The Best Bars That Opened in Portland This Summer

by Alexander Frane on Sep 26, 2017 in Roundups

 
The Portland bar scene is in constant flux, with openings and closings a regular occurrence around town. This last summer saw a number of great new spots open, from dive bars to swanky lounges. Here are our picks for the best bars that opened in 2017. Where is your new favorite spot to grab a drink? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter.

Buckman Public House
Buckman Public House, which opened earlier this summer, helped to finalize the renovation of the old Washington School. Operating in part as a bar for Revolution Hall guests, as well its own gastropub, BPH offers decadent food, craft cocktails, European and Oregon wines, and a large tap list, all in a massive modern diner space. (1310 SE Stark St.; 503-206-5451)

The Lay Low Tavern
The shuttering of classic dive Club 21 left many with broken hearts. Luckily, the owners have taken over a Foster-Powell bar, Coasters, and launched The Lay Low Tavern. It’s a dark and grungy bar strewn with video-poker machines and neon beer adverts, with cheap drinks and a full menu that includes a build your own burger bar, as well as brunch. It almost fills the hole in our hearts that Club 21 left. Almost. (6015 SE Powell Blvd.)

Two Wrongs
Opening at the tail end of summer, Two Wrongs from Chefstable took over the vacated Hamlet space. The chic space is the same (with the addition of a photobooth) but instead of fine prosciutto and sherry cocktails, Two Wrongs offers something missing from the Pearl: a fun and busy club with cheap drinks and live DJs, open late every night. Guests looking for a well-crafted cocktail will be happy with classic drinks like negroni and margaritas, while those looking for cheaper fare will be pleased with the “Bitch Drinks”, like house wines for $5, and “F*ckboi Drinks”, like a well-whiskey and IPA pint for $8. (232 NW 12th Ave. 503-241-4009)

Function PDX
Anthony Cafiero’s (Bible Club, Racion) new space isn’t a bar, per se. Instead, it’s an event space that plays host to bar pop-ups, from D&D themed tavern feasts to wine tastings from Ron Acierto, the once-owner and wine steward of the now shuttered Muselet. The space is designed for drink oriented pop-ups more than multi-course dinners, with a long bar and tall seating in its slickly industrial subterraneous space, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come. (919 NW 23rd Ave.; 971- 712-3016)

The Elvis Room
Also from the owners of the Lay Low comes The Elvis Room, a double-decker bar that carefully bridges the gap between Old and New Portland with its dual aesthetics. The upstairs is white and bright, full of pillars, lamps, and art. The basement lounge is dark and lush, with vintage brick walls and tufted leather furniture the color of blood (though it’s hard to tell in the dimly lit space). House drinks are $9 to $10 and are made with aplomb, though straight spirits and well-drinks offer a better deal. For food, the build-your-own burgers are solid, an excellent addition to the already impressive Portland bar-burger scene. (203 SE Grand Ave.; 503-235-5690)

The Crown
Vitaly Paley’s (Paley’s Place, Headwaters, Imperial) sandwich shop and cocktail taphouse Penny Diner never quite worked for some reason. But now, the Imperial-adjacent bar has gone through some transitions and become The Crown, an excellently wallpapered cocktail bar with pizza inspired by Paley’s time in New York (with some liberties, like a fried chicken pizza with pickles, ranch, honey, and hot sauce). Open until 2:30 AM, you can find pizza by the slice and pie, as well as great craft drinks, including the signature on-tap Vieux Carre. It’s a welcome change, and a great new spot for an otherwise quiet part of downtown. (410 SW Broadway; 503-228-7222)

Photo via Alexander Frane 

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