Much-anticipated tequila and gin fizz bar Holy Ghost opened this weekend—after four years of planning by the Three on a Match bar group, which also own area bars like the Old Gold and Paydirt.
“We finally have a bar that doesn’t look like a collision of Edison bulbs and bourbon,” one of the group’s owners, Ezra Caraeff, tells WW, self-deprecatingly.
Located on Southeast Gladstone at 28th, in the old Pub at the End of the Universe space, Caraeff says that the dream of Holy Ghost began as “a napkin with a crude sketch of a bar and a whole load of memories—albeit extremely hazy—of time we spent at the Pub at the End of the Universe.”
But one glance at Holy Ghost shows that this bar has been through an extensive remodel—the windows are larger and ceiling far higher in this incarnation. “We have a 30-foot marble bar top, neons from Tiny Spoon, and a stunning mural from Kyler Martz,” Caraeff says of the new space.
Behind that marble bar, a pair of commercial bubble tea shakers are the Holy Ghost’s secret to its Five Minute Ramos Gin. “The instructions were not in English, so that was an adventure,” Caraeff says of assembling the machines, which have already been named Shake Gyllenhaal and Jake the Shake Roberts.
While there’s still a triple-digit whiskey selection, the focus of Holy Ghost is tequila and mezcal. It even has an Agave Social Club where regulars get treats for trying out new tequilas and mezcals—either as straight pours or cocktails.
“We really feel great about this bar,” Caraeff says. “We took our time and feel good about what we created and the role it will play in this wonderful neighborhood. Or perhaps it’s just because this very famous peacock has been roosting on our roof from time to time, and we feel honored.”
Operating in a style similar to Paydirt—where proximity to other restaurants in Northeast Portland’s Zipper building removed the burden of also having a kitchen—Old Ghost shares a space with Electric Pizza Company (it’s got slices!), which provides OLCC-required sustenance. Eventually noodle, dumpling and barbecue spot 28 Tigers will also join them.
DRINK: Holy Ghost, 4107 SE 28th Ave., holyghostbar.com. 3 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 3 pm-1 am Friday, noon-1 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday.