716 NW 21st Ave., 222-1593, theabbeybar.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 9 am-10 pm Saturday-Sunday.
Strange but true: With the hybrid, qualified exception of Caps & Corks, inner Northwest Portland has never had a true bottle-shop beer bar. The Abbey has rolled in with three different cases of Belgian or Belgian-style bottles at three different temperatures, and six taps of rare and imported yeasty, fruity or sour beer. With Wildwood departing, this is an essential addition to the ’hood for a beer lover, even though the cheapest tap is $5 for an 8-ounce beer, the bottles are a little hard to match up with prices, and the décor is as weirdly hard-topped and spartan as that of its predecessor in the space, the unmourned Melt. But as you melt into Belgian cheese or pastry and an Achouffe from La Chouffe, you’ll forgive the brand-new bar’s limitations. Because behold! Good beer in Nob Hill! Miracles happen every day in Belgium, and all of them are beer. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. Food specials.
(NEW!) Black Book
20 NW 3rd Ave., 241-2157. 8 pm-2:30 am daily.
There are no books at Black Book, a thin hallway of a microclub stuck on Northwest 3rd between Tube and Dixie Tavern. Black is the only theme at the former Yes and No space, and the new resident has higher, artsier aspirations than its forebear or any of its neighbors. In between nights with weekly resident hip-hop and house DJ, Black Book hosts RSVP-only art and fashion events, including one recently where the dress code was simply “grayscale.” It’s ripe for a drink menu as staunchly highbrow as its attendees. The Jam and Gin ($8) is just a tasty gin lemon drop, but new cocktails are rumored to be on the horizon. Black Book is the long-weekend destination for a modish crowd that doesn’t mind other patrons who, like the black bathroom tiles, occasionally crawl up the walls. MITCH LILLIE.
Happy hour: Things never get started at Black Book until the hour is far beyond happy.
Entertainment: Nu-goth performance artists, trap DJs and the Portland fashion vanguard all make appearances. Ask around.
1425 NW Flanders St., 971-400-5950. 4-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday, 9 am-midnight Saturday, 9 am-9 pm Sunday.
Tucked behind a lighted garage housing bicycles built for 12, the BrewCycle touring company’s new Pearl District BrewStop is a cleanly cut zigzag of a bar in hardwood and concrete, stocked with a smattering of local liquors and 14 taps of impeccable provenance: Upright, Pelican, Barley Brown’s, Breakside and Pfriem. It looks a little like a futuristic Kubrick set from the past—when it doesn’t resemble the house taproom for a design studio. Somewhere along the way, bike fitness and craft brews converged in the local imagination, and so the clientele is every bit as streamlined as the decor, awash in the bullheaded cheeriness one associates with state-school athletics and good childhood orthodontics. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Goose Hollow Inn
1927 SW Jefferson St., 228-7010, goosehollowinn.com. 11 am-midnight Saturday-Thursday, 11 am-1 am Friday.
The Goose Hollow is a place of private mythologies and private histories. There’s even a book preserving the restroom graffiti. Portland’s favorite former mayor, Bud Clark, still owns and runs this little labyrinthine, patio-fronted beer hall and home of the “best Reuben on the planet,” if the neon sign is to be believed. Clark’s mayoral deeds are all over the walls, alongside his “Expose Yourself to Art” poster, as are oddly somber black-and-white pictures of patrons posing alone with drinks. They might as well have modeled for Edward Hopper. “This John’s for you,” reads a large-format photo of John, a friend of the bar drinking a Miller Lite. And as befitting a mayor whose popularity long outlasted his terms in office, all pints are Imperial. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 9 pm-midnight daily. Wine, beer, cocktail specials.
