736 SE Grand Ave., 971-279-4409, digaponyportland.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.
There are but two salient lines in the Lennon-penned song from which this middlebrow destination takes its name: "You can celebrate anything you want" and "You can imitate everyone you know." A welcome refuge for central eastsiders on weeknights, home to an adult spelling bee and a weekend microclub/meat market with an 86-happy bouncer, Dig a Pony—"DAP" as it's known to regulars—took the song to heart. The plan to ape many in offering a place to celebrate all is simple. Take a large corner space with a location accessible to all quadrants of Portland. Install a now-infamous horseshoe bar to pour Oregon-biased drafts ($5) and well-balanced classic cocktails ($8-$9). And, using only the darkest woods and candles, create plenty of built-in booths and tables to privately munch finger food like beignets ($4 during happy hour). Aside from feeling a little market-researched, DAP is a success: Come on the right night, and everything has got to be just like you want it to.
Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $1 off wells, drafts and house wine.
Entertainment: Vinyl-only DJs most nights, with live music and spelling bees a few times a year.