Land of the Lost

Celebrate the ties that bind Portland’s ABC’s castaway classic

By Randy Gragg With Brian Barker December 11, 2009 Published in the January 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

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When ABC’s Lost, a cross between Gilligan’s Island and The Twilight Zone, kicks off its sixth and final season on February 2, legions of fans will toast the hit TV series with themed viewing parties. And there’s no better place for a Lost send-off than Portland. We’re one of only two cities in the country to have had an episode named after them: season three’s “Not in Portland.” In it, our town was revealed to be the fictional home base of Mittelos Bioscience, a front for the Dharma Initiative, the sinister group that has harassed the show’s heroes since their plane crash-landed on a mysterious island in the South Pacific. Portland was also pegged as the birthplace of the show’s main villain, Benjamin Linus. Plus, in 2008, the Rose City was the site of a Lost publicity stunt—a billboard advertisement for Oceanic Airlines, a reference to the characters’ doomed Oceanic flight 815. Why the focus on Portland? Lost co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof explains it like this: “We chose Portland because it is safe, beautiful, calm, and tranquil. In other words, the exact opposite of our little island.” So with local Lost lore as our guide, here’s our take on how to throw the perfect island-themed party.


For the casual fan: Even Lost greenhorns probably know the show takes place on an island that looks a lot like Hawaii. So why not serve the Aloha State’s official cocktail, the mai tai? We suggest this version served at Thatch Tiki Bar (2733 NE Broadway):

  • Combine 1½ oz Pyrat rum, 1½ oz Aniversario rum, ½ oz Cointreau, ½ oz Disaronno, 1 oz each of fresh lime and pineapple juice. 
  • Garnish with maraschino cherries, mint, pineapple wedges, and little umbrellas.

For the Lost geek: Characters left for dead often reappear on Lost, making the Corpse Reviver No. 2 (served at Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division St) the perfect choice:

  • Mix ¾ oz Aviation gin, ¾ oz Lillet Blanc, ¾ oz Cointreau, ¾ oz fresh lemon juice, and a drop of Marteau absinthe.

Party Favors

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For the casual fan: What’s more frightening than the devious plans of Mittelos Bioscience? Stains on your new coffee table. Avoid them with our downloadable Mittelos coaster cutout.

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For the Lost geek: The “Not in Portland” episode featured a memorable appearance by a bus displaying an ad for Apollo candy bars (the bus runs over a character). Download our Apollo logo to dress up a selection of Moonstruck Chocolates. And by all means—look both ways before crossing the street on your way to the party.


During commercial breaks, try stumping each other with some Portland-themed Lost trivia. (Note: Questions become progressively geekier; consider assigning point values accordingly. For answers, see below.)

1. Where in town was the Oceanic Airlines billboard placed?
2. Name the other US city to have an episode named after it.
3. Which Star Wars character is referenced in "Not in Portland"?
4. "Not in Portland" features an appearance by Rob McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. What Oregon-born actress is McElhenney married to?

1. SE Grand Avenue, near Division Street
2. Tallahassee, Florda: season three’s "The Man from Tallahassee"
3. Chewbacca. Three characters use what they call a "Wookiee prisoner gag" to trick a bad guy
4. Kaitlin Olson, a Tigard native and McElhenney’s costar on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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