SE Division Street’s gleefully inauthentic banh mi joint always felt like something more than a plain old restaurant, with its spicy, in-your-face eats and snarky chalkboard menu. So when Double Dragon transformed into a bona fide bar last fall, complete with the requisite bitters and tinctures lining its poured-concrete bar and a list of classic and curious cocktails, it felt like a raucous homecoming. These days, the glass-fronted cube is crammed with happy 20- and 30-somethings scarfing Kobe kimchi dogs and slurping stiff drinks spiked with five-spice and Thai tea syrup beneath dim lights studded with spent Sriracha bottles. The spot reaches its oddball zenith every Saturday night. That’s when Baby Ketten Karaoke stretches a white sheet across one of the bar’s front windows to project song lyrics, tempting flannel-clad boys to belt out Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” mashed up with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Smokers bundled up to their eyeballs perch on picnic tables just outside the door, watching the wildly gesticulating singers through the glass as if they were the cast of some long-lost Godzilla movie musical.
We featured Double Dragon in our feature on Portland's best bars for 2014.