511 NW Couch St., 796-9364, groundkontrol.com. Noon-2:30 am daily.
“Thank you, Mario! But your princess is in another castle. Sucker!” That castle, known as Ground Kontrol, opened in 1999 and has gamers drooling over Donkey Kong, Dig Dug and the oldest game in the lot, 1979’s Asteroids. The whole sticky first floor of Ground Kontrol is dedicated to over 60 classic video games, while the second floor follows a quick trip up a LED blue-light stairway that seems to reverberate as you ascend to the floor with 27 Nintendo pinball machines for those who can’t wait to party like it’s 1999 with ’90s pinball classics—excluding six machines released in the 2000s. On a deck suspended above the first floor, a DJ scratches what sounds like techno video-game beats. Order a beer with a side of Classic Nachos ($4) and take a seat at the illuminated tables to end a night of hardcore thumb action. KATHRYN PEIFER.
Happy hour: 5-7 pm daily. $1 off beer and wine.
Entertainment: Arcade, pinball and Rock Band karaoke on Tuesday.
1239 SW Broadway, 222-9070, higginsportland.com. 11:30-midnight Monday-Friday, 4 pm-midnight Saturday-Sunday.
Greg Higgins deserves his propers. He was perhaps the first restaurateur in town to understand beer—whether local or Old World—as a gastronomical category every bit as deserving as wine. A Hair of the Dog Adam No. 1 (yes, sir!) sits on the menu for $75, while your everyday Adam comes out of the tap for under $5. And while Higgins restaurant racks up expense accounts, the bar section serves up more economical bistro fare (well, OK, $14 burgers) that you’ll enjoy in the company of attorneys for the U.S. government, commiserating Oregonian employees and the odd couple enjoying proximity to yesteryear’s luxuries. And should you like to impress somebody or another with a $325 bottle of 2001 Chimay Grande Réserve, Higgins is your huckleberry. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm. 20% off beer, wine and food specials.
2327 NW Kearney St., 228-5553, huckleberrypub.com. 3-10 pm Monday-Friday, 9 am-10 pm Saturday-Sunday.
The little upstairs bar at Huckleberry Pub has the feeling of a mountain refuge, with a comfort-food menu that includes beet sliders and stuffed squash alongside a monstrous burger. All that cozy domesticity makes it an unlikely sports bar, but this is how the space is being used, with flat-screen TVs posted in odd locations about the bar’s walls. The bar’s cocktail menu is dotted with drinks flavored with huckleberry, apparently a family obsession of the pub owners, though they’re a bit syrupy. The happy-hour menu is voluminous and reasonable: We’ll recommend the simple comforts of a $6 early happy-hour burger and a pitcher of Oakshire or Breakside. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy Hour: 3-5:30 pm daily. $3 well, $3.50 craft pints, $14 pitchers, $5 wine and infused liquors, food specials.
(NEW!) Lompoc Tavern
1620 NW 23rd Ave., 894-9374, lompocbrewing.com. 11-1 am Monday-Thursday, 11-2 am Friday-Saturday, 11am-midnight Sunday.
The new Lompoc Tavern on Northwest 23rd Avenue is a poor substitute for the delightfully shabby original—well, aside from the food, which is better now. And the beer is better and more adventurous now that it’s made on a larger, cleaner system at the 5th Quadrant space in North Portland. Previously housed in an old shanty with a roof of dripping green moss and walls seemingly papered with stubbed-out cigarette butts, the Northwest Lompoc reopened last year as a neat little nook on the ground floor of a tony condo complex that also has a froyo shop. Lompoc bottles regular and imperial IPAs (Kick Axe and C-Note) along with seasonal brews like Monster Mash, but you’ll want to swing by the bar for the small-batch stuff, including a playfully light-golden saison and a thick bourbon barrel-aged porter. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 4–6 pm, 10 pm–close daily. $3.50 Lompoc pints ($2.50 Mondays), $1 off cocktails.
