Something for everyone

The Tube
18 N.W. Third Ave.

This hipster hangout in Old Town both delivers and disappoints. The modern, futuristic design is meant to recreate the innards of a television. I don’t know about you, but the thought of being inside a television scares the shit out of me ?” it’s scary enough being on the outside. That aside, the ultra-hip design is fitting for the Beautiful People that inhabit the place. The brew is available only in bottles or cans, the selection is boring and overpriced ($2.50 for crap, $3.50 for something decent like Black Butte). If you ask for a glass you are handed something warm enough to burn the palm of your hand ?” what does that do to your beer? The mixed drinks are generously mixed and bearably priced, however. Their whiskey ginger deserves an A++ and the bar fare is vegan-friendly. While your fellow patrons may exude the off-putting Beautiful People glow, the staff is friendly and it’s worth stopping by if you’re in the ‘hood, anyway. (As long as you don’t mind a smoky bar.)


Roots Organic Brewery
1520 S.E. Seventh

Do not go here for the atmosphere, unless you actually enjoy the thought of the cross between a Rasta hangout and a sports bar (they feature Monday night football). But do go here! The beer is out of this world and this place is the only one in Portland to serve up all organic brew. I recommend Tuesdays, when pints are a steal at $2.50 all day, especially considering their normal price of $4.25. Favorites include the unique Burghead Heather Ale and the striking English Strong Bitter. If you prefer something lighter, the Island Red or the Pond Turtle Pale Ale are both strong contenders. The food is so-so and the service is cold at best, downright unfriendly at worst. My suggestion is to get a to-go “Growler” at $13, with $11 refills, and take it somewhere with better atmosphere and more love.


Aalto Lounge
3356 S.E. Belmont St.

The Aalto Lounge features an impressive wine and cocktail menu and the staff is always happy to suggest a winner, but if that’s not your thing no one will look down on you for ordering a beer. The atmosphere would not put its namesake, Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, to shame. The staff and crowd are both very relaxed and friendly. The food is creative ?” definitely not your normal bar fare. It’s a little expensive, but actually worth it for once. Another plus is that women can drink here alone with No Fear. I bet you can finish that Tolstoy you’ve been meaning to read without once being hit on by a bar vulture. Really. The only downside is the non-smoking half of the space fills up fast, often pushing non-smoking patrons into the smoking lounge, but dying a slow death is ultimately a small price to pay to enjoy that which is the Aalto.