1. The Vern

2622 SE Belmont St.

The latest preservation project from Warren Boothby and Marcus Archambeault is Hanigan's Tavern, better known to Portland barflies as the Vern. As they did with Sandy Hut a few years ago, the city's pre-eminent dive-bar whisperers scrubbed the carpet, opened some windows and doubled down on the wood-paneled rumpus room vibe, all without disinfecting the room's grimy soul.

(Laurel Kadas)
(Laurel Kadas)

2. Five & Dime

6535 SE Foster Rd.

While you won't find shelves stocked with cheap talcum powder and undergarments, the new bar along the Foster-Powell corridor reflects the prices and spirit of a 20th-century trinket emporium. The room intermingles sophistication with subversion, mixing jade shelving stocked with leather-bound books with a neon ombré portrait of Rasheed Wallace, while the cocktails—some themed after Neil Gaiman's American Gods—also balance tradition and irreverence.

(Justin Katigbak)
(Justin Katigbak)

3. Lulu

726 SE Grand Ave., 503-780-0362, lulubarpdx.com

With its lack of décor, inoffensively punny cocktails and dim first-date mood lighting, Lulu has the feeling of an annex meant to catch peak-hour overflow from neighboring Dig A Pony. But the narrow bar does enough to stand on its own—after all, where else on Grand are you going to get a Flamin' Hot Cheetos torta?

(Christine Dong)
(Christine Dong)

4. Barbarella

125 NW 5th Ave., 503-208-2687

Part of a chain of bars that first launched in Austin, Texas, a decade ago, Barbarella's aesthetic is as delightfully kitschy and low-budget as a bar named after a campy sci-fi cult classic should be. A dance club with dirt-cheap drinks and themed parties, the place should be a sensation, particularly with eastsiders who usually never dare venture into Old Town.

(Laurel Kadas)
(Laurel Kadas)

5. Great Notion

2450 NW 28th Ave., 971-279-2183, greatnotionpdx.com

The sister location to its tiny Northeast Alberta Street brewpub, Great Notion's newer, bigger space looks like a modern art museum from the outside. The shimmering wooden barroom is a beer-fueled echo chamber, and the beer is louder than the crowd. Bright purple sour ales, hazy yellow IPAs and jet-black imperial stouts flow from 24 taps, while massively decadent dessert stouts like Moon Pie assault the senses, fists finding all id and no ego.