7907 SE Stark St., 971-242-8729, vintagepdx.com. 4 pm-"late" Monday-Friday, noon-"late" Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour 5-7 pm daily.
Established: September 2009
The pre-Prohibition cocktail trend is more than a decade old now. Why hasn't it faded like the short-lived "upscale trash" trend that brought us Pepe Le Moko's grasshopper and Bit House Saloon's Hennessy slushies? Come on out to Montavilla and it'll become more clear. The veteran crew at this humble spot are spirits geeks—we witnessed a debate about the best bad tequila and got an extended education on the provenance of Singani, a rare Bolivian brandy. The room is lacking the period decor you'll find at the whiskey libraries of the world, but the cocktails are uniformly well-made and the bites are inexpensive and designed as side snacks.
Bar story: Back in 2013, I did the whole absinthe ritual here—it was already a few years past the height of the trend, and I was a bit self-conscious about it. They still have the contraption behind the bar, though it looks like it's been up on blocks for a while.