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June 25th, 2014 AARON SPENCER | Bar Reviews
 

The Royale: Brunch and Burlesque

clublist_4034THE ROYALE - IMAGE: Natalie Behring

The closure of Hamburger Mary’s last year left a hole in Portland’s gay nightlife. The Royale (317 NW Broadway, 432-8944), a new bar in the former Tiger Bar spot on Northwest Broadway, aims to fill it with circular booths, cafe tables, cheap-to-free Jell-O shots and late-night power-hour drink specials. The lighting is calibrated for drag queens—dark, with a spinning vortex of color on the dance floor. The menu is skimpier and less inspired than Hamburger Mary’s (no Mary’s Hot Legs or Ta-Ta’s), but the Royale with cheese ($8) satisfies OLCC food requirements. No one is coming here for the food. Crowds turn up for drag cabaret events like “Drunk Tank,” on first and third Fridays, and for the bottomless mimosas and a bloody mary bar during Portland’s only Sunday drag brunch. On most weekend nights, promoter and shameless entertainer Ecstacy Inferno, whose skills include persuading people to strip naked onstage, controls the mic and your fate. On other nights, talent agent Justin Buckles does a good job of luring local bar talent, from burlesque to cirque acts, to the Royale’s corner stage. It’s not a place to bring your mom, unless your mom likes Long Islands—and then the bartenders set a two-drink limit. 

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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