Low Brow Lounge
1036 NW Hoyt St., 226-0200. 3 pm-2:30 am Tuesday-Sunday.
The Pearl isn’t where you’d expect to find a dive bar. As you walk past the bouncer—who looks about one phone call away from being arrested for loitering—and into the bar’s dark innards, you get the feeling that the Low Brow Lounge doesn’t want to be found. There is just enough light to find my way to a black couch underneath some faux palm leaves. As I sip on a Double Mountain IRA ($5.25), people flutter in and out of sight like wraiths as they pick up drinks from the bar and return to their booths tucked into the walls, all hiding out together to scarf down some mini corn dogs ($4.50) in one of the of the last real dives in the Pearl. JOHN LOCANTHI.
Happy hour: 5-7 pm daily. $1 off drinks.
Entertainment: Buck Hunter!
835 SW 2nd Ave., 222-0047, luclackitchen.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-4 am Friday-Saturday.
There comes a point in every night of drunken debauchery when your mind drifts from getting drunker to getting some food. Not just any food: greasy, fatty fried food. The kind of food you might talk yourself out of when sober. Luc Lac understands you, but it offers alternatives. Your first sight upon walking in is the entire Vietnamese menu on a set of wood panels: spring rolls, meat skewers, pho, banh mi, jade noodles, the list goes on. And don’t worry, it also understands the part of you that wants to be drunker. The $5 microbrews help the minutes fly by while you wait to be seated. Just try to remember the next time you stumble into Luc Lac at 3 am Sunday morning: 4 on their 0-to-4 heat scale is really fucking spicy. JOHN LOCANTHI.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Monday-Saturday. Food specials, $4 microbrews, $6 wine, $6 “dealer’s choice” cocktail.
417 NW 21st Ave., 228-6614. 6 pm-2:30 am daily.
It’s tough out there on Northwest 21st Avenue these days, what with the roving packs of suburban high-school athletes and celebrant Timbers fans, the high-pitched dissatisfied screeches of women wearing heels they’ve barely mastered. But M Bar, long a bastion of the simple and good in wine and beer and conversation, has a couple aces in its pinstripe-wallpapered hole in the wall. It’s too small to bring in a group larger than four—too small also to be loud without noticing how loud you are—and the owner-bartender suffers fools gladly (thanks!), but never assholes. And so M Bar, a 12-by-12 box of two beer taps and a smattering of wine, remains a solitary but enduring flame in an ever-darkening desert full of people, a last charming refuge for conviviality at the base of a hill full of knobs. It is, as they say, appreciated. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 6-8 pm daily. $3 off wine, $1 off imperial pints.
217 NW 4th Ave., 224-8472, magicgardenpdx.com. 11:45-2:30 am Monday-Saturday, 5:45 pm-2:30 am Sunday.
The Magic Garden stereo is playing the Presidents of the United States of America’s “Naked and Famous,” but no one is naked. Another song plays. There is still no one naked. It’s just after 7 pm on a weekday night and no one inside this beloved Chinatown institution even seems to notice that there’s no dancer on the famously pole-free stage. Instead, they line the stools at this tiny bar, which smells and looks like a club where L.A. punks of yore might’ve played. They’re waiting for the no-nonsense bartender, Patty, to bring them a $3 PBR or hand their ticket for clam strips and jojos to the kitchen. Finally, a dancer with a very well-inked mermaid on her torso appears. She ends her first song without taking anything off. Then an old Ramones song comes on. She sings along, dropping both top and bottom with little fanfare. Suddenly, the rail is crowded and one guy plunks down a five. It’s confirmed: Magic Garden is always a pleasant little hangout, but far more exciting when someone’s naked. MARTIN CIZMAR.
129 SW Broadway, 227-3023, marysclub.com. 11-2:30 am Monday-Saturday. 11:30-2:30 am Sunday.
You know Mary’s Club. Even if you’ve never been there, the legend is part of Portland’s collective consciousness. It’s the oldest strip joint in the city, if not on the West Coast. The marquee, blue and star-spangled and coyly advertising an evening of “Dine and Dance,” is as iconic as the neon on the “Made in Oregon” sign and the line outside Voodoo. Courtney Love danced there. Tom Waits wrote a song about it. You hear all that, then you actually step inside and go, “That’s it?” Indeed, it’s darker and smaller than one would imagine, with a short bar running directly into the single tiny stage and about 15 feet separating the rack from the mural of longshoremen on the back wall. The dancers—mostly of the approachable, “hey, weren’t you in my math class?” variety—pause awkwardly between dances at a stage-side jukebox to select songs that are usually of the punk era or older. In a downtown sanitized beyond recognition, Mary’s preserves a wee bit of Old Portland scuzz—not enough to scare off the tourists, but just enough to stand as a rare monument to how much this town has changed in 40-plus years. MATTHEW SINGER.
