’t a Blazers, Ducks or Beavers game on, one of the half-dozen TVs will certainly be tuned to the Golf Channel or an episode of World’s Dumbest Criminals. A woman in her late 40s will get her groove on to the Black Eyed Peas and Buckcherry pumping out of the jukebox. Not feeling especially social? Crack open a copy of the Bar Rag News for the latest blonde jokes, redneck jokes, Viagra jokes and horoscopes. And then, four PBRs later, out comes your chicken and jojos and cheese fries, and by that point you’ll be fully prepared to hate yourself in the morning. MATTHEW SINGER.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm. Discount wells and taps.
Entertainment: Patio; many, many, many TVs.
2733 NE Broadway, 662-8454, halepele.com. 5 pm-midnight Tuesday-Sunday.
Most tiki joints follow Trader Vic’s in aesthetic only, with watered-down Kool-Aid cocktails, a couple coconuts and a lot of cheese. Hale Pele takes tiki to its full potential, upping the ante on Thatch (the strip-mall building’s previous tenant) and transforming it into a wonderland. Sure, the indoor creek, fake thunderstorms, carved tiki gods and bric-a-brac that looks like it was gathered in the wake of a tsunami are cool, but the mark of a good tiki bar is its cocktails. Under the hand of bar manager Mindy Kucan, Hale Pele has some of the best cocktails in town. Period. The classic 141 Swizzle ($12) is like a combustible snow cone of overproof rum, while the signature Sailor’s Grog ($11) perfectly combines multiple rums, falernum, and ginger beer. Or say fuck it and get the Boo Loo ($20) in a full pineapple. I hate tiki bars. Hale Pele is one of my favorite bars. AP KRYZA.
Happy hour: 5-6 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Discounted drinks and food specials.
4057 N Mississippi Ave., 284-6669, interurbanpdx.com. 3 pm-2:30 am weekdays, 10-2:30 am weekends.
Interurban is a bit like a mountain chalet owned by your terribly rich and discriminating friend. The fires in the back-deck gazebo are accented by blond wood and climbing vines, and the house cocktails are mostly classic mixtures with the odd idiosyncratic flourish: e.g., the Fighting Cock bourbon plus Cock & Bull ginger beer of the Sword Fight ($6). The oyster board rotates daily, as do the hot dogs, which may include kimchee or blue cheese. Bone marrow ($8) is served, humbly, with salsa verde. Not merely beer but wine growlers are filled. Your friend has been to Switzerland and has learned neutrality, leaning elegantly neither rive gauche nor droite—and invites to his cabin only trim, stubbled men and beautiful women. My God, you hate your friend. But you love his mountain cabin, and everything in it. And every time you bring a date there, they like you a little bit more. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, after 10 pm Sunday. A full page of specials, including $2 rotating beer, food and wine deals and $5 specialty cocktails.
5115 NE Sandy Blvd., 282-0622, laurelwoodbrewpub.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday, 10 am-11 pm Saturday, 10 am-10 pm Sunday.
When did you fall for Laurelwood? Was it the exhilaration of landing a rare bottle of Megafauna Double IPA? Was it Vinter Varmer on cask just before Christmas? Was it a half-spilled pint of Workhorse IPA as Damian Lillard hit a last-second 3-pointer at Moda Center? It’s tough to find anyone without fuzzy feelings for something about this low-key institution. Laurelwood gets the details right on everything from peanut-butter pie (quite possibly the best dessert at any Portland brewery) to the Portlandia Pils labels that show Portlandia (they paid off the sculptor who trademarked the shape of the statue he was paid to build for our city). Founded in 2001, this family-friendly brewpub serves great food and even better beer—witness all the medals hanging behind the bar. Or just ask around. Laurelwood is one of the only breweries in town above reproach. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm and 9 pm-close daily. $3.50 pints, $5 wine, food specials.
3536 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 282-1833, local-lounge.com, 4:30 pm-2 am daily.
