1. Lift Off Lounge
5216 NE Sandy Blvd.
Remember when the future was something to look forward to? The décor at this new bar from the owner of downtown's dearly departed Matador tickles the nostalgia receptors with a '50s vision of the Space Age. It's applied with a subtle touch, but much of the kitsch is concentrated on the cocktail menu, which includes old-timey dessert drinks and playfully retrograde items like the Thyme Gibson.
Read the full review: Lift Off Lounge Sets Course for a 1950s Version of the 21st Century.
716 NW 21st Ave., randrpdx.com.
Overhauled from a Belgian beer bar into a faux-beachside resort, R&R brings to life elements from your Hawaiian vacation Pinterest board—palm fronds, piña coladas, poke. And if that's not enough to curb your seasonal affective disorder, an LED sunset repeats every few minutes. It's summer somewhere, right?
Read the full review: Do You like Pina Coladas? Then R&R Might Be Your New Favorite Bar.
3. Bar Diane
2112 NW Irving St., Suite 105 (enter on 21st Avenue), bardiane.com.
Truly great wine bars are defined by a spirit of generosity—generous with knowledge, generous with accessibility and, yes, generous with prices. On all these points, Bar Diane is a major success. It strikes a fine balance as a wine bar that rewards expertise yet feels accessible and affordable no matter your starting base of wine knowledge. Nearly every bottle is under $60, save for the smart, concise selection of Champagne and occasional ringers from winemakers like Ridge and Paolo Bea.
Read the full review: Northwest Portland Wine Lounge Bar Diane Rewards Connoisseurs Without Alienating Newbies.
4. Five & Dime
6535 SE Foster Road.
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 also balance tradition and irreverence.
5. Retro Game Bar
6720 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-271-8079, rgbpdx.com.
While Ground Kontrol and Quarterworld pry at memories of dropping two months' allowance at the nearest pizza parlor, Portland's newest arcade bar feels like the house of that one friend who somehow had every hot game for every console in existence. Vintage TV sets are scattered around the room, equipped with everything from an ancient Atari 2600 to a Sega Dreamcast—there's even a lonely TurboGrafx-16 in one corner.