Bar Guide 2015: The Slammer

500 SE 8th Ave., 232-6504. 3 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 5 pm-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday.

They call it the Slammer for a reason, and not just because it was once a police bar: The ceilings are low, the space is tight, the food contains the bare minimum of legal nutritional value, and when you go the restroom, the whole building knows it. It's one of Portland's perfect dives, a mostly family affair with drinks stiff enough and cheap enough to make everyone family eventually. It's somewhat recently been made more accommodating by the addition—amazing!—of a credit-card machine, and the place doubles as a game room when there's space. Note, though, that the avid skee-baller is going to feel stifled. Shoved away in a narrow corner next to an AC/DC pinball machine, a cigarette dispenser and a Baby Pac-Man game, the skee ball feels like trying to bowl in a broom closet. Escape to the sidewalk picnic tables after striking your funny bone winding up for a pitch; they're always as packed as the bar.

Happy hour: 3-7 pm daily. Well discounts and food specials.

Entertainment: TV, skee ball, jukebox, pinball squeezed into every available space, Baby Pac-Man.

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