Despite a gallery of sad-clown paintings and an animatronic eyeball in a vise, Creepy's (627 SE Morrison St., 503-889-0185) isn't actually creepy. The new Southeast Morrison Street space from the owners of White Owl is less horror house than sideshow—a design-happy display case of dolls, deer heads and big-eyed kitsch, presided over by a giant painting of John Quincy Adams with moving eyes.
The overall effect is much less sinister than that of its predecessor, Charlie Horse, a cowboy-themed bar full of skaters and degenerates that unnerved more than one friend for reasons they couldn't describe.
Creepy's carnivalesque menu serves intense frozen-coffee cocktails, pickletinis and deep-fried peanuts, not to mention a seriously excellent spicy fried-chicken sandwich ($9). The game room of pinball and pool remains in the back, though now it feels more adult rec room than billiard hole. Not to mention, they've aired the previously claustrophobic place out a bit with an open-air window looking out onto a teeming sidewalk full of Dig A Pony patrons, and expanded the patio seating to the edge of the sidewalk.
It is self-conscious in its quirkiness, a "zany" bar some guests on an early night remarked felt less like Portland than Seattle. Really, the only truly creepy thing in Creepy's is a sultrily posed carving of a sad-eyed chimpanzee, which sent off far too many signals at once. But maybe that's the whole point of the bar.