“Heartbreak makes me horny.” So says the light-switch plate in one of the Local Lounge’s two gender-neutral restrooms. If heartbreak doesn’t do it for you, maybe this bear/twink bar’s Hedonistic Decadence dance party will do the trick. Or a few Neil Patrick Harrises, neat. That’s right. The Local Lounge has Neil in a glass, and he tastes like killing it at the Tonys meets the night I met your mother. They also serve a Rachel Maddow, an Oprah and Gale, and a Harvey Milk. Despite the empowerment-themed alcohol flowing freely, the décor is strip-mall coffee shop all the way. That is, if you turn a blind eye to the bumper sticker on the restroom soap dispenser, which reads, quite simply, “Porn Closet.” Time to lather up. DEBORAH KENNEDY
Happy hour: 4:30-8 pm daily. $5 food specials.
Entertainment: RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties on Monday; Twerk!, Queer Hip-Hop nights, and Slo James every Friday.
4835 N Albina Ave., 517-9347, luchadorpdx.com. 5 pm-1 am Sunday-Wednesday, 5 pm-2 am Thursday-Saturday.
There’s an obvious metaphor that applies to Trebol’s rebranding as Luchador. Here, an unspectacular Mexican restaurant dons a mask and transforms into a loungy margarita bar. But Luchador doesn’t have nearly the level of commitment of true luchadores. Really, it’s the same place with a new logo. Trebol’s Kenny Hill and new partner Justin King have adjusted the menu toward smaller plates and refocused the emphasis on cocktails. But other than the single row of wall-mounted masks, the atmosphere is still more “pretentious dinner spot” than “laid-back watering hole.” The drinks are fine—the blood-orange margarita is fruity without being overpowering, and the chile de árbol-infused Chupacabra burns without leaving a mark—but this can’t help but feel like a missed opportunity. MATTHEW SINGER.
Happy hour: 6-7 pm daily. $1 PBR and tequila shots.
Entertainment: Pool, patio.
4501 NE Fremont St., 287-0625, facebook.com/McPeetsPub.11-2 am daily.
The old bulb-lined yellow plastic sign hanging above McPeet’s channels run-down joints like the Space Room and the Alibi. Head inside this Beaumont Village tavern, though, and you’ll find it has a more contemporary vibe. Somewhere between a sports bar and a neighborhood hangout, McPeet’s offers a deep selection of local beer and is the kind of friendly place where the bartender will buy you an extra shot if you’re around a long while, or if your team loses badly enough. Come summer, the front patio is the center of the neighborhood. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $1.50 off appetizers and 75 cents off any drink Thursday and Friday. $3 pints Monday. $1.50 pints of PBR all day Wednesday.
Entertainment: Sports, patio.
3967 N Mississippi Ave., 288-6272, molokopdx.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.
With its name and sleek modernist layout, Moloko pays blatant homage to the milk bars of A Clockwork Orange. But the shtick mostly stops there. Moloko’s drugs of choice are alcohol infusions (sage-infused gin, blueberry-infused vodka, jalapeño-lime-infused tequila) and absinthe, which finds its way into numerous cocktails. Weekend crowds show up for DJs playing dancehall, funk and Brazilian soul in the turquoise glow of the bar’s numerous fish tanks. But on weekdays you’ll get your pick of seats on the heated patio, as well as some choice daily deals—$2 off Bulleit on Mondays, for example, or $3.50 sangria on Wednesdays. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $1.50 draft Rainier, $3.50 wells, $5 wine and daily cocktails, $6 bloody marys and mimosas, $2 off sandwiches.
Entertainment: DJs, fish tanks, patio.
