Where to Drink This Week

Sip the most recent Best American Single Malt Whiskey winner in Bird Creek’s pint-sized tasting room.

1. BIRD CREEK DISTILLERY

815 SE Oak St., Suite B, birdcreekwhiskey.com. 1–5 pm Tuesday-Saturday or by appointment.

Oregon may be best known for craft beer and wine, but it turns out we also work wonders with whiskey. Bird Creek is the latest brand to join established names in Portland like Westward, Bull Run and Aimsir. Its pint-sized tasting room is located in the same building as Portland Coffee Roasters (Mark Stell founded both), and all of the barley used to make the whiskeys is sourced from Oregon and Washington. The company’s Baronesse variety nabbed the title of Best American Single Malt Whiskey 2023 at the ASCOT Awards, and Full Pint, named after the barley developed at Oregon State University, won a platinum in the same competition.

2. SIT TITE

6214 N Interstate Ave., sit-tite.com. 4 pm–midnight Sunday–Thursday, 4 pm–2 am Friday–Saturday.

Sit Tite is a low-key neighborhood bar that serves the kind of unpretentious food you find at the numerous Italian joints spread across New Jersey and Long Island. In a nod to our nostalgia- and meme-obsessed culture, Sit Tite comes with Sopranos references aplenty, from the name itself to the cocktail menu. We adored the Commendatori ($15), a nod to the retrending espresso martini that distinguished itself with Amaro Averna, salt and frothy cold brew, and the Smoke Out Confessional ($13), with its inventive take on a Hemingway daiquiri distinguished by mezcal and elderflower.

3. HALE PELE

2733 NE Broadway, 503-662-8454, halepele.com. 4 pm–midnight daily.

Step into the dark and moody confines of one of America’s best tiki bars, right here in Portland. Adorned with glowing puffer fish, bamboo and tiki totems to conjure the feeling of being in a beachside hut, Hale Pele is the perfect escape from the winter gloom. You can indulge in boozy rum-laden classics like a mai tai or a Suffering Bastard while watching the bartenders concoct lively mixologist pyrotechnics to a soundtrack of exotic lounge music and the occasional simulated thunderstorm. Cocktails for two are offered, and the Volcano Bowl comes billowing fire and smoke for a true spectacle.

4. JOHN’S MARKETPLACE–HALL

3700 SW Hall Blvd., Beaverton, 503-747-2739, johnsmarketplace.com. 11 am–9 pm daily.

Formerly parched downtown Beaverton has been swimming in beer for the past few years. The area has outlets for two breweries as well as a handful of beer bars. Joining the perennial beerfest is John’s Marketplace, which opened its third location on the edge of Old Town. Most everyone is here for a pint paired with the well-charred, quarter-pound smash burgers, including beer nerds sporting branded swag and moms clad in Lululemon with children in tow. Join them under the beer banners in the taproom before perusing the bottle shop for something special to take home.

5. 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.

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