You're no doubt already aware that some pretty sweet new restaurants opened in Portland this year (at least 11 of 'em!), but what if you just need a drink? Obviously, most of said restaurants have booze, but why complicate things when you can just go to one of the 11 sweetest new bars that have opened in Portland this year? Exactly...
Portland's 11 best new bars of the year
Central Eastside/Industrial District
Even though it didn’t quite open up when we expected, the wine-heavy Coopers Hall has quickly become one of the PDX's best places for large parties to party, mostly thanks to a space designed by the same cats who took that little hotel on Stark and turned it into the powerhouse combination of the Ace Hotel, Kenny & Zukes, and Stumptown.
Trying to bring a little swank to the Downtown area (but not to be confused with the new bar, Swank, around the corner), Barlow succeeds in many ways. The most telltale? Using liquid nitrogen to chill their martini shells before tossing the boiling liquid near unsuspecting guests with a wow factor unseen at any other area establishment.
To nobody's surprise, this bar has become Downtown's hottest after hours spot, and what with their updated photo booth and sixty foot bar, Jackknife doesn’t even need to have a lengthy cocktail menu or plenty of nooks and crannies for canoodling. But they do!
Sneaking onto the scene late last year, this unassuming bar on Division has become a go-to drinking hole for hipsters, mostly 'cause it’s got reclaimed wood, exposed metal, and highfalutin British pub food to boot! As the construction clears, expect this bar to remain an important facet of one of our favorite neighborhoods.
Billing itself as a “modern izakaya” (with a name like American Local?), this spot really shines as a neighborhood drinking establishment, proving that maybe they are onto something. The food is an eclectic mix of Asian-inspired bar food and decidedly American fare, and the drinks come unnamed... just a list of mostly Northwest ingredients.
SE 28th Place and Division St
The beer garden in one of our favorite “restaurants” warms you up when it’s cold and provides shelter for all of the carts that surround it. Joe and Rachel, the wonderful couple who founded Scout, burst onto the scene earlier this year before expanding to become the pinnacle of outdoor beer gardens. Their craft list is carefully curated and appropriately priced.
Sure it’s not Portland, but one of our favorite bars in Beaverton deserves the respect of the more centrally located drinking spots. It might seem a little behind-the-times for the city proper, but out in the ‘burbs this Prohibition-inspired bar is keeping residents tippled Tuesday through Saturday.
Part of the NE Broadway resurgence that’s quietly been going on for the last couple of years, Iconic brings a bit of the past back to life by projecting older films onto its walls in black and white and offering a drink menu of mostly classics. The food, on the other hand, attempts to elevate typical bar fare by offering clever twists -- such as pizza with sauerkraut -- not often seen in the PDX.
The new German pub from the guys over at the other German pub, Prost!, has been firing on all cylinders since its doors first opened. The space, once home to Spints, is reminiscent of its sister on Mississippi, with heavy wood tables, brick backdrops, and signs on the tables that encourage you to share a beer with your fellow drinkers. And the food? There’s a reason the Germans have the market cornered on drinking food.
What else would you expect from Portland’s most prolific bartender? Jeffrey Morgenthaler not only put us on the map with his work barrel-aging cocktails at Clyde Common, but he has also captivated us with his Playboy journalism (yes, we read it for the articles!) and the fancy versions of frat boy favorites like Long Island Ice Teas and Grasshoppers that he's making in his latest underground bunker.
You’d think a bar lacking a team of mixologists and fancy cocktail lists wouldn’t survive in this city, but Angel Face is thriving thanks to knowledgeable bartenders who are willing to pour you pretty much anything from behind a marble-topped U-shaped bar in a pleasantly hand-painted space.
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1. Coopers Hall404 SE 6th Ave, Portland
2. Barlow737 SW Salmon St, Portland
3. Jackknife Bar614 11th Ave, Portland
4. The Richmond Bar3203 SE Division St, Portland
5. The American Local3003 SE Division St, Portland
6. Scout Beer Garden4262 SE Belmont St, Portland
7. Bootleggers Whiskey Bar12424 SW Broadway St, Beaverton
8. Iconic2226 NE Broadway, Portland
9. Stammtisch401 NE 28th Ave, Portland
10. Pépé le Moko407 SW 10th Ave, Portland
11. Angel Face14 NE 28th Avenue, Portland
The wine-heavy Coopers Hall has become one of the best places for large parties to party, mostly thanks to a space designed by the same cats who took that little hotel on Stark and turned it into the powerhouse combination of the Ace Hotel, Kenny & Zukes, and Stumptown.
Trying to bring a little swank to the Downtown area, Barlow succeeds in many ways. The most telltale? Using liquid nitrogen to chill the martini shells before tossing the boiling liquid near unsuspecting guests, with a wow factor unseen at any other area establishment. Guest can also enjoy sophisticated small plates in 1920s-themed digs.
A sixty-foot hotel bar in the heart of Downtown? A dozen little spots to tuck yourself into and not be seen? A digital photo booth? Jackknife Bar is rocking that, plus artisan 'tails, of course.
Nate Tilden’s newest spot on Division is boasting a selection of regional taps plus craft cocktails in their rustic and cozy space.
Though a modern izakaya is not exactly what you’d expect from a place called The American Local, the food delivers. Expect everything from octopus skewers to grit cakes, fresh-baked Parker house rolls to shrimp-fried quinoa.
This beer garden warms you up when it’s cold and provides shelter for all of the carts that surround it. The craft list is carefully curated and appropriately priced.
This Prohibition-era whiskey bar seeks to bring the higher-end cocktail scene to Beaverton. Just don’t expect to show up on Sunday or Monday. This new bar takes its cue from other exclusive establishments and takes those days off, same with mornings. It's open from 4pm to about 1am Tuesday through Saturday.
Part of the NE Broadway resurgence that’s quietly been going on for the last couple of years, Iconic Lounge brings a bit of the past back to life by projecting older films onto its walls in black and white and offering a drink menu of mostly classics. The food, on the other hand, attempts to elevate typical bar fare by offering clever twists -- such as pizza with sauerkraut -- not often seen in the PDX.
A hamburger my not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think German pub, but the one at this Northeast Portland joint comes on a toasty pretzel bun with tomato, red onion, crispy iceberg, and house-made mustard.
Star bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler helms this speakeasy. In typical fashion, the door is mostly unmarked, but you’ll know where to go once inside, as it's right down the stairs and underneath Morgenthaler’s other famous bar, Clyde Common. Within this dark haunt you’ll find the best Long Island you’ve ever had, plus creative bar bites like Hawaiian spiced peanuts.
The colorful, distinctly French boozer in Kerns fits about twenty or so people. Take a seat at the marble bar top and enjoy a simple but smartly prepared cocktail. You won't find an actual cocktail menu, but rather a list of spirits... take your pick, and the bartenders are sure to serve you up something expertly prepared.