Moon and Sixpence
2014 NE 42nd Ave., 288-7802. 3 pm-2:30 am daily.
This Hollywood pub is a dim and convivial spot for darts
and drinks, with a multipage beer menu that spans from Old Speckled Hen
on nitro to Green Flash hop-bombs, and a lovely pot pie. Musicians play
traditional Irish tunes on Mondays. The back patio is prime real estate
come summer. Also, if tradition means anything at all, the Sixpence will
become overrun this year during World Cup season with Brits,
fair-weather Americans and various confused partisans of other ilk. But a
lovely shepherd’s pie and a cool Boddington’s should keep them
relatively calm. RAFAEL DUCHAMP.
Entertainment: Darts, TV soccer.
The Old Gold
2105 N Killingsworth St., 894-8937, theoldgoldpdx.com. 4 pm-12 am Monday-Tuesday, 4 pm-1 am Wednesday-Thursday, 2 pm-2 am Friday, noon-2 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday.
Former Portland Mercury music editor Ezra Caraeff’s Old Gold is a bourbon bar, albeit in an earthy shell that makes sipping on sharp, neat Blanton’s ($9) all the better. A massive chalkboard, diplomatically titled “WHISK(E)Y,” boasts more than 100 bottles of the liquor, from a $6 glass of Buffalo Trace to $25 Lock, Stock & Barrel. Europeans and their disciples should note that Kentucky outnumbers the U.K. 4-to-1, while the Tennessean and Canadian fill rightfully little space. The stable-sized room echoes and bustles to Speaking in Tongues after the garage door squeaks closed; when it’s open, the bearded NoPo set take their drinks out onto Killingsworth. MITCH LILLIE.
Happy Hour: 4-7 pm weekdays. $1 off well drinks, house wine, micros and sandwiches.
Entertainment: Weekly trivia, ESPN, reading whiskey bottles.
(NEW!) The Oregon Public House
700 NE Dekum St., 828-0884, oregonpublichouse.com. Noon-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
Woodlawn’s Oregon Public House certainly has a catchy slogan: “Have a pint, save the world.” The Public House, which claims to be the nation’s first nonprofit pub, donates 100 percent of its proceeds (after overhead, of course) to charity—but servers do keep their tips. As bartenders tap at iPads docked in faux rustic wooden mounts, they ask which of eight nonprofits patrons would like to support. So ask yourself: aid for residents of city dumps in Nicaragua? Improved emotional expression for marginalized youth in Portland? All I know is that our bill (pints run around $5) went to assisting low-income Oregonians, that my Elysian Trip 16 Farmhouse Rye was deliciously funky, and that my drinking buddy thought the St. Nicholas mural on the exposed-brick wall was either Zeus or Jerry Garcia. I might not have changed the world, but at least I upped my blood-alcohol content. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Entertainment: Kids’ play area.
(NEW!) Oso Market and Bar
726 SE Grand Ave., 232-6400, osomarket.com. 11am - 10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am-7 pm Sunday.
Just down the road from Hawks PDX sex club and My Father’s Place, Oso Market and Bar joins Enso, Clay Pigeon and Sauvage wine bars at the frontier of gentrification. But unlike those locally focused wine haunts, former House Spirits distiller Colin Howard takes his bottle bar on a discriminating tour of old Europe, and the well-selected beer case sports both Commons and VanderGhinste. The bar’s train-car space is a brightly lit, neutral-toned version of upmarket Portland—right down to the ubiquitous interior light-bulby “OSO” sign. Its market shelves are packed with three brands of local salumi, high-end vermouths and raw-milk cheese, and the menu runs from boquerones to the occasional 3-for-$5 oyster deals. The crowd toggles among North Facers, middle-aged doctors and the smarter end of the party set—whoever’s got good taste in drinks, I guess. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday. $1 off drafts, bottle-beer specials, $2 off wine, food specials.
