A Quasi-welcome to the Doug Fir

You can forget Holocene and their art-gallery-with-wet-bar look.No need for The Tube with their Kubrick-inspired milk bar. TheJupiter Hotel and Doug Fir lounge/restaurant/venue are open andthey have eclipsed the competition.

The Doug Fir is what you get when Hitchcock’s set designer andIKEA get together to renovate an old heroin hotel. Huge auburn logsform the walls with only glass doors to interrupt. The moodlighting is a yellowish hue that gives skin that jaundice-chiclook, so popular in baby infirmaries. All this L.A.-future styleand, surprisingly, the well drinks remain at the standard eastsideprice of $3.50.

The hotel area is toned down. They’ve taken a minimalistapproach seen at The Ace Hotel in Seattle: white walls, a short bedand a lamp. Disappointingly, you’re not given free reign of thegrounds with a drink in your hand. I suppose they want to hold ontotheir drink glasses.

The Doug Fir bathrooms scream cocaine and butt sex. Mirroredwalls, see-through fisheye glass brick doors (you can watch hotchicks wash their hands from the hallway) and a full private toiletstall room with locking doors. It may get disco in there. Theoutdoor patio is big enough for a hundred people and has a fauxcampfire to smoke around on cold nights.

Someone had the gusto to book Quasi and the Joggers for thegrand opening show, which reached the tiny sold-out 200-personcapacity quickly. The basement venue/tomb isn’t exactly the CrystalBallroom, so it looks like sell-outs will be the norm for any bigdraw acts. Worse yet, it’s damn near impossible to sneak in (blacklight stamps, basement space).

Uh, I missed The Joggers, but Quasi again proved that they havethe most unique sounds in rock today, much less Portland. I didn’trealize how blatantly political their new stuff is: “Fuck You,George Bush.” High point came with the encore cover of The Stones'”Let’s Spend the Night Together,” which was endearingly sloppy.

After the show there were parties in several rooms. This is byfar the best way to get drunk in Portland. Rent a room, hang out inthe lounge, go see the band downstairs, have a smoke on the patio,invite everyone back to the room, pass out in the minimalistsurroundings.

The Jupiter and Doug Fir have almost single handedly revitalizedthe inner eastside. Most impressive, they’ve raised the bar whilekeeping the prices down. Dive bar locals may be uncomfortable atthe Doug Fir at first, but good drinks don’t lie and babes don’thang out at The Jolly Inn.