Something funny about the Tannery: people seem to bring their parents. On a recent visit, several tables in this cozy, off-kilter-elegant shotgun shack featured 30-somethings and their forebears. Maybe Portland transplants are eager to show off a tiny gem that distills the city’s modern mood to its essence. After all, this place isn’t much more than a cinder-block shed on a once-desolate stretch of Burnside. Owner Caleb McBee refined the unpromising structure into a snug, considered epitome of that post-Deadwood, neo-steampunk, Craftsman Industrial design aesthetic that Portland loves. Behind the bar, archival drinks like the Toronto croon dark melodies of rye and fernet, while strange new wonders take shape—the Lucille 2, for example, mingles ferocious Dutch gin, a red wine reduction, and sparkling cava. The tiny kitchen works a rich vein of Euro-Oregonian pub fare, turning out a Monte Cristo spiked with marionberries and steak frites sourced from St. Helens. It’s almost a little much, but when the needle hits some old vinyl and the booze hits the big ice cube, the Tannery serves Portland indie culture in its most refreshing form.
We featured Tannery Bar in our guide to Portland's best bars of 2014.