1. Grape Ape
77 SE Yamhill St., 503-261-3467, grapeape.wine. 11 am-bedtime Tuesday-Sunday.
Sorry to break it to fans of the ‘70s Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the same name, but you won’t find a 40-foot purple primate at this new Central Eastside bar. However, much of the décor is from that era, and the lineup of fine natural wines should soften the blow. The curated list highlights selections from low-intervention labels, including Oregon’s Hooray for You chardonnay, California producer Populis’ sauvignon blanc and a Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme gamay from France. Pair one with marinated white beans and mayo on toast or a jamon baguette and pretend you’ve made an escape to Paris for the afternoon.
2. Dirty Pretty
638 E Burnside St., dirtyprettypdx.com. 4 pm-1 am Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday.
This is the third venue in industry veteran Collin Nicholas’ quickly growing bar portfolio, which also includes Pink Rabbit and Fools and Horses. As with its sister locations, you can expect a fusion of Asian and Hawaiian ingredients in Dirty Pretty’s food menu (pork-shrimp shumai, fried saimin, furikake jojos), and the lengthy cocktail list is filled with tropical flavors. Drinks with names like Jungle Juice, Charliebird and Guava Wars should brighten what’s been a pretty gray Portland spring.
3. Knudsen Vineyards
9419 NE Worden Hill Road, Dundee, 503-580-1596, knudsenvineyards.com. Dates and times vary. $55 or $95 per person.
If you’ve ever wished you could transport yourself into the scene depicted on that Oregon Wine Country license plate the DMV rolled out about a decade ago, then you need to head to Knudsen during Oregon Wine Month. The painting it’s based on is of this winery, which invites you to tromp around the grapes all year round, not just during wine month in May. There are two informative hikes to choose from—both include tastings, but one has the added bonus of a picnic lunch.
4. Lolo Pass Rooftop Bar
1616 E Burnside St., 503-908-3074, lolopass.com. 4-10 pm daily.
Beyond giving guests a place to rest their heads at the end of the day, Lolo Pass is home to one of Portland’s newer rooftop bars where locals and visitors alike can sip drinks and take in the view of the Central Eastside. The fifth-story perch reopens May 4 following its winter hibernation with a new and seasonally changing cocktail menu. The debut Snap Pea martini sounds like the perfect vibrant drink to toast the warming spring afternoons.
5. Fracture Brewing
1015 SE Stark St., fracturebrewingpdx.com. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
This month, the Lil’ America food cart pod welcomed its final tenant, and if you haven’t checked out the eclectic mix of vendors—Guyanese bakes are sold feet from crab boils, vegan corn dogs and Hainanese chicken rice—the recent opening is a good excuse to get out there. Be sure to order a beer (but, really, you should get several) made by Fracture’s Darren Provenzano. During our last visit, the medallionlike West Coast IPA and the canary-colored Hazy were both standouts, but the Pilsner trio (classic, West Coast, New Zealand) is what really stole our hearts. Yes, they all taste different.