1967 W Burnside St., 222-5822, thematadorbar.com. Noon-2:30 am daily.
The Matador is one of those bars that said “Fuck it” at some point in its 43 years of serving Portlanders. And I mean that in the most positive sense. Matador-themed artwork lines the walls, and the bathroom sinks in the men’s room are shaped like hearts. Seventies funk is playing in the background. Tonight’s special is a James Taylor ($7). “That’s Rainier and Fireball,” the bartender says before breaking into a singsong James Taylor impersonation, “’cause I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.” Just keep doing your thing, Matador. Whether that’s serving $5 pitchers of PBR on “Recession Sundays” or chasing shots of fireball with a pounder of Rainier, keep doing it. JOHN LOCANTHI.
Happy hour: Noon-7 pm daily. $3 well, $1.50 PBR.
Entertainment: Pool, pop-a-shot.
(NEW!) Multnomah Whiskey Library
1124 SW Alder St., 954-1381, mwlpdx.com. 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Saturday.
Climb past the long line on the stairs leading to Multnomah Whiskey Library and you’ll find a little secretary’s desk. At the desk sits a young woman in a white blouse and chunky beaded necklace, backed by a man in a gray flannel suit, skinny maroon tie and Mad Men eyeglasses. “There’s a three-hour wait,” the woman says as you survey this den of distilled spirits, counting at least 20 empty chairs. You can wait, or you can give them your name and number and maybe they will call. Maybe they won’t. If you get inside, there’s dimpled leather furniture, a fireplace flanked by stacks of split wood and two menus—one for spirits they’re “concentrating on,” the other listing bottles on the shelves—with drinks going for $8 or $54, depending on what you like. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Entertainment: Laughing at people standing in line. Standing in line.
622 SW Columbia St., 224-7465, mummysrestaurant.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 5-11 pm Saturday.
More than 30 years since a pair of brothers left Alexandria to open Portland’s first and still only Egyptian lounge across the street from The Oregonian, Mummy’s has survived the destruction of a surrounding hotel and somehow outlasted the daily newspaper HQ itself while not changing at all. It’s the curse of an impish bloody-mindedness, the ever-present owner happily explains to all who stumble in. Much as a reluctance to adapt has hindered an overpriced menu and cocktail list redolent of Reagan-era sororities—look upon the Southern Comfort and peach schnapps-fueled Ramses and despair—the bar offers an opportunity for nightlife archeology like none other. Just be prepared for an eerie silence when venturing down the hieroglyphic-lined chamber, past glass-enclosed sarcophagi of what’s become, for all intents and purposes, an immaculately preserved tomb. JAY HORTON.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm Monday-Friday. Food specials, $3 beer, $5 wine, $4.50 wells.
Nicolai Street Clubhouse
2460 NW 24th Ave., 227-5384, nicolaistreet.com. 10-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 1 pm-2:30 am Saturday.
Nicolai Street Clubhouse is perhaps the best longshoremen’s bar in Portland. Situated in a gritty section of Northwest, its tides ebb and flow with the shift changes of the union men who work the docks at the Port of Portland and come here for free popcorn, a turn on the shuffleboard table and a loud argument about who was the best defensive end ever to play the game. But also, when the dancers feel like it, there’s a show at the stage situated a scant few feet from the bar. Stage times are seemingly at will, and so the boards may be empty for 20 minutes, then occupied in back-to-back shifts. The dancers’ ages are also intermittent: The performers seem to be either under 23 or over 30. It is, by all appearances, the sort of club where dancers either start their careers or casually extend them into perpetuity. One of the dancers, in fact, does not even dance. She spends an entire song crouched at the rail, topless, chatting up a man who seems to have a lot to say. She nods, politely, and smiles. After all, it’s been a long day on the docks. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 2-6 pm Monday-Saturday. Draft beer 50 cents off.
