PONY PARTY: On opening night at the Bit House Saloon (727 SE Grand Ave., 729-9929), the liquor shelves fell. Thousands of dollars of rare Japanese whiskeyâbottles that bar manager Jesse Card worked two years to procureâshattered on the floor. âThe Makerâs Mark and Jim Beam? That was all fine,â he says. Luckily, thereâs still plenty of rare liquor to spare. On a recent Monday, Card passed around shots of single-barrel Bernheim wheat whiskey made especially for the bar, one of eight exclusive small-batch liquors served there. The cavernous old-time saloon was once the ill-attended East Bank, which it turns out was one of the most underutilized old buildings in Portland. The new ownersâwho also rehabbed Lutz Tavern in Woodstockâthrew down flooring with wood from old bourbon barrels, added a huge fire pit on the spacious back patio, and plan to host events on a previously empty second story that once housed boxing matches. The old boxing bell hangs behind the bar, and bartenders ring it when a friend walks in. Former Wildwood chef Dustin Clarkâs food menu is downright carnivalesque, with authentic Rocky Mountain oysters ($9) alongside armadillo eggs ($9) that are basically a cross between a Scotch egg and a jalapeÃ±o popper, plus a fried chicken-thigh sandwich ($13) and rabbit hand pie ($12). The festival continues on the drink side, with a $5 Hopworks draft aged in bourbon barrels, mezcal or genepy âboilermakersâ ($8-$12), mystery-flavored boozy ice pops ($5), and a house-blended sherry ($7) that tastes pleasantly like toffee. The tap cocktails are mostly sweet, very complicated, and all about $9âtry the K23, which mixes rum with mint and beet juice, or one of two fancy house slushies. But so far, itâs mostly the service industry that has discovered the place. On multiple visits, seemingly every bartender in town was ponied at the bar drinking mini-bottle beer backs of Miller High Life, while across the street, the sidewalk shitshow at Dig a Pony continued apace.