4237 N Mississippi Ave., 954-2674, prostportland.com, 11:30-2:30 am Monday-Thursday, 11-2:30 am Friday-Sunday.
Building more loyalty than the Reichswehr (though less intent on world domination), German beer bar Prost! has amassed a die-hard community of dedicated drinkers. Stein Club members proudly show off their punch cards as they work their way toward T-shirts, personal mug lockers and inscribed wall plaques. Aiming to offer Portland drinkers an authentic taste of Germany inspired by his childhood visits to his family farm in Buseck-Beuern, co-owner Chris Navarra imports all the beers and serves them in traditional glassware. With more than two dozen German styles to sample between the draught list and bottles, it’s wise to start small—say, a one-third liter of the crisp Franziskaner Weissbier—and work your way up to half or full liters of malty Spaten Dunkel or the classic Paulaner Oktoberfest. But when the stiefel (the two-liter boot) comes out, be prepared to make some friends. PENELOPE BASS.
Entertainment: Darts, TV, patio, camaraderie.
5128 N Albina Ave., 282-2934, redfoxpdx.com. 3 pm-1:30 am daily.
Red Fox is a particular version of neighborhood bar. While the customers might come from anywhere, the bar has formed a neighborhood with the businesses that surround it. Mississippi Records lets the bar borrow records, when patrons don’t bring their own on Sundays (which they’ve often bought at Mississippi). Summers, there’s a fish toss in the little park alongside Cherry Sprout produce co-op. People hang on that front patio like it’s their friend’s house, sipping from one of four taps, eating a fine burger, owning the shop. Just take note: That beer mirror behind the bar is hundreds of years old, and it used to belong to the owner’s great-grandfather. The whole bar was designed around it. That’s the kind of place this is—it’s like the deep cut on an old record. Not as obvious, but with a lot more soul. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. Food specials, $1 off beer and wells.
Reverend Nat’s Cidery and Public Taproom
1813 NE 2nd Ave., 567-2221, revnats.com. 5-10 pm Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.
Launched in the fall of 2011 in a Woodlawn basement and garage, Nat’s has just moved to much larger digs in the Eliot neighborhood, a 3,500-square-foot warehouse with massive fermentation tanks in the back, empty apple crates stacked against one wall and a very pleasant public taproom in front. The space is informal and garagelike, with enough wood to construct a ski lodge. Stroll in through the roll-up door and take a seat at a barstool big enough to be an ottoman, or sink into the brown leather sofa beneath the chalkboard, which lists the available ciders. A tasting flight ($8) is the best bet, so sample the surprisingly dry yet floral Hibiscus Hymnal, the Belgian-style Hallelujah Hopricot or a classic dry cider from the spinoff Cascadia Ciderworkers United, a less-expensive Reverend Nat’s brand. Reverend Nat’s does have one beer on tap (on my visit, the Commons Urban Farmhouse Ale), but ordering that foamy quaff at this cider shrine would be the true sacrilege. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Rose & Thistle Public House
2314 NE Broadway St., 287-8582. 3 pm-2:30 am Monday-Thursday, noon-2:30 am Friday-Sunday.
Are Scottish people the ones who invented the Utilikilt? Sorry, I’m Italian—we’re the ones twirling our mustaches on pizza boxes—so I’m not equipped to judge the “authenticity” of Rose and Thistle. It certainly resembles my picture of a bar in, uh, Dublin or whatever, with big wooden booths, a dartboard on the wall and soccer contests on the telly. What I do know is, this longstanding, oft-overlooked institution has the most inviting patio in Irvington-Sullivan’s Gulch. Airy, bright and hardly ever maxed out, it’s tucked behind the bar, which, after a few pints, enhances the illusion of getting day-drunk in your backyard. In the summer, it’s the ideal place to put away a Glenlivet on the rocks and a plate of haggis. Or do I mean Guinness and fish and chips? Oh, bloody hell. MATTHEW SINGER.
Happy Hour: 3-7 pm Monday-Friday. $1 off well drinks and draft beers.
Entertainment: Darts, patio, TV.
1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252, saraveza.com. 11 am-midnight daily.
