3390 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-234-6171, chopstickskaraoke.com. 2 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 5 pm-2:30 pm Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour 2-7 pm: various drink specials, including $3.75 micro drafts and $1 off already-cheap entrees.
When Chopsticks' classic East Burnside Street location had to close in 2015, owner David Chow found a new location on Northeast Sandy Boulevard after his landlord refused to renew the lease after 20 years in the space. This time, Chow bought the whole building. And, well, Portland's best-known karaoke bar is still everything I expected a karaoke bar to be when I was underage. The green vinyl tables quickly get sticky with sweet-sounding cocktails like the Elle Banana, which has Malibu, Crème de Bananes, hot chocolate and whipped cream ($10), and that's if they don't get sticky from the plates of potstickers and chow mein.
It's the sort of place that, because it's almost Christmas, might have someone run around to the tables giving each guest a wrapped gift such as size 11 flip-flops or a calendar of motivational sayings. On a more recent visit, I ran into people I never wanted to see again. But that's inevitable here: Everyone you don't want to see and everyone you do want to see will eventually be here at Chopsticks, storming the dance floor to bellow "We Are Family." Of course you are, if only for the night.
Bar story: First opened on East Burnside Street in 1995, Chopsticks used to be where Elliott Smith and Sleater-Kinney used to hang out. There's an often-told story of Smith singing Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me."