Barlow Brings Old Hollywood Glamor to Downtown

A new bar from the owners of the Picnic House offers Gatsby-style cocktails, decor, and happy hour snacks.

By Allison Jones and Anna Loh September 4, 2014

Image: Anna Loh

Walk through a door on the corner of SW Salmon and Park Avenue and you'll be greeted by the larger-than-life bedroom eyes of silent film star Janet Gaynor, elaborate chandeliers, dark textured walls, swanky etched mirrors, and a Gatsby vibe that aims to distill the roaring 20s into a single night out. This is Barlow, a throw-back bar founded by Aaron and Jessica Grimmer, owners of the neighboring Picnic House restaurant.

What's in a name? Barlow meant “flapper” in 1920s slang.At Barlow—not to be confused with the Barlow Tavern on North Greely, the Barlow Trail Roadhouse in Welches, or wine country's new Barlow Room—the 70-seat space offers luxe nooks for private conversations and a large table that can accomodate larger groups. The menu boasts classic dishes from a lobster roll with celery tarragon and chives, to caramelized onion cheese dip with potato crisps and crudité. In a meatier mood? Grab a plate of lamb lollipops or a hearty roasted shrimp cocktail.  

Image: Anna Loh

Head in for Happy Hour daily from 3 pm to 6 pm and 10 pm to midnight to get your first fix, when smaller plates of their main dishes are served along with draft beer, house wine, and a bartender’s special cocktail.

For now, the main draw is the cocktail menu including a great house martini—a combination of gin, vermouth, and centrifuge-clarified red onion dubbed The Gibson, served with a side of housemade crackers and aged cheddar—and a Rattlesnake with Rittenhouse rye, lemon, egg white,  gomme syrup, Fernet Branca, and ginger liqueur. Bar manager Matthew Gilbert collaborated with Tom Lindstedt, cocktail connoisseur at Little Bird, to adapt classic drinks fit for a black-and-white film. 

As Fitzgerald's Jordan Baker uttered in The Great Gatsby“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”  With a bar the size of Barlow, intimate parties just got a little more likely in downtown Portland. 

737 SW Salmon St
Mon-Sat 3 pm to 12 am

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