North Portland’s favorite spot to watch a Green Bay Packers game, Saraveza is a supremely warm and comfy place with a seriously deep beer list, augmented by festivals and events throughout the year, such as the chairty meat raffle, a March Wild Ale and Farmhouse fest and an August IIPA fest. There are nine rotating taps—plus a 10th handle devoted to Hamm’s—and hundreds of bottles in the vintage pistachio-green coolers. The hearty menu skews Midwestern, including a wealth of pasties and free bacon the second Monday of every month. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm Monday-Friday. $1 off drafts, food specials.
Entertainment: Packers games.
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell St., 493-3600, secretsociety.net. 5 pm-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm-1 am
Long a refuge for the overflow crowd from neighbors Toro Bravo and the Wonder Ballroom, this is your typical fancy first-date bar: The interior is dark but not mysterious, decked out with tea lights, American history books that leave a faint musty scent, and enough framed black-and-white photos to make you believe time travel may be a reality. The drinks are sturdy and sophisticated, so it’s best to stick to the American classics, like a fine Sazerac ($9) embellished with a slight touch of absinthe. It can be a little disconcerting when Tom Petty’s “Refugee” comes on and you realize that, though the Victorian-era hall next door is probably hosting live old-timey music, the song remains the same. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
Happy hour: 10 pm-close Sunday-Thursday: food specials, $6 cocktail specials, $1 off wine and draft beer. 5-7 pm Sunday-Thursday: food discounts; $1 off Moscow Mules, wine and draft beer.
Entertainment: Live music. Feel the jazz, man!
36 N Russell St., 287-2262, sloanstavern.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday.
Plenty of ink has been given to certain contingents of this floral-carpeted truck-stop bar with a semi jutting from its outside wall—a place of $1.50 Pabst and one of the city’s best jukeboxes. There are the neighborhood lifers, the Blazers fans, the hip lesbians who meet for RuPaul’s Drag Race on Mondays, the lady metalheads who gather on Fridays. But don’t forget the goth-bingo aficionados, who assemble monthly to try their luck to the tune of Bauhaus and the Cure. On a recent night, the host lamented “the return of the hateful sun”—the arrival of daylight saving time—as attendees with neck tattoos got their tarot cards read. Welcome. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm Monday-Friday. $3 wells, $3.25 micros, $2.25 domestics.
Entertainment: Goth bingo, Blazers games, jukebox, DJ nights.
The Spare Room
4830 NE 42nd Ave., 287-5800. 7-2:30 am daily.
Like the Room of Requirement that magically appears in Hogwarts Castle offering exactly what its seeker is in need of, so the Spare Room Restaurant and Lounge magically becomes all things to all people. Reputable enough to meet co-workers for happy-hour drinks and divey enough to appease the hipsters, the Spare Room is like a Rotary Club whose mission is to bring together people from all backgrounds for a few Beam-and-Cokes and maybe some karaoke. Grandma can play keno in the corner while Johnny pumps his own quarters into Asteroids Deluxe in the bar’s billiard annex, which, with its faux-wood paneling and low ceilings, is a dead ringer for your parents’ basement rec room. Then everyone can sit down to a nice, home-style dinner (Tuesday $5 meat loaf, Friday surf and turf!) before taking a few turns on the parquet dance floor. PENELOPE BASS.
Happy Hour: 3-6 pm daily. $2 wells, $1.25 draft Bud, $1.50 draft PBR.
Entertainment: Bingo, karaoke with live sax, TVs, live music, pool, video games…do you really need more?
