Backyard Social May Not Be the Hop & Vine—But It's Still Got That Great Patio

Three weeks after opening, Backyard Social is still as much concept as realized vision.

Brand-new North Killingsworth bar Backyard Social (1914 N Killingsworth St., 503-719-4316) is not the Hop & Vine, co-owner Danielle Healey wants to make very clear. Until this summer, that's what the place was called.

Backyard Social (Henry Cromett)

The somewhat eccentric craft-beer-and-wine bar—best known for its burger and big back patio—closed this July, and that same month the new bar was announced, started by Healey and two former Hop & Vine chefs, Latima Chambers and Emory Brun (recently sous chef at Besaw's). So the staff, by and large, is the same. You still order from a chalkboard menu on the wall behind the bar, and the back patio is still a bamboo bower punctuated by rows of picnic tables. You still get pleasant wafts of charcoal from the always-fired grill, and the beer list still skews eccentric, including a fresh-hop sour IPA and Ballast Point orange vanilla.

Backyard Social (Henry Cromett)

But the walls have been repainted a sort of club-vibe gray and the liquor shelves rebuilt into a series of Kinfolk-ian wall boxes. The brioche-bunned burger ($10) is now dripping with American cheese and topped with pork confit, arugula, onion-aioli "awesome sauce" and housemade pickles. The dinner menu has been upgraded to include $14 hanger steak and a $13 plate of smoked pork ribs.

Backyard Social (Henry Cromett)

Soon, Healey says, the back patio will be rebuilt into an Edenic event space where—who knows?—you might get married one day. The emptied bottle shop next door, largely unused when it was the Hop & Vine, has likewise opened up as an event space. Three weeks after opening, Backyard Social is still as much concept as realized vision. But that patio still feels like Mom's backyard, and while the sun's still out, that's where everybody sits.

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