Portland International Airport, which consistently earns the title as the nation’s best, is about to get even more awesome.
The Lightning Bar Collective (Bye and Bye, Capitol, Century) has teamed with ChefStable to open Juliett, a women in aviation-themed watering hole. It’s the latest addition to Concourse E, which has been undergoing construction to extend the space by 830 feet, bringing with it more gates, charging stations and vendors.
Juliett serves beautifully crafted cocktails and sustainably sourced wine as well as six beers made by Fracture Brewing, one of Oregon’s newest producers that took over the space where Burnside Brewing and then Mikkeller’s local outpost were once located.
While perched at the bar, you’ll find sweeping eastward views of Mount Hood, though you may be too taken with the scenery inside to notice. A gleaming black circular countertop is the centerpiece of it all, flanked by 5-foot-tall swooping treelike lighting fixtures. Its symmetrical, geometric style brings a bit of Gatsby elegance to the waiting-to-board experience—your typical stale airport bar this is not.
The flight theme is fleshed out with portraits of women aviators, including Berta Moraleda, the first Cuban woman to fly a plane; Bessie Coleman, the first African American and Native woman to hold a pilot license; Micky Axton, an American test pilot during World War II; and Hazel Ying Lee, who flew with the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Fracture Brewing also created six different beers in honor of these women and their accomplishments.
“What I love about Juliett is that it’s all about women empowerment and it’s so different from all the other airport restaurants,” says Bonnie Gaitan, Juliett’s general manager and longtime PDX employee, in a press release. “The bar is so beautiful, everything from the trees to the plates to the bar glass. Watching the team build it from scratch has been such an amazing experience.”
Coopers Hall Winery will provide the wine, which is on tap and served directly out of stainless steel vessels, and the 11 cocktails were developed by the team at Lightning Bar Collective.
“The drinks aspire to be classy and sophisticated but relatable, with several riffs on 1940s and ‘50s classics, and a particular focus on flavors inspired by warm weather to complement the excitement of journeying,” Liam Duffy, Lightning Bar Collective co-founder, adds.
The bar seats 90 and will begin operating on a full-time basis March 19, which means flight delays won’t be so bad—at least not if you’re departing from Concourse E.