The Old Gold is just the bar North Portland needed—a cozy local watering hole where you just might run into a neighbor or strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger. But beyond its freewheeling, wide-open atmosphere, the bustling bar also boasts some uniquely admirable assets, among them a hand-hewn, wooden, White Stag–esque “Drink in Oregon” sign, a memorable elk burger and tofu banh mi, and, best of all, a spacious booth outfitted with a “Champagne Button.” (Push it, and your server will appear with Champagne. Really.) The cocktail menu makes a good-natured stab at mixing in kombucha, which doesn’t always shine. But six local taps and a chalkboard scrawled with an impressive, always changing selection of whiskeys offers surefire redemption.