10420 SW Barbur Blvd., 503-244-8356, happyfortunepdx.com. 11:30 am-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 4-6 pm: 25 cents off drafts, 50 cents off wells, and free nibbles from one dish each day.
The farthest fringes of Southwest Portland drift along as nebulous riverlands—vestigial pockets of failed urbanity bisected by highways whose travelers are less and less interested in roadside attractions. When iconic nearby contemporaries like Hi Hat and Henry Ford's began to disappear, Chinese spot Happy Fortune survived by shifting focus from dining to drinking, while allowing their teeming lounge crowds to overtake the outsized and underserved restaurant. Despite boasting the best prices by far (a "happy meal" serves up a pint of PBR and shot of whiskey for $5.50) along a stretch of Southwest Barbur Boulevard overrun by claptrap weekly-rate motels, Happy Fortune juggles an oddly congenial hotpot of upscale transients, Lewis & Clark undergrads, amiable suburbanites drinking through the commute, and an enviable corps of die-hard regulars.
The bar's open every day of the year, and patrons organize extensive potlucks each Thanksgiving and Christmas while raising hell 'midst parking lot fireworks on the Fourth of July. One customer built the front patio, another constructed the pool-room addition—extending the space footage by one-third—and a third painted the interiors. Favored barflies peddle craft specialties ranging from cocktail replica candles (martini, margarita, Irish coffee) to miniature landscapes hand-painted upon hollow eggshells. Even in this fractured stretch of Southwest Portland, assembling this vibrant, eclectic, fiercely loyal clientele—Mustache Mondays and Wednesday Ladies' Nights—doesn't take a Multnomah Village.
Bar story: During the brief transitional period shortly after ownership took over Eriksen's Swedish Breakfast, an Oregonian story claimed Happy Fortune served as "Portland's only Chinese-Scandinavian eatery."