Entertainment: Pool, shuffleboard, dancers.
1020 NW 17th Ave., 943-2780. 2 pm-2:30 am daily.
You’d be forgiven for being unable to keep the name of this bar straight. After an Austin, Texas, bar called Moonshine sent a cease-and-desist, Moonshine became Balls the Cat’s Moonshine Kitchen and Lounge, and then finally Paymaster, named after the building’s previous check-writing business. (Balls the Cat lives on, on the chalkboard.) Whatever its name, this is a welcome bastion of life in an awkward spot between the Pearl and Trendy-Third, crammed with vintage Pabst and Colt signs, a Heineken windmill and a Rainier poster with a viking conquering a devil-eared Sasquatch. Find your way past the excellent crop of pinball machines (Metallica, Star Wars, The Sopranos) and the wondrous vending machine (pregnancy tests, VHS tapes of The Big Chill) to reach the giant covered patio. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Happy hour: 2-6 pm daily. $4 drafts, $3 wells, $1.50 Hamm’s.
Entertainment: Pinball, vending machine, patio, tons of vintage signs and posters.
(NEW!) Pepe Le Moko
407 SW 10th Ave., 546-8537, pepelemokopdx.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.
For a bar that barely announces its presence—just a plain storefront, the name in cursive on the window—Pepe Le Moko arrived with a near-cacophonous buzz after a long wait to open. The spot, in the basement of the Ace Hotel and co-owned by Nate Tilden, sports paint-chipped walls hanging with tiny sepia triptychs of alluring women in various states of undress—the most obvious nod to the 1937 French gangster film that is Pepe’s namesake. It was like being in an airplane, lit by the red glow of the exit sign. Be careful about ordering off-menu—it’s $16 for a Plymouth gin and tonic, which comes as a natural double. But big-shot bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s goal here is to revive long-maligned drinks. There’s a $13 Long Island iced tea, an impeccably well-mixed Amaretto sour ($14) and an espresso martini ($11) dressed up with a zingy dash of lemon oil. The Grasshopper ($11) is like an alcoholic Junior Mint, a boozy milkshake of creme de menthe and creme de cacao, ice cream, Fernet and sea salt. REBECCA JACOBSON.
Pope House Bourbon Lounge
2075 NW Glisan St., 222-1056, popehouselounge.com. 4 pm-close daily.
Pope House has two big draws. The first, of course, is the huge selection of whiskey, within this converted Alphabet District Victorian house. The Pope is an enthusiastic evangelist for all things malted and barreled, with a massive collection with everything from Old Crow (“four year,” $4) up to 23-year-old Pappy ($100) plus a large collection of Old World cousins to bourbon. (I prefer my whiskey straight here, as some of the cocktails error on the side of sweetness.) The second big draw is the large front patio, which gets table service, in a neighborhood without much of it. Find your way there on a sunny day and it’s not so different than a Kentucky porch swing. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Monday-Saturday, all day Sunday. Cheap pints, wine, cocktails, select whiskeys and food.
(NEW!) Punch Bowl Social
340 SW Morrison St., 334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com. 11 am-2 am Monday-Friday, 10 am-2 am Saturday-Sunday.
