Your Vanguard Bar Guide

We at the Vanguard like to drink. A lot. In fact, there are times I wonder if the only reason I’ve been in college for the last 10 years is because graduating means no more fun. Regardless, if there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s spend time at bars, and now we’ve decided to pass on that knowledge to you. Let us teach you how to drink politely and where to do it. Sit back, relax and get ready to tip ’em back. Midterms are over anyhow. I want to see you crawling for the door.


Tube, 18 N.W. Third Ave.
Another "used to suck balls" place that slowly transformed after a few smart hires. The strange thing is that no one really seems to notice that the chairs are translucent and that they’re drinking at the Holodeck from Star Trek. As a friend pointed out, Tube seems like a bar kit you can order from a catalog and snap together yourself. Voila, sterility! The clientele is a bearable mix of good people and fucktards, just like any concept bar. Bradley Carroll

Hung Far Low, 112 N.W. Fourth Ave.
Every city has a neighborhood where the cops, who cannot stop crack sales, at least try to contain it. Portland’s crack neighborhood is Chinatown. At night in the center of Chinatown you’ll find Hung Far Low. The sign has been brilliantly vandalized to cover up the "tails" part of "cocktails", revealing one of the most macho names for a bar. If the warm canned beer doesn’t do it for you, surely the crack will, and there is no last call for crackohol. Justin Morrison

Oba! 555 N.W. 12th Ave.
This is the place to see cleavage! There are more fake breasts in this bar than in any porno in my extensive collection. High ceilings, Caribbean music and muted lighting make it the perfect atmosphere to get picked up. Great mixed drinks. Nearest last call beer-stop is a hike – the mini mart at Northwest18th and Hoyt.

At last call, we all pair off and go home (sometimes in more than pairs, know’m sayin’?) so the last call drunk is depressed and goes home to jerk off rapidly. I know. Choncy Jones

Yur’s, 717 N.W. 16th Ave.
For smokers, this bar is great. For non-smokers, you might as well start after going there. No ventilation or fake breasts. Neighborhood bar with pool tables and video poker. If you’re looking to get hammered, it’s great. Look for the last call drunk – it’s somebody way drunker than you. I have often tried to be as drunk as the last call drunk at Yur’s, but even my plentiful tolerance does not compare. I black out every time I try. Nearest last-call beer grab is the Quik Stop at Northwest 21st and Hoyt. Tell Sammie I sent you. CJ

The Boiler Room, 228 N.W. Davis St.
Loud, crowded and sometimes fun karaoke – and the KJs play favorites, so I hope you can sing. This rowdy crowd barely thins out before last call, so choose your songs wisely. You’ll be lucky to sing two. The lackluster bar food is guaranteed to arrive within two hours or not at all, and the nearest store is the Fourth Avenue Smoke Shop on Washington, so plan ahead for your after-hours half rack and bag of Cheetos. Treasure Porth

CC Slaughter’s, 220 N.W Third Ave.
Only hardcore ass-shakers need apply. Traditionally a gay dance club, the $1 well drinks on Thursdays attract all orientations. Hell, for that cheap, listening to the grating dance music is worth it! Slaughter’s usually stays open later than surrounding bars, so be sure to pop in for that last drink of the night – it’ll make it easier to vomit later. TP


The Cheerful Tortoise, 1939 S.W. Sixth Ave.
Ever since The Cheerful Tortoise bought my favorite old-man pirate bar, The Jolly Roger, and turned it into one gigantic television screen, I’ve had a bone to pick with them. But I won’t do it here. Why, you ask? Because I’ve grown to appreciate The Tortoise. After the Ione (or the Second Act) closed, this campus has had a serious bar void, a gaping community hole, and the affordable pints, ample space and cheap munchie menu at The Cheerful Tortoise has accommodated that void. As far as prices and kids to meet goes, The Tortoise is the best bar near (on) campus! Let’s hear it for locally-owned establishments! Ryan Hume

The Commodore Bar and Grill, 1601 S.W. Morrison St.
This bar has morphed over the years in its basic clientele. One thing that has not changed however, and with much advantage to this tucked-away dive, is the staff. Easily one of the best barkeeps (not to mention playwright and director), known to everyone as Dennis, mixes some of the best cocktails I have ever had, and with a hand that is heavier than gold to boot. The jukebox is stacked with classics, staples, cow-punk, punk-punk, as well as a few surprises such as Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Leonard Cohen and few others you might actually have in your own collection. The drinks are reasonably priced ($3.25 wells), and if you’re a day drinker you’re in luck because the happy hour here runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. When it’s all over and done with, you can catch the Day and Night grocers a few blocks away on Burnside for take-home beer or wine. Eric Macey

Harrison’s, Fox Tower
The bar is great, but the cigar room kicks ass. How many bars can you enjoy a cigar in without some nag complaining about the smell? One. The one with the cigar room. I love to see a man with a little somethin’ in his mouth, if you know’m sayin.’ Last-call drunk is usually a businessman who got promoted or canned. Nearest beer-stop is Peterson’s two blocks away, on the Max line. CJ

The Shanghai Tunnel, 211 S.W. Ankeny St.
The paper lanterns suddenly brighten and the music changes to samples of animals having sex, it’s time to find your way out of the bowels of Second Avenue and head home. There’s a line outside the bathrooms full of people preparing for their long walks and drunken bike rides, and the doorman is packing up his nightly feast of Camus and Palahniuk. Beer is nowhere in sight, but you’re a trooper – you probably have a half rack of Pabst in your ice box in preparation. But first a quick stop around the block at Voodoo Doughnut to top off your belly full of fries and noodles and to avoid the gauntlet of sp’angers descending like vultures on the carrion of closing time. Leathan Graves-Highsmith

The Tug Boat, 711 S.W. Ankeny St.
Don’t go here! This is my place. Home of dust-covered plastic cactuses, picnic bench seats, over a fo-fillion-gazzilion old books, microwaved nachos, and a stout beer that is so strong it can only be served in a half-pint glass. The snappy owner/brewer said at first they served the Chernobyl Stout in pitchers, but people would pass out cold and fall down a lot. If you want more to drink after last call, you’re crazy and need to go straight to jail, do not pass go, and do not collect $200. JM

Market Street Pub, 1526 S.W. 10th Ave.
Around PSU, if you are ever looking for someone and cannot find them, there is about a 70 percent chance that they are at the Market Street Pub. Administration, faculty, students, Vera Katz and even an occasional Vanguard staffer have been known to frequent this establishment in such close proximity to the University gates. The menu’s standard McMenamin’s fare is brightened by friendly service. Get a take-home jug if you must, Lushy McLusherson. RH

Jasmine Tree, 401 S.W. Harrison St.
Say what you will about the Jasmine Tree: the food is only OK and the drinks are adequate and reasonably priced, but so what? It’s a fucking tiki bar! With tiki shit everywhere! Who the fuck are you to talk shit about a tiki bar?! You’re not a tiki bar, so the shut the fuck up! You’re fucking nothing! (And Jimmy is the sweetest bartender ever!) RH

Suki’s, 2401 S.W. Fourth Ave.
Somewhere between a David Lynch film and the lounge of any Airport Plaza Motel exists the realm of Suki’s. Oh, Suki’s. The staff is friendly and the characters are, well, characters. On Fridays and Saturdays watch the most earnest karaoke ensemble in P-town. RH

Bush Garden, 900 S.W. Morrison St.
This karaoke bar proves that money can buy you love. Tip well and tip often – your drinks will be so strong they’re damn near undrinkable and your songs will come up fast. Comfy chairs, cheap and decent late night sushi. This bar empties out early, so come prepared with a list of your favorite tunes. A local Peterson’s convenience store clerk is waiting just around the corner to decide you’re too drunk and refuse to sell you beer. TP

Silverado, 1217 S.W. Stark St.
Great meat market, bad hangout spot. The Silverado offers several televisions of hardcore porn, but the strippers rarely show their goods. If you’re lucky, one will sit and share his life story with you. Around last call, slurp up the last of your drink, because the bouncers will rip it out of your drunken clutches the minute the bar clock strikes two. The nearest beer is at Peterson’s on Park and Morrison. TP

Virginia Caf퀌�, 725 S.W. Park Ave.
Maybe it’s just my own sense of paranoiac cheapness, but every time I go to this longtime downtown staple, I feel it’s more expensive. The prices have doubled. No, tripled! No, doubled, maybe one and half plus a quarter subtracted by one-tenth. Are they looking at me? There is nothing special about this bar, ‘cept for the fact that everybody and anybody in Portland is seen here at one point or another. It’s the best place to get a scoop. But I can only pay so much for a pint of Mirror Pond for the best potpourri in town. RH

Kelly’s Olympian, 426 S.W. Washington St.
This place I don’t get. There are motorcycles hanging on the wall. And I don’t like it. Motorcycles are cool. Walls are cool. What could possibly make a motorcycle hanging on a wall uncool? It could be waiting 35 minutes for a Pabst or it could be that the Hard Rock Caf퀌� vibe doesn’t even work at any one of the gazillion seminal Hard Rock Caf퀌�s. RH

Boxxes, 1035 S.W. Stark St.
Boxxes is your gateway to two more bars – The Brig and the Panorama. Pay the cover to enter through Panorama and you’re forking over what seasoned Stark Streeters lovingly call "the Straight Tax." Boxxes features karaoke on some weekdays, video poker, and lots and lots of footage of men playing naked flag football. Make your emergency 2 a.m. beer run at Peterson’s on Park and Morrison. TP

Rock Bottom Brewery, 210 S.W. Morrison St.
Unless there’s a football game, Rock Bottom is the perfect place for dinner and drinks. The service is great and the home-brewed beer is top notch and reasonably priced. The subdued, sporty atmosphere is too lame to stay until last call, but a good place to start the evening. Some extra beer is around the corner and down the street at Peterson’s on 2nd and Yamhill. TP

Hungry Tiger, 2800 S.E. Burnside St.
A shithole of a place with an unnecessary door man, impatient old maid bartender, miniature uncomfortable booths, outdated pinball, dog shit for food, measly measured out drinks, Waffle House lighting, a juke box for teenage girls from El Paso and an eclectic collection of one-liver-in-the-grave dilapidated locals. Alas, Hungry Tiger does have the best bar T-shirt next to Mary’s Club. BC

Hal’s Tavern, 1308 S.E Morrison St.
This used to be a bum bar. Shopping carts out front and all, doo-doo on the bathroom walls, Street Roots: ’twas like Dignity Tavern. The carts and poop are gone and in place the world’s nicest bartender, Ingrid, and Portland’s most sacred shuffleboard table. Warning: do not get your drink near the golden shuffleboard for it is closely watched by a small platoon of crusty scallywag vets armed with loose bowels and flannel vests. BC

Tennessee Reds, 2133 S.E. 11th Ave.
There is no real need for most people who don’t live in the lower southeast side of town to visit the area. But Tennessee Reds might be a nice change from stupid ol’ noisy downtown weekends, or from being held up in your abode, afraid to go anywhere because the weather is shitty and why bother, and what does it matter where I get drunk, and on and on. Give it a chance: I recommend avoiding Monday and Tuesday if you are an avid hater of karaoke, the jukebox is astounding, the drinks are good and cheap, one of the last remaining operating Medieval Madness pinball games, and the clientele is for the most part people mind their own business and don’t show off how loud they can yell at each other at short distances. Until 9 p.m. one side of this fairly small joint is used for the restaurant, so for you with kids. Their BBQ, which they smoke themselves is rumored to be fantastic, and if you’re lucky you just might catch a glimpse of the editor in chief of the Vanguard, stroking his beard, drinking some liquor and considering what big local scandal to break open next. EM

The Doug Fir, 830 E. Burnside St.
Closing time at Portland’s newest and most beautiful bar is a sad endeavor. The ultra-modern d퀌�cor is peppered with the lonely patrons who couldn’t find someone to go home with and are dreading their drive back to Beaverton. Those intent on wallowing in self-pity can take advantage of the Jupiter Hotel’s after-midnight deal, and drink themselves into oblivion in their own Ikea-drenched room for just $49. Beer is only a few blocks down Burnside. LGH

My Father’s Place, 523 S.E Grand Ave.
Halfway between a greasy-spoon dinner and a sublimely seedy dive bar, this Portland institution is as diverse at beer-thirty as it is the next morning for breakfast. Alcoholic hipsters, homeless gutter-punks, and octogenarian Keno players all milk the most out of the strong drinks and well-worn leather booths. And for those who need a fix between last call and their morning Bloody Mary, there’s a Plaid just up Grand on Burnside. LGH

O’Malley’s Saloon & Grill, 6535 S.E. Foster Rd.
O’Malley’s is a nice Irish bar decorated with pro-union paraphernalia and an assortment Buddhist shrines hidden in a lot of the dimly lit corners. One night I was there drinking with my girlfriend and this drunk skinhead kept bothering us, because she was beating me in pool, and that’s not manly or something. I was like, "I don’t want to fight you." And he was like, "That’s good, ’cause I’m a really good fighter," and then his nicer, soberer skinhead friends said they were sorry and pulled him away. Then these other skinheads, who the drunk skinhead and his nicer, soberer skinhead friends didn’t like, came into the bar and they all went outside to fight. My girlfriend turned and said, "They should have advertised that it was skinhead night." I agreed. But that was a long time ago. RH

The Pied Cow, 3244 S.E. Belmont Ave.
Situated in a spooky ol’ Victorian, this cozy coffeehouse has one hell of a backyard. When the weather’s nice and the night has come, this hedge-enclosed oasis is softly lit from strings of lights and offers a fine array of small plate munchies, espresso drinks and a wide and shifting variety of micro and Euro brews and wines. Sit in the pale glow sharing a 24-ounce Belgium white ale with your man-muffin or lady friend, not getting blitzed or blasted, but just taking in the air, ahhhh… RH

Dino’s, 1008 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Yes, "that place" and yes, it is a strip club. It’s not just any strip club though. It’s more of a burlesque house. How many strip clubs have red leather booths that actually have seats that face away from the dancers, huh? It is a place run by women and employed by women. The result: dancers who are happy to make less money working for someone who actually cares about them. You will only find beer and wine here, but as a relic of Portland, and of old burlesque style strip joints it is a place you have to see at least once. Come on and support a local business that’s good for everyone. EM

Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St
It’s where the drinks are stiffer then the boys and girls who drink them, where everybody’s gay on the dance-floor, where you will never be lonely, where you can walk to the Plaid Pantry two blocks away, if the last call is ever even called. At the end of the night though, you will mostly be drunk from fun. JM

Aalto Lounge, 3356 S.E. Belmont Ave.
Snooty-tooty you say? Try saying it after you’ve had four helpings of the best scotch in town, washed down with the best European imported beer. Personally, I see no other place on Belmont to drink. The Triple Nickel is for alcoholics who have abandoned all hope, and the Belmont Inn is for retarded frat brats who denounce every eccentricity. Before last call comes, hit up Zupan’s yuppie-market. They have the cheapest and tastiest beer on the block. Aalto lounge is for true loungers. JM

The Bonfire, 2821 S.E. Stark St.
You’ve been waiting for this moment for the past few hours: you’ve long since run out of funny anecdotes but it’s last call and your chance to drop the question, "You wanna come over to my place?" And even though your prospect winces and politely declines, it’s OK. You only have to sulk for the five blocks it takes to get to Burnside and enough beer to drown your sorrow. Leathan Graves-Highsmith


The Laurelthirst, 2958 N.E. Glisan St.
Ever wonder where the "underground" is? Here you will find Portland’s legendary musicians performing every night. If you are a cross between hippie mountain man and revolutionary anarchist, you will slouch with ease into the booth seating. For the excitable, there are two pool tables with warped cues. If you’re not ready for last call, go three blocks to the corner market and refill your guts. This place could be your new secret hideout.

Small World Caf퀌�, 5128 N. Albina Ave.
The nice thing about even the last surviving bars in North Portland is that everyone is good looking. Except me. No one goes home with old Chonce no matter how many cans of Hamm’s he has. Or how loud he sings along to the Velvet Underground. I like this bar. CJ

Binks, 2715 N.E. Alberta St.
It’s been said that Binks represented the beginning of the end for Alberta Street. And it’s true. With the passing of Chez What? there is a need for good drinkin’ on the block that Binks just don’t fill. Bland, sterile and filled with people to match, I’d just as soon drink at Ryan’s bus stop than here. Joe’s Place, you’re my only hope. CJ

Beulahland, 118 N.E. 28th Ave
If Punky Brewster and Oscar the Grouch opened a bar together, the atmosphere might be this cool. Imagine drinking stout while leaning into old school diner counter, you look up and see a full-bodied taxidermied sheep covered in nicotine and dust-bunnies. You might call this filthy. I call it Americana Nuevo. Don’t worry about last call, cause you bought more beer from the Wild Oats before you even stepped foot into the bar. When you finally do leave, you are a true Bohemian. JM

The Sandy Hut, 1430 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
Known at times as the Handy Slut this is one of my favorite bars in Portland. You can drink in groups, drink alone, leave in groups or leave alone and you will have fun regardless. The staff is beautiful, the clientele has good taste and the drinks are hella strong. It’s a dive in the best sense of the word. And purple. The bar is purple. Like Prince, who rules. CJ