1020 NW 17th Ave., 943-2780, paymasterlounge.com.
Paymaster Lounge is the only eastside-style bar on the
entire westside, an improvised little pinball-stackedddive with both a
front and a rear patio. Slip through a catacomb of claustrophobic left
and right turns, and you can reach one of Portland's best patios,
complete with outdoor pool table. Bring with you a light, sweet, angrily
alcoholic, slushy piña colada ($6)—6 ounces of slush, seemingly 3 of
rum—and blister yourself in the sun. Just don't get the slushy Hurricane
at the same price. It tastes like the punch at a college party.
3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895, mississippistudios.com.
Bar Bar (pictured on the cover) hosts one of Portland's mightiest patios—with a big ol' fire pit, picnic tables perfect for burger eating and a window to order beer directly from the bar. It's nice enough out there you'll probably forget you were actually here to watch a show at Mississippi Studios.
White Owl Social Club
1305 SE 8th Ave., 236-9672, whiteowlsocialclub.com.
A mullet of a bar, White Owl Social Club keeps the business in front and the parties out back on a huge-ass patio that is a sea of picnic tables leading up the steps to an always-occupied set of benches around a fire pit. Not to mention the bands and DJs that play out back on the weekends, from hip-hop nights to Red Fang 'banging. You can order tabletop Bunsen-burner s'mores, but keep your beard clear of the flames.
1101 NE Alberta St., 287-2346, radioroompdx.com.
Radio Room's real use is as a double-decker patio tiered like a club in Miami, with a fire pit downstairs and an upper-deck patio that has what—in low-clearance Alberta—actually counts as a view. At weekend brunch, the patio lets you get slightly blitzed on a vodka-spiked mimosa while laughing at the people below on the street, doing something depressingly wholesome.
600 E Burnside St., 236-4536.
Sometimes even during the winter, Rontoms can be eerily quiet inside while throngs huddle next to the fireplace out back. By summer, especially during the packed, free Sunday outdoor shows, the empty window seats are a smokescreen for a jam-packed patio that stretches out for seemingly an acre, with a backyard bar that's taxed to the limit of its endurance and a pingpong table that sometimes inspires fights over who's next.
4847 SE Division St., 894-8132, landmarksaloon.com.
Has anyone even stayed inside? The rangy backyard-turned-patio has its own food cart—Leroy's stellar barbecue, open pretty much when it wants to be, and an eternal coterie of Southeast homesteaders who bring kids and dogs for an ongoing hootenanny that spans all even passable weather, with beds of cornhole and horseshoes that seemingly never end and occasional outdoor shows. It's front-porch living gone communal. There should be more hambone.