As recently as a decade ago, most parents in Portland wouldn't dream of taking their child to a bar. The billows of cigarette smoke alone would deter even the most free-spirited of chaperones, not to mention the guaranteed contingent of storied, hard-drinking, decidedly non-family-friendly regulars who could then still afford to live west of 82nd Avenue. Things were different then.
As the years wore on, the smoking ban passed, the cultural line between "adult" and "kid" activities blurred (adult kickball, anyone?), and somehow the presence of families in drinking establishments has become not just accepted but expected. Most brewpubs nowadays offer kids' menus and crayons along with beer taster trays, and some of even the diviest dives allow minors during lunch and early-dinner hours. While this may not be to everyone's taste, the fact remains that being a parent presents more occasions for needing a drink or two than at any other time in a person's life. So drink up, parents of 2016, just know that if your baby cries in the bar, the next round's on you.
Bars with Play Areas
If you're a breeder, you probably already know about most of these. They embody every parent's fantasy: You get to enjoy an adult beverage with your friends or significant other in public while Junior occupies himself with a tableful of new-to-him toys.
Hopworks Urban Brewery/Bike Bar
2944 SE Powell Blvd., 232-4677; 3947 N Williams Ave., 287-6258.
Both locations have educational kids' puzzles, toys, books and more.
The Oregon Public House
700 NE Dekum St., 828-0884, oregonpublichouse.com.
"The world's first nonprofit pub," this nothing-fancy hangout in Woodlawn features beer and burgers, a kids' play area and even occasional kiddie musicians.
5115 NE Sandy Blvd., 282-0622; 6716 SE Milwaukie Ave., 894-8267.
Possibly the most overtly family-friendly brewpub in Portland, both main locations have popular play areas.
5716 SE 92nd Ave., 971-339-2374.
This Lents newcomer has a modest play area and a kids' menu that includes chicken schnitzel nuggets.
Legitimate, Adult-Approved Brewpubs
Beer geek with kids in tow? A non-issue in Portland. Most of these popular breweries have you covered with crayons, coloring sheets and plenty of eclectic decor to occupy little eyes.
5th Quadrant, Hedge House, Oaks Bottom
3901 N Williams Ave., 288-3996; 3412 SE Division St., 235-2215; 1621 SE Bybee Blvd., 232-1728.
The three Lompoc locations on the east side of the river are family- and dog-friendly, with kids' menus. Correction to our print edition: Lompoc Tavern on Northwest 23rd Avenue does not allow kids. Don't bring them. WW regrets the error.
4765 NE Fremont St., 460-9025.
This Beaumont neighborhood staple has plenty of seating, a kids' menu and high ceilings to help disperse the cacophony.
Ankeny Tap & Table
2724 SE Ankeny St., 946-1898.
This newish bar features local brews on tap (including Coalition, which holes up here during the winter), outdoor seating and a casual neighborhood vibe.
Base Camp Brewing
930 SE Oak St., 477-7479.
Base Camp is roomy with a large patio, kids' eats and plenty of outdoorsy accoutrements to admire.
820 NE Dekum St., 719-6475.
This bi-level Woodlawn favorite features plenty of outdoor seating and people-watching.
1313 NW Marshall St., 241-3612.
The Pearl District pub has roomy spaces and kid-friendly fare like pizza and soft pretzels.
701 E Burnside St., 946-8151.
There's a kids' menu with crayons, plus plenty for little eyes to track in the high-ceilinged space, from old pallets and moose horns to vintage light fixtures and an old canoe.
901 NE Oneonta St., 971-229-1663.
Unlike the original location in Brooklyn, the Woodlawn outlet of this popular cidery has a full menu and allows minors.
Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont St., 265-8603.
This sour-beer specialist sports outdoor picnic tables and cheap snacks.
Columbia River Brewing
1728 NE 40th Ave., 943-6157.
There are kids' menus, crayons, books and toys.
Deschutes Brewery Public House
210 NW 11th Ave., 296-4906.
There's plenty of room to spread out in this converted auto-body shop in the Pearl, plus an abundance of kid-friendly grub.
825 N Cook St., 265-8002.
There are plenty of roomy tables tucked away from the main bar area, plus crayons and a kids' menu.
Ex Novo Brewing
2326 N Flint Ave., 894-8251.
This nonprofit brewery features a modest kids' menu and thoughtful touches like full-sized restroom changing tables with extra diapers.
131 NW 13th Ave., 820-7721.
The Portland outpost of this Midwestern favorite features plenty of space, plus a kids' menu.
Great Notion Brewing
2204 NE Alberta St., No. 101, 548-4491, greatnotionpdx.com.
At this brightened-up sequel to the Mash Tun, kids eat for $1 every Wednesday in January of 2016—as long as grown folk eat, too.
928 SE 9th Ave., 517-0660.
There are board games and a patio, and minors are allowed until 9 pm.
Hair of the Dog
61 SE Yamhill St., 232-6585.
This bar sports outdoor seating, cool paintings of salmon and even a few kids' books.
915 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-3555; 1945 NW Quimby St., 517-4352; 7675 SW Capitol Highway, 244-2537; 1700 N Killingsworth St., 505-9511.
Each location has a roomy patio space, and practically everything has a picture of a doggie on it!
2828 NE Glisan St., 206-5221.
There are no specific concessions for kids, but they are welcome until 8 pm.
Old Market Pub & Brewery, Broadway Grill & Brewery
6959 SW Multnomah Blvd., 244-2337; 1700 NE Broadway, 284-4460.
Each bar features crayons, coloring sheets and a good-sized kids' menu.
Old Town Pizza Brewery
5201 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 200-5988.
Crayons, coloring sheets and a kids' menu help, but you can't go wrong with pizza.
Rogue Ales Public House
1339 NW Flanders St., 222-5910.
There are ample items to look at on the walls, plus pub grub for adventurous kid eaters (cheese-stuffed meatballs, fried curds).
6440 SW Capitol Highway, 402-1999.
Outdoor seating and a laid-back vibe make this a great westside choice.
832 N Beech St., 703-4516.
This bar features an irresistibly large patio, plus burgers and grilled cheese for little ones.
Widmer Brothers Pub
955 N Russell St., 281-3333.
There are crayons and coloring sheets, plus plenty of kid-friendly menu items.
Classic Neighborhood Pubs
If nothing-fancy nachos and a pint are more your speed, rest assured these unpretentious watering holes won't look askance at your car seat or diaper bag.
Concordia Ale House
3276 NE Killingsworth St., 287-3929.
Pinball, video games, plenty of TVs and a kids' menu make this a neighborhood go-to.
County Cork Public House
1329 NE Fremont St., 284-4805.
This traditional low-lit joint allows minors until 9:30 pm. And what kid isn't down for a ploughman's platter?
1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876.
Kids are allowed, but upstairs only.
5035 NE Sandy Blvd., 288-5503.
This German standby has a kids' menu, but don't bother—they'll want the fondue.
McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Ave., 249-3983.
This beloved, school-themed McMenamins pub, restaurant and hotel complex is a must-visit with its soaking pool, matinee movies just for parents, and lots of long hallways for little hellions to run up and down.
Any other McMenamins
The Ram, White Eagle, Chapel Pub, Fulton Pub, St. Johns Pub…most neighborhoods have a McMenamins outpost. They all have similar menus and plenty of tchotchkes to hold littles ones' attention. Check mcmenamins.com for details.
The Moon and Sixpence
2014 NE 42nd Ave., 288-7802.
This is a low-key British pub with a patio, and minors are allowed until 9 pm with a parent or guardian.
5403 NE 42nd Ave., 288-8080.
This Concordia classic with picnic tables and a popular happy hour allows minors until 9 pm.
8115 SE Stark St., 445-6284.
This Montavilla favorite has a loungey vibe and popular happy hour.
5101 N Interstate Ave., 971-230-0705.
This dive-ish bar and burger joint features views of the MAX, a patio and free buttered pasta for wee ones.
Rose & Thistle
2314 NE Broadway, 287-8582.
This Scottish pub has a patio and plenty of TVs.
Straight-Up Sports Bars
Catch the game while your baby naps!
2239 SE 11th Ave., 236-3592; 110 NW 10th Ave., 222-2229; 10935 SW 68th Parkway, 719-5157.
This is not necessarily the first place that springs to mind when thinking of family-friendly spots, but minors are allowed until 9 pm.
112 SW 2nd Ave., 227-4057.
Can't-miss international soccer match? Minors are allowed in the pub until 8 pm, and in the restaurant until 10 pm.
Spirit of 77
500 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 232-9977.
Between precariously tall stools and drunk bros playing Pop-a-Shot, this Blazers hot spot isn't exactly kid-friendly, but minors are allowed until 10 pm.
2703 NE Alberta St., 284-4491.
With six big-screen TVs, there's always something to watch at this former power substation that also boasts a sizable patio and a kids' menu.
Skybox Pub & Grill
7981 SE Milwaukie Ave., 731-6399.
There's an entire bank of TVs behind the bar, plus video games and interesting sports memorabilia.
Bars Like the Ones You Enjoyed Pre-Kids
There may not be crayons, and acceptance by fellow patrons may vary.
3939 N Mississippi Ave., 889-0090.
This hip Mississippi Studios annex allows minors during the day only (until 7 pm), accompanied by an adult.
2338 NE Alberta St., 208-3483.
This Alberta bar is arty and family-friendly, if slightly confusing for kids (adult Lego tournaments, toy dinos in cocktails).
4534 SE Belmont St., 232-2202.
As traditionally British as they come, this Belmont staple allows minors until 5 pm. Bonus: day drinkers playing darts.
4057 N Mississippi Ave., 284-6669.
Not a place to get rowdy, but this upscale saloon has two levels and a patio, and minors are welcome until 10 pm.
The Old Gold
2105 N Killingsworth St., 894-8937.
A tough sell given that it shares a wall with overtly family-friendly restaurant New American (be prepared for some frowns on Friday and Saturday evenings), but the whiskey selection is unparalleled. (Minors allowed until 8 pm.)
1101 NE Alberta St., 287-2346.
This artsy pseudo-dive bar in a former gas station features two patios and a kids' menu.
1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252.
This small, funky veteran has the market cornered on kid-approved bar snacks (pasties, bacon, goblets of Chex mix), and allows minors until 9 pm.
Many patrons may not even notice you came with kids in tow, and the ambiance can double as a potent dangers-of-drinking visual for teens.
6000 NE Glisan St., 233-1178.
This eastside classic straight off the MAX allows little ones until 9 pm.
2809 NE Sandy Blvd., 234-8573.
This classic, Irish-themed bar has plenty of sports and pre-kid-nostalgic hangover favorites like all-day breakfast. (Minors allowed in the booth area only until 8 pm.)
8303 N Denver Ave., 286-9242.
Incongruously, this legit biker bar (replete with motorcycles parked in the windows) also sports baskets of crayons and kids' books.
Low Brow Lounge
1036 NW Hoyt St., 226-0200.
Three words: mini corn dogs. (Minors allowed on the non-bar side only, with a guardian present.)
6535 SE Foster Road, 777-0495.
Pizza and arcade games!
8635 N Lombard St., 286-3854.
This is one of Portland's original old-school dives, located on St. Johns' main drag. Minors are allowed in the back until 8 pm "as long as the door's closed." (And, presumably, eye contact is avoided.)