The Yamhill Pub has never been among the prettiest of places in downtown Portland. In fact, it'd be fair to call the hole in the wall on Southwest Yamhill Street downright dingy.
But it's our dingy hole in the wall, its signature green door and awning often crowded by customers who've ducked out for a smoke—a comfort and draw to anyone seeking a stiff drink in a darkened room for over 80 years.
And now, the bar needs the community's help.
General manager Kevin Hill has launched a GoFundMe campaign to save the Yamhill Pub, which is struggling financially during the most recent governor-ordered restrictions on dine- and drink-in service.
Hill says he was able to steer the business through the first lockdown in spring thanks to some savings and assistance through a Paycheck Protection Program loan. While the bar remained closed for three months, all of its employees were rehired in June once Multnomah County moved into Phase 1.
However, this time there is no additional assistance from the federal government, and Hill believes food and drink establishments might be in takeout-only mode well into next year to help fight the spread of COVID-19. While getting the pandemic under control remains paramount, a closure that long would break an independent operation like Yamhill Pub.
"Asking for help is usually not my way, but with the new restrictions and the limitations the state has put on us I don't know how much longer we can sustain," Hill wrote on the bar's GoFundMe page. "Our resources are limited. I would like to think that we could open back up on Dec. 16, but I'm anticipating another three-month lockdown."
The campaign has raised $300 of its $15,000 goal since it launched Nov. 19. Hill says all donations will go directly to rent, utilities and other bills. Any contribution would also be a way of saying you'd like to keep this small slice of Old Portland alive.