If Portland’s quirk mated with a 1920s speakeasy and a conspiracy theorist’s “smoke-filled room”—that fabled place where brandy-drinkers launched dark horses for president —the progeny might look a lot like the Multnomah Whiskey Library. At the top of a flight of stairs, just beyond an unmarked door, a host asks for your name—yes, your full name—and your phone number. (They’ll call you when your table’s ready.) Somehow, such rituals feel refreshingly stuffy. Yes, there are hours-long waits, portraits of frowning white men lining the walls, and library “memberships” available for $500 a pop. But there is also cool, dark comfort, an academic devotion to liquor, and an unhurried, intimate atmosphere, complete with a massive fireplace and lawn jockeys. “Head Librarian” Tommy Klus’s drinks are superb and mixed tableside: the house rye manhattan (easy to make, hard to make great) is a standout. Skip the food and delve into the Library’s 1,500-strong bottle roster. You might just find there’s a power broker hidden in your Portland soul after all.
We featured Multnomah Whiskey Library in our article on Portland's Best Bars for 2014.