The time-swept comforts and keening eccentricities of the Wilshire Tavern belong to a different world altogether from the New Portland being built here. The Wilshire's array of sizable flat screens and gaming options would shame most suburban sports bars, but they won't accept credit cards and would prefer not to serve food. Although the bar once served as a Prohibition-era lunch counter for a pharmacy that prescribed black-market booze, this current incarnation has no liquor and no longer sells beer to go. But the old stories endure. Photo albums recording decades of pub life can be found near the disused fireplace of a sleepy video poker nook—although it's better to ask the chummily-ragtag regulars for stories about the rumored ownership by a postwar wrestling legend, or the ramshackle fencing academy next door that sent a local girl to win Olympic silver, or the foosball champion returned to coach a new generation every Friday. Something about the 'Shire encourages tales told of misfit heroes journeying there and back again.
Happy hour: Taco specials Wednesday and Sunday nights.
Entertainment: Big Buck Hunter, Golden Tee, skee ball, shuffleboard, pinball, pool tables, and pingpong (some assembly required).
4052 NE 42nd Ave., 503-284-8083. 10 am-2:30 am daily.