6129 NE Fremont St., 288-2944, 10 am-2:30 am daily.
When Crystal Maddix and former Binks bartender Elizabeth Hanna bought the crumbling Rovon Inn, they simply wanted a cool neighborhood spot located on a lonely stretch of Northeast Fremont Street. Less than two years later, they're lording over one of Portland's best-kept secrets. Sure, it's just a polished-up dive, but it's the little touches that make it among Portland's best drinking holes. Everyone has fancy Jell-O shots. Mad Hanna puts Pop Rocks on theirs. Drinks are gussied up with fresh-squeezed juice by bartenders who straddle the line between sweet and surly. During the day, pool is free. The back patio is sprawling, and hosts everything from horseshoe pits to summer barbecues. And if you want to buy a drink for a friend who's not there, you can pay the bartender and she'll put said friend's name on a board so they can redeem it later. It's a bar that feels like hanging out in a friend's ultra-cool basement. And once you've spent time inside, you're family.
Happy hour: 2-6 pm Monday-Friday, noon-3 pm Saturday-Sunday. $1 off wells, 50 cents off drafts, food specials.
Entertainment: Pingpong, horseshoes, board games, jukebox, pool, patio, TV, impromptu dance parties.