Where to Drink This Week

If you’re participating in Dry January, please, for the love of God, don’t ride it out at home.

1. G-Love

1615 NW 21st Ave., 971-229-1043, g-lovepdx.com. 5-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 pm Friday-Saturday.

If you’re participating in Dry January, please, for the love of God, don’t ride it out at home. The first month of the year is always financially tough for bars and restaurants, and the pandemic’s disruption to business has caused further strain, so if you want to ensure your neighborhood spot sticks around, it’s best not to abandon them for an entire month. Fortunately, there are plenty of places offering up boozeless specials right now, including plant-focused G-Love. Some of that produce will get put to good use in mocktails, including the Flamingo Beach’s blood peach, pineapple, lemon and soda. We’re most stoked to try the Carrotina because of its eclectic lineup of ingredients: bell pepper, ginger, mole, lemon and the titular root vegetable.

2. Ace Tavern

8868 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-252-4761. 8 am-1 am daily.

A proper dive occupies the sweet spot between sketchy and silly, and the Ace Tavern hits just the right balance. Signs warn against handguns, foul language and attempts to pay with anything other than cash. A small kitchen prepares an assortment of microwavable options like chicken bakes and sandwiches, while the regulars regale the bartender with stories like “how I got rid of those darn woodpeckers.” The daily combination of food and liquor specials means that if it’s Wednesday, you’re getting a dollar off of breakfast or gin (or both, if you’re living large). So, keep it PG, enjoy the generous pours of anything as long as it’s not top shelf—there is no top shelf—and settle in.

3. HallwayPDX

20 NW 3rd Ave., 612-220-6076, hallwaypdx.com. By appointment Sunday-Wednesday, 8 pm-2:30 am Thursday-Saturday.

We’ve long said that Portland loves a themed bar, and the newest one may have the boldest concept yet: Drinkers are invited to check into the Overlook Hotel with Jack Torrance and its many ghosts (or his hallucinations). HallwayPDX is a shrine to the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film The Shining starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Oregon’s very own Timberline Lodge, which plays the part of the spooky mountain inn. Should you visit, keep an eye out for replica memorabilia as you drink one of seven Shining-themed cocktails (Redrum, Room 237, Wendy’s Revenge), which you should most definitely order because we learned from Jack what happens when there’s all work and no play in your life.

4. The Houston Blacklight

2100 SE Clinton St., 503-477-4738, thehoustonblacklight.com. 4-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday, 10 am-midnight Saturday, 10 am-11 pm Sunday.

The Houston Blacklight works because it does something a lot of people forget to do when they open a bar in this city: It feels like a place made for Portland, not shuttled in from somewhere else. It’s not a faux dive, and it’s not swanky or elevated; it’s just a goofy fun thing with wildly juicy cocktails and some solid bar bites. Embrace the vibe by ordering a slushie: the turquoise Thot Experiment combined with whatever other flavor is available. Also watch for Many Things Cannot Fly to return to the menu. The blackberry gin concoction is served in a speckled-blue dinosaur egg with a toy dino riding the straw.

5. Hood River Distillers Tasting Outpost

426 SW Broadway, 503-545-8906, hrdspirits.com. 1-7 pm daily.

Hood River Distillers launched this downtown Portland Tasting Outpost so that drinkers can now easily sample their way through the brand’s varied booze portfolio without an hourlong drive to its titular home. Though the company has brought a bit of the Gorge’s aesthetics into the city’s core by decorating with tables and a bar top made from two different kinds of maple trees as well as red oak and a smattering of old-timey outdoor gear. Available spirits include Timberline Vodka, Trail’s End Bourbon Whiskey, McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, and sister brand Clear Creek’s fruit brandies and liqueurs.

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