When you enter Paddy’s, one fact becomes toweringly apparent: You have choices. With over 400 bottles lined up along seven shelves climbing approximately 20 feet toward the ceiling, this upscale Irish pub claims to have the largest liquor selection of any club, bar or restaurant in Oregon. The lively blue-collar crowd ogling what’s reverently referred to as “The Wall” attests to its loyal following.
With the number of potential potable permutations nearing infinity, mastering the art of ordering a drink at Paddy’s may take a few trips. Fortunately, the bartenders have come to expect a flicker of panic in the eyes of newbies. And while clamoring for a frou-frou drink wouldn’t necessarily gain you a black eye at Paddy’s, the staff may steer you toward ordering an old standby instead—say, a Boodles and tonic or a Tullamore Dew, neat.
Paddy’s small, specialty cocktail list can also help point you in the right direction, outlining perennial favorites such as the lemon drop or the cosmopolitan. Just about everything on the menu is respectfully straightforward, highlighting the base spirit rather than masking it with additives. But the best of the bunch is Paddy’s PAMA Peacock, a surprisingly straight-shooting curative of Ketel One, triple sec and pomegranate liqueur, which—if you believe the Pom propaganda—also wards off aging, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
No matter what the doctor orders, be forewarned that on weekend nights, the bar swarms with regulars listening to the melodic scrape of the ladder sliding past The Wall as they angle for space at the bar alongside neophytes who have spilled in from the nearby MAX stop. For these first-timers to fully appreciate Paddy’s bottled bounty, multiple visits are compulsory. And, considering the congenial atmosphere, probable.
Paddy’s takes itself seriously as a bastion of tasty pub grub during its happy hour from 3 to 6 and after 9:30, serving $4 nachos and pork sliders, and the self-described best jalapeno poppers in Portland for $5. To wash these spicy treats down, a pint of Harp lager is a measly $3.75.