Centered on diagonal Northeast Sandy Boulevard stretching from the industrial inner eastside out some 20 blocks to the border of Laurelhurst, Kerns isn't so much a cohesive, walkable district as it is geographically sequential. It's hard to label the particular vibe of this cannabis dispensary-heavy thoroughfare (nicknamed "The Green Mile" for its numerous offerings), but it's an undisputed fact that Northeast Sandy is home to an inordinate number of one-of-a-kind, tried-and-true, and beloved bars and entertainment venues as well as newly established favorites.
See See Motor Coffee Co.
Part coffee shop, part neighborhood beer bar, but mostly motorcycle shop, See See appeals to anyone with a remote appreciation of all three. Real riders and leather mamas alike can browse gear and accessories, or swap road trip stories over a cappuccino and breakfast sandwich.
1430 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-235-7972.
Dive bar, tiki bar and diner, the Sandy Hut has been a mainstay for service industry workers and young eastsiders for decades. The dark, retro space opens in the early afternoon, and stays that way into the early hours of the morning—when the last slushie is drained and the pinball machines are done ringing.
Doing the Lord's work since 2013—when preaching the gospel of craft cocktails and decorative wit on this stretch of Northeast Sandy took transcendent faith—this stylish night spot draws a regular after-work crowd for drinks and bar food like the $10 Miru vodka, grapefruit and lime Wild Goose Chase and house fries anointed with truffle oil (also $10). Midnight masses congregate around the DJ altar or slink away to the "confessional" photo booth.
Laurelhurst Theater and Pub
First opened in 1923, the art deco-styled Laurelhurst competes for best vintage neon sign among Portland's historical theaters. The theater's four screens offer first-run, indie and local films—at just $6 admission all day Tuesdays. Didn't have time to stop by a dispensary? Opt for a pint of the CBD-infused Two Flowers IPA by Coalition Brewing ($7).
Culmination Brewing's truly petite operation—all of which is mostly visible from anywhere in the small pub space—puts out a shockingly broad variety of beers. On top of that, the menu of sours, farmhouse ales, and other bold styles can shift daily. Don't let variety eclipse the well-executed flagship Phaedrus IPA ($5), as well as Culmination's satisfying pub food. $.