1. Holman’s Bar & Grill
15 SE 28th Ave., 503-231-1093, holmanspdx.com. 8 am-2:30 am daily.
Holman’s is one of those bars where everyone knows your name—not because you are a regular, but because they are all off-duty bartenders and servers from other places you frequent. During our visit just days after it reopened following a long renovation, there was a murderer’s row of alcohol distributors, brewery reps and bussers lined up on the stools like they never left, even though the place closed for more than three years, initially due to the pandemic. The remodel may have slightly elevated the aesthetics, but the drink specials are still dive-bar cheap, including $2.50 well whiskey pours and tallboys during Tightwad Tuesday and $4 tumblers of Jameson every Monday.
2. Portland Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest
Prost! 4237 N Mississippi Ave., 503-954-2674, fresh-hops.com. 8 am-10 pm daily, through Oct. 1.
If it’s fresh hops you seek—and by now you’ve probably noticed those beers on tap lists across town—be sure to add the Portland Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest to your list of stops. The event, which does not have an entry fee or drink tickets, takes over Prost! for just 17 days, and in addition to the daily rotating beers on draft, there will be special themed offerings. Breweries from the world’s largest hop-growing region, Yakima, Wash., are scheduled to tap on Sept. 28., Seattle producers (Fremont, Reuben’s, Stoup) get their time to shine Sept. 30, and all six of Fort George’s fresh hop beers will be on during the fest’s final day.
3. Taiji Teahouse & Cafe
310 NW Davis St., 503-997-3261, taijiteahouse.com. 11 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday.
There is at least one entrepreneur who believes that peace and tranquility can be found in Old Town Chinatown. In mid-August, Eric Arthur opened Taiji in the space that used to house Pearl Zhang’s Red Robe Tea House, which we long praised for serving “one of the finest Chinese pots of tea on either side of the river.” Zhang retired in 2021, but before she did, Arthur broadened his knowledge of gongfu tea through her and the shop—and he’s essentially reviving the essence that she brought to the establishment along with her exceptional and detailed tea ritual.
4. Migration Brewing Wells Fargo Pop-Up
1300 SW 5th Ave., migrationbrewing.com. 2-7 pm Tuesday-Friday.
Migration Brewing has proven that it’s the master of the pop-up by opening temporary bars in places as varied as a dying mall, a bustling mall and Saturday Market. The company’s latest seasonal project has taken over the just-renovated first floor of downtown’s Wells Fargo Center. While most of that structure is home to offices, you certainly won’t feel like you’re in a cubicle farm at the taproom, which seats 40 and features black matte subway tile and a sprawling outdoor patio. There are also 10 taps for beer and wine as well as canned cocktails. Why drink in an office building? Because it’s weird and you can—for a limited time, however, the residency was recently extended through Dec. 31.
5. Emerald Line
1800 NW 16th Ave., 503-241-6559, theemeraldline.com. 11 am-2 pm and 4-9 pm-ish Monday-Friday, 4-9 pm-ish Saturday.
We knew this would be a standout spot for heirloom tomatoes thanks to the plate of fire engine-red orbs on the bar, viewed through the eyes of an heirloom fanatic as an altar to the fleeting fruit. In reality, the placement was purely functional, giving bartenders easy access to a critical component in the Tomatotini. Made with four or so pingpong ball-sized fruits that are then muddled, vodka or gin, a splash of simple syrup and a spritz of salt spray, the concoction is an elegantly simple ode to the heirloom. Cosmo pink early in the season—the Tomatotini could turn yellow or green later on depending on the color of the incoming harvest—it’s about as pure as you can get to the classic “slice, salt and devour with knife and fork” in beverage form.