Likewise: Not Really Like Anything


Likewise (3564 SE Hawthorne Blvd., is part bar, part performance art—a callback to the money-free, improvised '90s, when Miranda July was still making origami out of Portland parking tickets and selling it for the price of the tickets. The tiny whitewashed room, with a long Last Supper table extending down its length, looks as much gallery as drinking space. A set of bleachers faces eerily out Likewise's front window onto Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, making a show of the street. According to "bARTender in residence" Alicia McDaid—the bar hires new bartenders every two months as a form of artist residency—it unnerves the crap out of pedestrians to find themselves on display to an audience in the bar, so some passers-by put on a sidewalk show. McDaid plays a different role every night, from mom to goth waitress; when we arrived on a Tuesday, she was dressed as an '80s middle-schooler, reading a Drew Barrymore cocaine autobiography and watching Heathers. All cocktails on the menu are "Untitled,"—a whiskey soda with Thai drinking vinegars was $9, and tasty. Kombucha, cider and beer pour out of taps made from old wrestling trophies. The food consists of frozen pizza, pickles and nuts. But if you pay $700, says the menu, they'll shut down the entire bar, drive to the coast and make you a huge seafood dinner. You get a signed portrait of the dinner after you eat it. And there is a library of books paired with liquor bottles, from George Plimpton's biography to books by Dave Hickey and Yoko Ono. You can read them, but they ask you to play nice because the books are precious. In fact? Always play nice. Because this place is precious in every sense of the word.


WWeek 2015

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