Lombard was pretty much already the booziest street in Portland. Now it's becoming one of the beeriest. A new 48-tap beer bar will open in St. Johns as soon as this week, owner Kevin York tells WW. (Update: York posted September 21 that the bar's open would be pushed off at least a week.)
"We're all built out. We're just waiting on final approvals from the city of Portland," say York, who expects the paperwork to come through by this Friday.
York, who worked in marketing before getting "tired of sitting behind a computer," says the 1,600-square-foot space will be family-friendly pub with a full kitchen turning out grinder sandwiches, salads and thin-crust pizza. The space will seat 60, centered around a 24-foot wraparound bar.
About eight of 48 North's taps will be devoted to cider and a few more to wine, kombucha and sodas. But a whopping half of the remaining beer taps will go to IPAs, York says. "Portland loves their IPAs. But the thing about having 48 taps is that even for those hardcore IPA drinkers, we can get them out of their comfort zone."
He says he also expects to stock about four sour beers at any given moment—"true sours," he says—along with a pair of nitro taps and an array of seasonal beers that run all over the map.
But for those who want beer to take home, 48 North will offer something that until recently didn't exist in Portland: 16-ounce cans filled and sealed straight from the tap, allowing for a mix-and-match six pack to go.
"Most people are just doing the 32-ounce crowlers," says York. "We've got a custom-6-pack carrier for 16-ounce pints. We'll can anything except the two nitros."
York says there will be a significant discount on pints bought to go, but that for those who drink in the pub he plans to pair his pizzas with individual beers. The pizza will have "minimal toppings," he says, "and each one will have its signature ingredients. Order a specific pie, it'll come with suggested taps. Some of our meats we cook will be marinated in beers on tap."
Among other perks, 48 North will have a window that opens out onto the street during good weather, and three 65-inch TVs for the sports fans.