New Blue Moon rising over N.W. 21st

Reopens on Tuesday March 13
(503) 669-8610 for details

At the tender age of 15, the Blue Moon caught fire last September. Now, after months of reconstructive surgery, the McMenamin’s tavern is ready to welcome back its old friends just in time for the celebration of its 16th birthday. The Blue Moon may have a new face, but it kindly asks patrons not to be misled into thinking it isn’t the same old hangout.

Located on bustling Northwest 21st Avenue, hundreds of pedestrians pass by each day. Most might not see anything special in the pub, but it is easily one of the most popular McMenamins in town. It is often compared to a collegiate beer hall with big spaces, shared picnic tables, booths and the throaty energy of a younger crowd.

On busy summer nights, the Moon is fed to bursting with a line down the block. Sharing a table or conversing with complete strangers is encouraged. Feel free to sip local beers, make new friends and immerse yourself in the frothy atmosphere. If you have a strong liver, you might consider a pubcrawl to Ram’s Head, another fine McMenamin’s pub, only a short walk away.

The more dedicated Mooners will find plenty to occupy themselves with. You can expect the standard McMenamins lineup with several guest beers from other area microbrews, totaling 14 taps. After having a pint of each, you’ll want to try the sandwiches, salads, fries and other “pubgrub.”

During the operation McMenamins reconstruction doctors stayed dedicated to the comfortable and engaging look and feel of the old Moon, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand the floor space and add more moonish elements. Don’t panic, the vintage 1973 fireplace and old pool tables have regained their honored spots.

They bask in new sunlight from windows opening onto Northwest Glisan street and 21st Avenue. More light is cast by the new art deco-style light fixtures and a 12-foot neon sign that resembles the roofline of a pagoda.

Although the surgery was considered an overall success, the doctors did report that the original artwork was completely lost in the torturous flames.

Fortunately, new artists have clothed the Blue Moon with scenes commemorating the building’s past decades.

So don’t be shy. Head down to Northwest 21st and welcome an old friend back, better than new, from a horrible tragedy. In a few months the Blue Moon will have put this behind it and moved into the next 16 happy years of bubbling beer merriment. One more thing, smoking is still allowed.