2430 SE Division St., 503-231-3880. 10 am-2:30 am daily.
Established: June 1994
Everyone knows Reel M Inn has the best fried chicken and jojos in town, crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, broasted to such perfection you won't think twice about accepting the "hour and half" wait time that's often twice that. A close second to the chicken is Reel M Inn's menagerie of kitsch, which puts every other dive in Portland to shame. Above its taps, which include fare from Fort George and Boneyard—though you'd be the odd fish out if you were drinking something other than Rainier or Pabst—sits a potato with googly eyes and a Rainier pull tab for a tongue. Above that is a stuffed coyote and some indeterminate variety of pelts. There's graffiti along every inch of the rafters not already occupied up by an aluminum-foil deer, a swordfish and a buoy. The door handle for the entrance is an oar. The doors to the restrooms are painted with what looks like seals in drag, and the graffiti on the cement outside says "Portland sucks now." A scan of the development along the horizon will make that claim feel true, but as long as this local landmark remains, Division still has an effective bulwark against the condo plague that threatens to ruin it for good.
by James Helmsworth