You have to love a bar named for George Orwell. (“Victory” refers to the rotgut gin swilled in Orwell’s 1984.) Hard to say if the flinty English writer would have liked Victory’s huge Euro-beer selection or arty cocktails, but he probably would have appreciated its twilit romance. And given Orwell’s perpetual financial woes, he would have loved Victory’s evening and late-night happy hours (5 to 7 p.m. and 11 to close), when items from its hearty, gastropub-ish menu (baked spätzle, venison burger) dip to $5 apiece, well drinks to $3, with discounts on wine and beer, too. Those deals help endear this 10-year-old, well-tuned little place to local cooks and bartenders—and, inadvertently, make Victory a living example of how Portland’s collective tastes have changed, from Pabst to Pernod.
Victory Bar was featured in our 2010 Best Bars cover story.