Like Mississippi in North Portland and Alberta in Northeast, Southeast Division Street has seen a dramatic makeover in the past few years, for better and for worse. Numerous condominiums have been constructed to make room for an ever-growing population, and a variety of dining establishments have sprung up, with Pok Pok
arguably the most famous.
While some natives lament the changing environment, lack of parking and rising property rates, patrons of all sorts still flock to the street every evening for ice cream
, food and, of course, for drinks. While Division is lined with restaurants and bars competing for happy hour, here are a few of our favorite locales.
Relatively new on the scene having just celebrated its one-year anniversary last October, the Richmond Bar has established itself as one of the best cocktail bars on the street. Standouts from the menu include the Strong Waters ($10) made with rye whiskey, Cardamaro, Averna, dry vermouth and bitters, as well as the June Bug ($10) with mezcal, gin, Aperol, Bonal and orange bitters. The June Bug served as an unorthodox contribution to Negroni Week
last year, and likely will again this year.
The interior is small but cozy, with chic black leather booths and a lovely bar, while the exterior offers ample table seating for the summer months. It’s a great place for a date, with shareable snacks such as a pork and pistachio pate or blue cheese toast, as well as hand pies and sandwiches.
Happy hour is from 4–6 PM and all day on Sundays, and offers a blanket $1 off all items. (3202 SE Division St.; 503-208-3075)
Pronounced Chee-bo, this Italian joint serves some of the best traditional-style Italian pies in the city. Pizza is served here with a pair of scissors for slicing, and for happy hour, the classic margherita--easily shareable between two people--is only $7. A variety of other options include a fantastic burger topped with prosciutto, aioli and arugula, or chicken strips and sauteed vegetables for $6.
Three cocktails are offered during happy hour: A chamomile-infused old-fashioned for $7, a rosemary gin sour for $6 and a house Dark and Stormy
(called the Tempesta) for $6. Beer and well drinks are $1 off, and wine is $2 off.
Happy hour runs from 5–6:30 PM daily, 9–10 PM Sunday–Thursday, and 10–11 PM Friday and Saturday. (3539 SE Division St.; 503-719-5377)
Right around the corner from Cibo is the Southeast Wine Collective, a collaborative wine bar featuring numerous urban Portland wineries. Bottles, glasses and flights of wine, both local and imported, are served here, as well as a full food menu designed to be paired with the wines. Private parties, dinners and winemaking classes are also held at the SE Wine Collective.
Happy hour is 4–6 PM daily, when glasses and flights of wine are both $2 off, and all food is $1 off. Try a flight of Chenin Blanc with a banh mí sandwich for a perfect afternoon. (2425 SE 35th Pl.; 503-208-2061)
This faux-communist propaganda themed bar gained considerable notoriety when the Willamette Week named it the “Bar of Year” for 2013. Since then, the crowds have settled back down to a manageable size, and it’s easy enough to grab one of the delicious original and classic cocktails, such as the East India Cocktail with rum, orange curacao, pineapple and bitters, or the gin and tonic
made with housemade gin and housemade tonic. Victory Bar is also famous for its delicious spätzle
, the best of which comes topped with pork belly.
Happy hour is from 5–6 PM daily and includes well drinks and select pints for $3.75, Manhattans, Martinis and the Famous Bourbon Ginger for $5.75. For happy hour food, the gruyere spätzle is $5.75, bacon freedom fries are $6.75 and the fantastic venison burger is only $7.75. (3652 SE Division St.; 503-236-8755)
Photos by Alex Frane
Tags: Bar Crawl
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