If you like your gays gay and your strippers caged, Boxxes is the place for you.
1035 SW Stark St.
If you like your gays gay and your strippers caged, Boxxes is the place for you. A diverse mixture of young and old, gay and really gay, this bar is a staple in downtown Portland’s queer scene. With karaoke on Wednesdays and discounted drinks on Thursdays, Boxxes offers a distinct experience on any given night of the week. It’s never a bad time and is one of Portland’s few gay bars that has yet to become fashionable amongst heterosexuals. Just don’t bring your boyfriend here if things are on the rocks—that is, unless you like sharing.
318 SW 3rd Ave.
As the first bar in which I experienced the sleazy eroticism of male strippers firsthand, Silverado will always hold a special place in my heart. The location has since changed, but it remains one of those timeless establishments where one can watch porn on a television while a barely legal twink gyrates on stage. Silverado offers a less diverse and laid-back crowd than Boxxes, but makes up for it with an unabashed worship of youth, spectacle and sleaze.
3701 SE Division St.
Though I’ve frequented many weird bars, I’ve not actually been to this one. It makes our list is because it has filled the void left by the closing of the Egyptian Room, where Portland’s lesbians came together for 15 fantastic years. If it’s anything like its predecessor, it offers a welcoming atmosphere for queer and heterosexual men, and an extremely welcoming atmosphere for queer and heterosexual women.
835 N Lombard St.
This is your dad’s gay bar. Every major city in America has an Eagle, and I’ve yet to visit one that wasn’t cool, friendly and relaxed. You’d better be relaxed if you’re going to serve dollar PBR to large men wearing leather chaps and nothing else. This is where Portland’s bear community comes to frolic in their natural habitat, and they don’t take their frolicking lightly. The Eagle is a friendly neighborhood bar, but not for pederasts or the faint of heart. ?
219 NW Davis St.
If you’ve ever watched Queer As Folk and wondered why Portland doesn’t have its very own Babylon, look no further than CC Slaughters. This is where Portland’s fresh-faced queers spend their 21st birthdays, and rightly so. There is nothing to intimidate or complicate what can already be a scary rite of passage. The clientele at CC Slaughters tends toward the young and beautiful, and oh, how they have come to dance. If you are in the mood for a fist full of house music and an ocean of cute boys who work at the mall, head to CC Slaughters and dance your ass off. Those over 30, beware—the cover includes an evening of malaise at no extra charge.