Bar Type(s)
Billiards, Dive, Late Night, Live Entertainment
Description

Back in 1965, owner Roy Keller turned Mary’s Club topless, making it the first Portland skin joint of its kind. More than a half-century later, it’s still there. And it still feels like Old Portland: ladies choose their own songs from the jukebox on the postage stamp–size stage, bartenders pour stiff well drinks, and a tide of tired regulars, tourists, and gawkers washes in and out of its cramped seating area—the family operation still run by Keller’s daughter, granddaughters, and a great-granddaughter. Sure, plenty of patrons come for the flesh parade, but many more come to ogle Portland history, from the stage where Courtney Love and Viva Las Vegas once stripped to La Monte Montyne’s fascinating black-lit mural of paradise islands and merchant seamen that stretches across the back wall. Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale hails it as a local landmark on par with Darcelle’s: “[Visiting Mary’s] is a rite of passage in Portland urban life,” he says. “I take all my out-of-town friends here ... especially the ones from New York.”

Location