We clinked a few glasses in every bar-endowed Portland neighborhood (all 76 of them—the other 19 hoods are tragically barless) in search of the quintessential local watering holes, the real-life Cheers bars that keep this city running. Wherever you are in this city, there’s a well-worn bar stool waiting just a few blocks away, in a friendly tavern with a vibe of its own. 

 

Arbor Lodge El Burrito Loco tacos, tequila, soccer
Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Jumbo Precision Castparts shift workers, pot stickers
Argay Wooden Chicken ’Niners, comedy, $2.75 happy hour wells
Ashcreek Old Market Pub & Brewery super-spacious, shuffleboard, beer sampler
Beaumont-Wilshire McPeet’s best sign, Old Portland, pints
Boise Maui's Blazers, pool tables, unseasonable snowman
Brentwood-Darlington The Blue Room Cartlandia, 1975 Timbers, open mic
Bridgeton Pizza Mia sports, sports-team aprons
Bridlemile 45th Street Pub pool, jello shots, regulars
Brooklyn Brooklyn Park Pub whiskey club, index cards, tots
Buckman Slammer horseshoe bar, raspy bartendrix, Christmas lights
Cathedral Park Your Inn Reubens, wooden coolers, grandfathered zoning
Centennial Happy Landing model airplanes, Shirley, Cathy, Linda
Collins View Tryon Creek Sports Bar suburban, friendly, jocks welcome
Concordia Wilder ambience lighting, Ben the bartender, comfort food
Creston-Kenilworth Gladstone Pub Bloody Marys, darts, house infusions
Cully Spirits paperback library, $4 piña coladas, seniors in zoot suits TIE with Spare Room bingo, massive booths, seniors in sweat suits
Downtown Kelly’s Olympian motorcycles, rock
East Columbia Jubitz Ponderosa Lounge trucker gossip, country, armed guards
Eliot Sloan’s trucker facade, gilded interior
Far Southwest Lure Exotic self-described “Cheers bar, with tits and ass”
Forest Park Skyline horseshoes with a view
Foster-Powell O’Malley’s hearth pizza, dark corners, “no tweakers allowed” sign (Honorable mention: it’s just outside FoPo, but the locals also flock to Slingshot happy bartenders, blood orange mimosas by the pint)
Goose Hollow Goose Hollow Inn messy Reubens, pitchers of micro, Bud Clark
Grant Park Hale Pale flaming tropical cocktails
Hayden Island Island Café boats, mai tais, calypso music
Hayhurst Jack’s Tap Room family-friendly oasis in the wild  
Hazelwood Rumpus Room serious shuffleboard, party like it’s 1979
Hillsdale Hillsdale Brewery and Public House PDX’s first brewpub, duh
Hollywood Blackwell’s Hollywood Theatre pre-funk, acoustic duo Terry & Albert
Hosford-Abernethy Dots velvet paintings, black lights, topped with cheese
Humboldt Red Fox Groceries + Cocktails = Victory
Irvington Chen’s Dynasty regulars’ birthday list, Hunan fried oysters
Kenton Mock Crest tots, sports, Sneakin’ Out
Kerns Club 21 castle in front, well drinks in back
King Beech Street Parlor Victorian couches, DJ beneath stairs
Lents Eagle Eye Tavern foosball, pool, stand-up
Linnton Lighthouse nautical theme, ghosts
Lloyd District Stanford’s wood-trimmed mall bar, H. H. spinach-artichoke dip, movie night pre-funk
Mill Park Bridge City Taproom loads of taps, MMA on huge TVs
Montavilla Roscoe’s beer-blessed, secret sushi
Mt. Scott-Arleta Putter’s corn dogs, flat screens, picnic seating
Mt. Tabor Sapphire Hotel gal pals, chardonnay
Multnomah Renner’s est. 1939, cheap drinks, 4 o’clockers
North Tabor Tannery vinyl, big ice cubes, artisan drinking snacks
Northwest District Paymaster Lounge burgers, boozie slushies, covered patio
Northwest Industrial Portland Brewing Taproom bright, airy, giant copper kettles
Old Town/Chinatown Ground Kontrol arcade heaven, drunk nerds
Overlook Alibi fries, mai tais, karaoke
Parkrose Tony’s Tavern scrupulously clean, Paul Anka on the jukebox
Parkrose Heights McGillacuddy's hot wings, individual TVs
Pearl Lowbrow Lounge the Pearl’s last dive, tots, weirdos
Piedmont Piedmont Place roomy, plant-filled (or the Eagle, if you’re a bear)  
Portsmouth Sundown armchairs, landscape paintings, floral carpet
Powellhurst-Gilbert Pink Feather velvet, paintings, but not velvet paintings
Reed Gigantic puppies, performance fleece, no pity 
Richmond Landmark honky-tonk, massive patio, live music
Rose City Park Clyde’s Prime Rib live soul, wheelchair dancers, prime rib tidbits
Roseway Park City Pub beer bottle décor, ample parking, buzzed brunching
Sabin County Cork Kennedy, Guinness, families
Sellwood-Moreland Kay’s “magic dust,” derby nachos, ghost regulars
South Portland Suki's one-time comedy scene crucible, still great
South Tabor The Lodge pinball, picklebacks, taxidermy
St. Johns Slim’s soccer, Ms.Pac-Man, “tachos”
Sullivan’s Gulch Rose and Thistle patio, teapots, darts, swords!
Sunderland Chopsticks III karaoke, dance floor, new BFFs
Sunnyside Horse Brass Pub 40-year-old legend, English football, English chips
University Park Twilight pool, huge TVs, 34 taps, Kevin
Vernon The Know punk rock, no frills, institution
West Portland Park Bullseye Pub surprisingly good food
Wilkes Daily Double Inn screens, patterned carpet, old-timers
Woodlawn Good Neighbor Pizza slices till late, pinball, rock
Woodstock Lutz Schlitz nostalgia, springless booths, Reedies in hoodies  

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