Making up the third floor of a mall that seems to be giving up on being a mall in favor of becoming a sort of indoor social center—-from the art galleries that form its penthouse to the movie theater to the impending craft-beer barn of Yard House—Punch Bowl Social is an impressive multiroomed megabar and adult fun center featuring an arcade, darts, bowling, pingpong, little karaoke rooms, foosball, shuffleboard, a Mexican-food buffet and a smoking balcony overlooking downtown. The obligatory taxidermy is plastic, and the bowling is a mini-laned version in which the pins are attached to strings. There are double-digit banh mi and lamb burgers, and cocktails designed by the head of the bartenders’ guild (since departed). It seems designed for the birthday party, the office Christmas party, the visiting tour bus. And we wholeheartedly recommend it if you happen to be a visiting tour bus—or a nervous first date, for that matter, in need of distraction or competition to keep conversation afloat. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm, 10 pm-close, all night Monday-Tuesday. Drink and food specials.
7819 SW Capitol Highway, 246-9097, rennersgrill.com. 11-2:30 am daily.
To an outsider, certain neighborhood bars feel more like a secret passed from house to house than a place to sit down and sip a cheap pint after a long day at the office. Multnomah Village institution Renner’s Grill—open since 1939, which makes it one of Portland’s oldest dives—is not that type of bar. There are no inside jokes or initiation rituals here—just a wild collection of old drunks, young couples, and stickers from at least three different Pendleton Round-Ups. This is a real drinker’s bar: The dry-erase board behind the counter proudly boasts of $2.25 wells during “power hour” every day from noon to 1 pm, and judging by the clientele after work on a recent Tuesday, you can bet it’s not empty. Order a Chicago dog ($4.75 with all the fixins) and watch the affable bartender amble back to the kitchen through a door labeled “Principal’s Office” in search of free chips. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $3 wells, $1.50 PBR, $1 off micros.
Entertainment: Sports on the TVs, bingo on Wednesdays.
1331 SW Broadway, 222-7673, ravenandrosepdx.com. 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Saturday.
Located above the Raven & Rose restaurant in the historic Ladd Carriage House, the massive fireplace, cavernous attic ceilings and sheer upholstery of the Rookery exude class. While the beer selection is nothing to sneeze at, this bar is more appropriate for a fantastic Sim’s Old Fashioned ($12) using Eagle Rare 12-year, named for the founder of Reed College. An old CPA rambles on about how the building was moved and then returned back to this location—”but 7 inches off!” the bartender corrects—as I bite into a pickled cauliflower ($5). The bartender slips my tab into a copy of the Old Mr Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide, one of 185 different bartending guides on hand, in case I “want to order anything else.” Another Old Fashioned, please. JOHN LOCANTHI.
Happy hour: 4-6pm Tuesday-Friday. Food specials, $7 wines, $5 select beers.
1035 SW Stark St., 226-4171, fishgrotto.com. 4 pm-close Tuesday-Friday, 2 pm-close Saturday-Sunday.
A beach-themed bar in Oregon, if wholly honest, would be cold, gray and so windy you couldn’t open your mouth without spitting out grit. Sand Bar at the former Fish Grotto (R.I.P.) is more the stuff of theme-park fantasy. Hand-placed stones line tabletops, and a map made for Magellan adorns the wall. The cocktails are less “artisan” than tiki-fied Margaritaville, with local and fancy rums; from Dark & Stormy ($8) to the Long Island expressway of the Shipwrecked ($11). The friendly corner bar shines mostly for its happy-hour menu of $5 snacks and a $3 featured cocktail, which on a recent visit mixed peach puree and lemonade with a healthy serving of bourbon. This makes it a very welcome addition for the drunky after-office set in a West End neighborhood that otherwise picks your wallet or leaves you beached. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Tuesday-Sunday, 10 pm-close Sunday-Thursday. Food specials, $3 featured cocktail.
6440 SW Capitol Highway, 402-1999, sasquatchbrewery.com. 3-11 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-midnight Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
The taproom, down the street from the original McMenamins location, is a multiroom sprawl so popular as a Hillsdale dining option that the place actually takes reservations. It’s also family-oriented enough that they end up running out of high chairs for tots on Friday nights. But don’t worry: it functions very well as a bar. The beer list is hops-heavy, especially the sweet-bitter jackhammer of the Moby Dick Double IPA. But the best beers might be the smoother quaffs: a deep malty Bertha Brown Ale, a mildly hopped Hairy Knuckles Stout, a Vanilla Bourbon Cream Ale. Take note also of the house cider list; Sasquatch rotates three to six taps of the stuff, and brings in guest cideries for tastings. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: 3-5 pm and 9 pm-close daily. Food specials, $3.50 beer of the day, $4 wine.
1033 NW 16th Ave., 971-229-1455, slabtownbar.net. Noon-2:30 am daily.
Look, there’s Punch Bowl Social’s more slick version of a fun center, or there’s the improvised, homegrown, cheap-as-hell, slightly rundown and loveable mess that is Slabtown, a venerable old hall of rock ’n’ roll named after chunks of old lumber: Skee-Ball, Pop-A-Shot, air hockey, pool, pinball, vegan cheesecake, a bass-and-guitar-string vending machine, cheap beer, good fun. Every Saturday pinball is free and happy hour lasts forever, as we sort of hope Slabtown will too. The stage and big ol’ room makes it the go-to for a lot of Portland’s themed rock shows, whether a ? and the Mysterians benefit, random queer nights, Sunday poetry slams or just good old fashioned punk rock ’n’ roll. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Happy hour: Noon-7 pm Monday-Friday. Cheap beer and wells.
Entertainment: Hell yes, there is.
2401 SW 4th Ave., 226-1181, sukisbargrill.com. 10 am-1:30 am Monday, 10 am-2:30 am Tuesday-Friday, 9 am-2:30 am Saturday, 9 am-1:30 am Sunday.
When your college is an urban commuter hub with little school spirit, your collegiate boozery may as well be a motel bar next to the freeway. The crowd tends to waver based on the nightly specials—$2 PBR and Tecate on Thursdays is a no-brainer—but it’s rare to find the queue for karaoke less than 10 undergrads deep. Suki’s would get along just fine if it was half the size, but the street-facing OLCC-mandated dining room offers a panoramic view of the fallout as a dude in cargo shorts and a South Park hoodie murders the Randy Newman-penned theme from the original Toy Story. If it’s Friday, indulge in $5 shots of Jägermeister—because that’s still a thing—and pray to god a 21st-birthday procession doesn’t show up and dump their purses on the CSI pinball machine. PETE COTTELL.
Happy hour: 4-8 pm Monday-Friday. Cheap everything, daily specials.
Entertainment: Karaoke, pool.
Teardrop Cocktail Lounge
1015 NW Everett St., 445-8109, teardroplounge.com. 4 pm-12:30 am Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday.
The Teardrop Lounge offers a roster of meticulously crafted libations, served up by mixologists who will turn your highball or martini glass into an art canvas. Business-chic clientele encircle a teardrop-shaped bar stacked with housemade mixers, while black-and-white films play in the background. “Our overall cultural palette has evolved over time,” the bartender explains. The Elk’s Own ($10), however, is nearly identical to the award-winning Elk’s Fizz crafted by Peter Sindar in 1901: a frothy blend of rye whiskey, port, egg white and lemon that goes down like an earthy meringue. The Borrowed Time ($12) is a house original blending tequila, bitters, blood orange, amaro, marshmallow root tincture and Chartreuse elixir; the smoky, sweet flavor recalls a cigar laced with orange zest. Each drink is a complete experience, but not a low-budget one. Come here for first drinks or on a date. GRACE STAINBACK.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm Monday-Friday. Selected food and drink specials.
711 SW Ankeny St., 226-2508, www.d2m.com/Tugwebsite. 5-10 pm Monday, 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday.
“Cozy” isn’t quite the right word. Tugboat has room for 50 in their search of unfiltered, keg-conditioned Northwest ales—though walls of books and a warm glow create an atmosphere conducive to losing all regard for time, an important trait of any good dimly lit dive. If you’re just here for one drink make it the Chernobyl Stout, a 13 percent Russian imperial stout that’s essential to any proper pub crawl along Broadway. PETE COTTELL.
Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $4 pints.
Entertainment: Book learnin’.