We lamented the demise of the iconic Music Millennium on Northwest 23rd Avenue as much as anyone. But after six long years of vacancy, what’s risen from its ashes is a small triumph: an enticingly homey neighborhood joint with a fireplace-to-space ratio that we heartily approve. Yes, the Fireside is inspired by (you guessed it!) all things fire, from its ax door handle to its floor-to-ceiling smokestack fireplace. The outdoorsy food menu includes a hearty elk chili and plenty of grilled things, from flatbread pizza to lettuces and brick chicken, while a wallet-friendly spread of cocktails (just $6 apiece during happy hour) offers fiery, smoky mescal- and scotch-fueled concoctions. Partitioned nooks and booths, all bedecked in buttery leather and fiercely grained wood, give you plenty of options for tucking into the scene: hole up in a dark booth with a group; sidle up to the bar in a tufted, swiveling seat; ogle Nob Hill shoppers at a window seat beside the open fire pit; or kick back with strangers at the front fireplace. Bonus challenge: see if you can find the “speakeasy bathroom.”
We featured The Fireside in our guide to Portland's best bars of 2014.