2315 NE Alberta St., 284-4090, theknockback.com.
The Knock Back has added top-notch bartender Jesse Card to make an unlikely transition to fine cocktail bar, with whiskey cocktails using pumpkin, quince or Madeira as mixers.
2. The Big Legrowlski
812 NW Couch St., 206-6481, biglegrowlski.com.
Mostly this is an understated little tap nook on the edge of Chinatown. The Chinatown crowd is not the issue—no rich fucks, no fucking strumpets waltzing around, just a black-and-white rendering of the rug that tied the room together and Bowling Nixon in the restroom.
3. Lucky Horseshoe Lounge
2524 SE Clinton St., 764-9898, luckyhorseshoepdx.com.
Taking over the space previously occupied by the Workshop Pub, the loosely Western-themed Lucky Horseshoe keeps a neon horseshoe in the window, its bottles in a metal tub on the bar, and its Occidental or Gigantic beers on tap at a cool $4.
4. The Ranger Station
4260 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 894-8455, rangerstationpdx.com.
The former (short-lived) Thorne Lounge is now a tiny bluegrass and jazz bar that looks like a Roosevelt-era public works cabin, from picnic-table-style wooden benches to slatted lawn chairs.
5. Prettyman’s General
2637 SE Hawthorne Blvd., prettymansgeneral.com.
This dandy little pub and market has all the trappings of contemporary Portland culture: antlers, sheepskin-adorned leather sofas, oil landscapes, Courtney Barnett records, super-fancy tuna salad sandwiches.
Previous Buzz lists:
Dec. 3 1. Pips & Bounce 2. Lucky Horseshoe Lounge 3. Bar Bar 4. The Big Legrowlski 5. Prettyman's General
Nov. 26: 1. The Knock Back 2. Lucky Horseshoe Lounge 3. Bar Bar 4. The Big Legrowlski 5. Prettyman’s General
Nov. 19: 1. Lucky Horseshoe Lounge 2. Bar Bar 3. The Big Legrowlski 4. The Pines 5. Prettyman’s General
Nov: 5: 1. The Pines 2. The Big Legrowlski 3. Bar Bar 4. Prettyman’s General 5. There Be Monsters
Oct. 29 1. Slabtown 2. The Big Legrowlski 3. Prettyman’s General 4. There Be Monsters 5. Scoreboard
Oct. 15 1. Prettyman’s General 2. Barlow 3. The Big Legrowlski 4. St. Jack 5. There Be Monsters
Oct. 8 1. BTU Brasserie 2. Prettyman's General 3. Barlow 4. St. Jack 5. Mad Sons
Sept. 17: 1. Prettyman’s General 2. Mi Mero Mole (Chinatown) 3. Paymaster Lounge 4. Mad Sons 5. Higgins Bar
Aug. 6: 1. Scout Beer Garden 2. The Hop & Vine 2. Spin Laundry Lounge 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern
Jul. 30: 1. The Hop & Vine 2. Cooper's Hall 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern