Billy Ray's Neighborhood Dive

Like Benjamin Button, Johnny Cash and Greg Oden, Billy Ray's was born old. A converted two-story house the color of a fading country barn, the place looks like it was left abandoned on the side of a rural highway in the 1950s and reopened by squatters who have yet to figure out how a card reader is supposed to work. In truth, its current incarnation has only been around for about a decade. But when you've got "neighborhood dive" right there in the name, you don't go messing with the mojo, and you damn sure don't let anyone pay with plastic. Sure, it's got some modern contrivances, like a fancy television for Blazers games and an ATM—they're not animals—but the upstairs game room resembles a frathouse that had its charter revoked before it could accept any pledges, the sign out front reading "tavern" seems permanently on the blink, the restrooms are a scared-straight program for anyone nervous about peeing in prison, and if you order food, it's time to seriously re-evaluate some things. All this, of course, is part of the ramshackle charm. Waiting for a table at Ox with $2 burning a hole in your pocket? Cross the street, grab a pint of Rainier, and see how the other half has been living since a few years before you got here. Chances are, you'll forget your reservation.

Happy hour: 4-7 pm. Fifty cents off beer.

Entertainment: Pinball, Buck Hunter, jukebox, TV.

2216 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,503-287-7254. Noon-2 am daily.

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