1020 NW 17th Ave., 503-943-2780, paymasterlounge.com. 2 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 2-6 pm daily: $1 off non-Rainier beers, $3 wells, food specials.
Established: July 1, 2011 (as Moonshine Lounge)
A dose of authenticity in between the bougie realms of the Pearl District and Nob Hill, this Slabtown institution is at some point every Westsider's favorite place to drink. The name pays homage to the building's former occupant, the Paymaster Check Writers & Signers Swingline Business Machine Company, whose old sign still hangs over the bar's entrance. The large windows out front reveal the warm glow of the bar area within, thanks to the dim, off-color bulbs of the vintage Hamm's and Schlitz Malt Liquor signs covering the walls. Grab a Jell-O shot ($2.50) and a $5 craft pour before heading past a trio of pinball machines and a photo booth toward the neighborhood's crown jewel of chill covered patios. Crowds of co-workers fill ashtrays at the tables under the corrugated roof while smaller groups populate the newly installed wooden benches around the pool table, minding the ends of pool cues in the process. If you left your copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at home, be sure to swing by the vending machine that's stocked with an inexplicable assortment of books, Janet Jackson CDs, Pop Rocks and more.