Bar Guide 2014: Games People Play

Pinball Heaven


2880 SE Gladstone St.

C-Bar does not fuck around. There are 15 pinball machines here, mostly obscure, with a weird emphasis on cult sci-fi: Doctor Who, Flash Gordon and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Slingshot Lounge

5532 SE Center St.

Hamburgers go with pinball grinding. There are seven machines, including AC/DC, NBA Fastbreak and World Cup Soccer.


Portland's most sodden game room has six machines. But the only one that should really matter to you is The Addams Family, because that game is a wonder.

The Wurst

724 E Burnside St.

The Wurst is weird. Personality-free, but full of oddities like The Flintstones egg claw machine and eight pinball games, including Elvira and the Party Monsters.

Paymaster Lounge

The only classic machine here is Star Wars (1992), and the most fun is The Sopranos game, but man: Paymaster's four games are pop-culture beauty, rounding out with Metallica and Indiana Jones.

The Pits


Leisure Public House

8002 N Lombard St.

Knock balls the Italian way, on Leisure's back patio. And laugh at the sissy pingpong players. 


Pix Patisserie 

You know what I do when I drink Champagne? I chuck a boule at a piglet. Gently. Then I eat a nice cookie.


Landmark Saloon

So there is a cowboy bar, and there are horseshoes. But there are no horses. How sad. Then again? There are horseshoes. And horseshoes are wonderful.


Gladstone Street Pub

3737 SE Gladstone St.

Cornhole, mild hints at obscenity aside, is the great Midwestern hedge against life-ending boredom and soul death. If it weren't for cornhole, there wouldn't be firemen in Chicago.

Human-size Jenga

Triple Nickel

3646 SE Belmont St.

This takes place more in a playpen than a pit. But as a casual reminder of life's fragility, delivered to drunks who are fragile already, a pit is what we'll call it.

Ms. Pac-Man


1800 E Burnside St.

The perfect bar machine. Ms. Pac-Man is the perfect Pac-Man game, and this machine is hidden downstairs and built into a table with drink holders.

La Merde

301 SE Morrison St.

For some reason, Ms. Pac-Man prefers hidden places like Montage's hidden back bar for industry vets, which has a classic low-tabletop Ms. Pac-Man.

Spare Room

Also well tucked away in a rear game room, away from the more adult game of video poker that is the Spare Room's daylight staple.

Ground Kontrol

Anyone can get a Ms. Pac-Man game. But why stop there? Ground Kontrol has Ms. Pac-Man bathroom tiles in the ladies' room.

The Jack London Bar

529 SW 4th Ave.

One Friday night a month, the '80s dance party features Ms. Pac-Man projected onto the wall. This is your chance to impress that special someone with your joystick skillz!

The Boards

Cards Against Portland


A roving night of Portland-centric Cards Against Humanity in which participants pretty much try to out-sick each other. Various bars, various nights, always a party crasher. Check out their Facebook page for events.


The Foggy Notion 

A bizarre good-deed version of Monopoly where victory goes to the first player to build a church. Just what we like: a winner-take-all holy war. (Never mind that the gamemakers swear that only cooperation wins.

Connect Four

Le Happy

1011 NW 16th Ave.

Connect Four is the best game to play if you're drunk or Japanese but not both. If you're sober, skilled players always tie and retain honor for both. And drunk people make enough mistakes someone always loses, and someone always satisfyingly wins.  

Trivial Pursuit


1800 E Burnside St.

If your irritating friend is one of those people who's memorized all the Trivial Pursuit cards and thus is no fun to play with, Eastburn has the solution. So many editions of the game he could never remember them all. 

Dice & Drinks meet-up

My Father's Place

523 SE Grand Ave.

You know those newfangled Euro board games that cost like $60 and require an hour's learning curve? There are like 40 of those here every Wednesday. You're welcome, and we're sorry.

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