Behind Bars


In with the new bars—out with the old

By Geoff Earl September 30, 2010

The Egyptian Room on SE Division—soon to be Weird Bar?

It’s getting harder and harder to get a drink these days. Seems like every time we return to an old haunt, we’re newly confused by fresh paint and unfamiliar signage. Here’s a little update on local bars to save you the shame and embarrassment of being out of the know.


The newest addition to the block of SE Belmont Street between 33rd and 34th avenues is Circa 33. This tasteful watering hole comes from the folks who brought you North 45 and Paddy’s, and will soft-open tomorrow (Friday). Circa 33’s location fits the same criteria that’s made North 45 a success. The Sunnyside neighborhood qualifies as a “high-destination” district with the potential to develop a cadre of regulars from around the way. Rumors of a secret "speakeasy" room and a menu of smoked entrees are circulating.

Lower Burnside gets even hipper with the Sizzle Pie and Quality Inn. The much-anticipated late-night thin-crust pizza parlor and adjoining liquor bar is scheduled to open sometime before Halloween.

Since August 21, Hall of Records has graced the Sunnyside Strip, taking up residence in the western half of the former It’s A Beautiful Pizza space. Is it a bar in a record store? Or a record store in a bar? The anomalous beer-wine-records-sandwiches format may be a stretch in most places, but on a block that also houses Stumptown Coffee, the Aalto Lounge and St. Cupcake, Hall of Records is a natural fit.

Closed for good

After six-and-a-half years at the corner of SE 21st Ave and Clinton Street, Charlie’s Clinton Corner Café (more commonly known as Clinton Corner) owner Charlie Gallipeau has called it quits. The restaurant and bar played its swan song on Tuesday night. Gallipeau blamed hard economic times and rising rents as the reasons for the Clinton Street staple’s demise.

Portland’s version of CBGB, Satyricon, will be shuttered for good at the end of October, but they ain’t going quietly. The month will be stuffed with legendary locals showing up for reunion shows, punk-rock wakes, or just a final chance to pour some liquor out for the homies. The Dandy Warhols, Richmond Fontaine, Big Daddy Meatstraw, Sugarboom, Quasi, and a cabaret curated by Kitty Diggins are among the festivities. There’s more info at the Farewell Satyricon Facebook page.

Closed (for now?)

After 56 years, Woodstock Boulevard institution the Lutz Tavern will close its doors tonight (technically tomorrow at 2:30 AM). A Lutz bartender I talked to cited slow sales and the all-too-common economic strain of the times as the reasons for the Lutz’s tragic end. But there’s still hope for the venerable old gal. The original owners may try to revive the Lutz at a later date.


Rumors of the Egyptian Room’s demise are only half-truths. The long-running lesbian enclave is removing its shingle from the corner of SE 37th and Division on October 9. But later in the month, the same ownership will reopen the place as Weird Bar, a joint that promises to be a bit more inclusive. The metamorphosis is already underway in one-third of the E-Room’s labyrinthine three-bars-within-a-bar layout.

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