If the idea seems funny, it's probably because a beachfront shack on the Caribbean is a more likely place for downing mai tais than Southeast Belmont Street. After all, this street belongs to cafes, a burrito joint and a fancy-pants boutique. One rum bar, however, has other plans for Southeast--tropical plans.
That bar is Salvador Molly's. Walking into its Tsunami Room in the space that once housed Sweetwater's on Southeast 34th Avenue and Morrison Street, just steps off Belmont, is an exercise in overstimulation. The decor is, to say the least, loud. From the stuffed swordfish wrapped in party lights to the Tecate beer-shaped piñata to the surfing videos on the televisions, the bar exudes a Cancún vibe. It's a little cheesy, but so are those bars in the Caribbean.
And Portland needs a shot of sunshine this time of year. People will flock to a rum bar in winter like the sun-thirsty turn to tanning salons, right? Not this rum bar. On a recent visit, the place was nearly deserted. It's not because they were out of rum, either.
Rather, the Tsunami Room was plagued with problems including slow service, uneven cocktails and a closing time of 10 o'clock.
Maybe Portland's not ready for the tropics in the winter. It's more likely that the Tsunami Room just isn't ready for Portland.
Salvador Molly's, 3350 SE Morrison St., 234-0896. 4:30-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. 21+. Attached restaurant all ages.