A retro-futuristic tequila bar founded by heavy metal royalty
Aside from shirtless Sting and an endearing turn from pre-Twin Peaks Kyle McLoughlin, the 1984 cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi desert epic Dune was a real stinker. Luckily for us Portlanders, the bar adaptation of the film courtesy of Matt Jacobson -- the man behind Sizzle Pie and Wayfinder, as well as the design-centric heavy metal label Relapse Records -- is not. Located in the former home of the tragically short-lived hipster convenience store, Mini Mini, which closed due to a rogue fire in 2017, Bar Dune offers an impressive breadth of cocktails that use tequila as a jumping-off point for more sophisticated and Portland-y pleasures, like the Little Blood (Banhez mezcal, Mexican Fernet and gran gala) or the Goodnight (reposado mezcal, chartreuse, apricot, Mexican chocolate and bitters). Add in a late-night menu with a focus on fresh veggie-forward dishes like a mushroom tostada or a creamy sikil p’ak and you’ve got one hell of a place to ponder the futuristic abyss that lies ahead.
A slick and artsy cocktail bar that pays homage to Brooklyn dad-rock quintet the National
When word broke that Tyler Stevens -- the former bar manager of Tusk and Teardrop Lounge -- and Billy Hasson (the owner of popular third-wave coffee chain Barista) were in cahoots, expectations for their forthcoming project were immediately sky high. The duo makes good on the hype with Pink Rabbit, a funky Pearl District lounge that features classic cocktails with elegant upgrades and Asian-influenced drinking snacks like Korean fried chicken, pork tonkatsu sliders, and a banh mi hot dog. Their menu is uprooted somewhat regularly, with its original format featuring beverages named after songs by The National. You know you’re in good hands when Stevens is at the wheel, so your best bet is to choose a drink based on your liquor of choice and let the party unfold from there.