At least 14 Portland nightclubs were affected by the city's 2013 sprinkler ordinance—an ordinance the state Building Codes Division now says is illegal.

Biddy McGraw's

6000 NE Glisan St.

Best known for: Founding publican Patricia "Biddy McGraw" O'Neill.

What they paid: Philip Ragaway, who owns the building that houses Biddy's, told a state Building Codes Division investigator he spent about $83,000 installing a sprinkler system in the buildings.

Alhambra Theater

4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Best known for: Closing in 2015.

What they paid: Ragaway, who also owns the Alhambra Theatre, says he spent about $90,000 putting in a sprinkler system there. In addition, he says the systems in both of his buildings cost about $7,000 a year to maintain.

Duke’s Country Bar (Emily Joan Greene)
Duke’s Country Bar (Emily Joan Greene)

Duke's Country Bar

14601 SE Division St.

Best known for: Country dancing, Taylor Swift's 2006 set.

What they paid: Co-owner Jeff Plew told a state investigator he spent $94,000 on a sprinkler system for Duke's.

Dixie Tavern

32 NW 3rd Ave.

Best known for: Female patrons dancing on the bar, goldfish races.

What they paid: Plew is also a co-owner of Dixie Tavern, where he spent about $35,000 installing sprinklers. He says he borrowed money at 14 percent interest to do so.


350 W Burnside St.

Best known for: Karaoke From Hell.

What they paid: The owner of the buildings that house Dante's and the Star Theater shared emails with a state investigator in which Frank Faillace, the clubs' owner, said he spent "close to $100,000" installing sprinklers at both venues.

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave.

Best known for: Burlesque shows.

What they paid: Faillace told his landlord he had to borrow money for sprinklers in both of his clubs, and complained to him about "some places operating as normal without the required fire sprinklers."


1001 NE Morrison St.

Best known for: Electronica, Damian Lillard's first live hip-hop verse.

What it paid: Co-owner Jarkko Cain told the state investigator the cost of installing a sprinkler system was $42,475.

Ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St.

Best known for: Metal!

What it paid: Owner Patricia Greenlee told an investigator that 10 businesses shared the cost of installing sprinklers. Her share came to $11,000.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)


310 SW 3rd Ave.

Best known for: Being one of the city's two gay strip clubs.

What it paid: Owner Tom Breazeale said the bids for installing sprinklers came in at $70,000 to $80,000, with another $20,000 to hook up to city water. He never installed the system, he told an investigator, because the city never OK'd the plans he submitted.