(NEW!) Spin Laundry Lounge
750 N Fremont St., 477-5382, spinlaundrylounge.com. 8 am-midnight daily.
Spin offers a sleek, sun-bathed room where young and hip NoPo can sip Upright Engelberg Pilsner ($4.50) and espresso while washing the sex off their Company Store duvet covers. Understated electropop by Röyksopp and Four Tet commingles with the hypnotic din of Space Age Electrolux machines (all accept credit cards) for a soothing ambience. A DJ would be right at home on the mezzanine, but a midcentury modern sectional fills the space comfortably for now. The spartan cafe/bar setup has a purposeful mix of uppers courtesy of a Rancilio coffeemaker outfitted with beans from Fog Valley Roasters and downers by way of cans, taps and wine bottles. Throw in some small plates and panini, keep the doors open until midnight, and you have a utilitarian neighborhood cafe that brings in folks who don’t even have clothes to wash. For those who do, Spin is a classy alternative to eating takeout from Horse Brass and drinking Old German from a paper bag while waiting on Belmont Eco Laundry.
14 NE 22nd Ave., 233-4181, thestandardpdx.com. 3 pm-2:30 am daily.
The Standard is what it says it is: a neighborhood standard. It is a well-lit, cheap-as-sin warehouse haunt with a Hamm’s Bear fetish and a big ol’ aluminum-walled smoking patio. But there are the little things: pig roasts, summer kiddie-pool parties, an oddly discerning jukebox crowd and deep good-naturedness that seems to pervade not only the staff but the customers. The rotating whiteboard food includes the best damn chile verde you’ll ever have cooked by a Belgian woman. Christmas, the stockings go up for everyone who works there. And when the first girl dies in Sharknado on the TV, you get so sentimental you almost shed a tear. Except the whole bar would laugh at you if you did. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. $1 off wells and draft specials. Daily drink specials.
Entertainment: Big Buck HD, Golden Tee, Photo Hunt, photo booth; pinball machines from Metallica to Terminator 3.
1465 NE Prescott St., 288-5534, tigabar.com. 5 pm-late Monday-Saturday.
Just across the parking lot from Sam Adams’ favorite cafe, Tiga is an oddly makeshift indie-crowd social hour: Rather than horseshoe the bar around the drinks, the box of a building is itself horseshoed around the restrooms and back room, leaving a tight squeeze for the DJ spinning Takamba dance music from Mali or the farther-afield fantasies of Giorgio Moroder’s children. The parking-lot patio spills over even in the winter with bartenders from other bars or impeccably pedigreed musicians, busy ruining their voices with cigarettes while sipping from improvised rosemary-gin cocktails. It is a paved garden affair, a house party in a box of a building where no one lives. And yet it’s perfect. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 5-8 pm Monday-Saturday. $1 off drafts, wells and house cocktails; cheap food.
(NEW!) Tin Bucket
3520 N Williams Ave., 477-7689. 2-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday.
Tin Bucket, a bottle shop, taproom and growler-filling station, is a gleaming monument to Oregon brewing. A bank of coolers holds a respectable range of bottles, but the taps that are the stars. The row of proprietary pressurizing nozzles, which fill both pints and growlers, are spread across a long counter, each looking more like a spaceship’s stasis chamber than a standard row of tap handles. Tin Bucket’s pourers spend most of their time hovering around the clear chambers, which seem to run slowly. It’s hypnotic to watch, so have a pint while you wait. The payoff? Once pressurized, these growlers will stay as fresh as a bottle or can. The 40-tap selection featured a wide array of styles—a steal at $5 to $7 for 32-ounce pours, considering bombers 10 ounces lighter cost at least that much. JORDAN GREEN.
1969 NE 42nd Ave., 922-2012, velocult.com. 10 am-10 pm daily.
Unless you’re looking for the merchandise perched back in the dim showroom, you could very easily walk into Velo Cult on a Friday night without noticing what makes the place so pleasantly odd. The front section of the massive Hollywood bike shop is very much a tavern, with a photo booth, a long bar, several large communal tables, 12 taps and the appropriate glassware to pour an imported Belgian strong pale ale or a Pilsner. And yet, if you make your way past the boisterous crowd of people in hats who have their right pant legs rolled up you’ll see there’s a huge assortment of bikes and gear in the back and, just before 10 pm, one lonely mechanic replacing the day’s last brake pads. MARTIN CIZMAR.