1771 NE Dekum St., 971-754-4188, toughluckbar.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday, noon-2 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday. Happy hour 4-7 pm Monday-Friday: $1 off micros, wells and entrees.
Like the owners' other gold digger-themed patio bars, Paydirt and the Old Gold, Tough Luck is based on a surefire formula of whiskey and comfort food. And judging from the crowds in the tight-tabled drinking hall at 6 pm, it's already well-appreciated in its neighborhood. Whiskey is stocked here in impressive abundance, with a five-deep list of $9-to-$10 house old-fashioneds, including variants using Japanese and Irish ryes and bourbons. The décor is both sparse and outsized: One wall is dominated by a giant mural re-creating a mass-market Ouija board, while the opposite wall features a 16-foot-long light-up scoreboard for the house shuffleboard table. Like the fried chicken at Kim Jong Smokehouse and the FOMO food cart, chef and Kentucky native Lauren Miller plays fruitfully with the natural confluence between Southern American and East Asian soul food. The Korean fried chicken bowl ($14) comes topped in sweet-spicy tom kha sauce on a bed of kimchi and fried onions, while the burger is a double-patty dog pile with kimchi ketchup and pimento cheese. The ramen takes its cues from old cookouts, its pork belly braised with good old-fashioned Coca-Cola. But as at the owners' other two spots, the beer list skews away from the familiar toward beers that are rarely tapped. If you want beer that's not a back to whiskey, you might instead go for a $5 furikake-topped tallboy michelada that'll pair nicely with the food.