At Portland's Election Night Parties, You Can Smash Piñatas, Hang with Tomboys, and Drink Spanish Cocktails

Safety in numbers, right?

By Zach Dundas November 7, 2016

1280px barack and michelle obama in ollie hayes pub zmo0l7

Make like the Obamas and pull your own pint.

Okay, our fellow Americans (and innocent bystanders), we are just about to wrap this up: After a campaign that feels like it began in another era, Election Day is tomorrow. Let’s just say the national dynamic has been unusual, and that people of all parties and none could probably use a cooling beverage. Meanwhile, however, the quasi-apocalyptic tension between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has spawned a super-depressing emerging vein of conventional wisdom: i.e., that this year, even the time-honored tradition of the Election Night party has been ruined by the ruiners.

But let’s assume that at least some Portlanders will feel okay about ditching their home stocks of box wine, prayer beads, emergency MREs, and serenity blankets to head out into the city. Where to party?

The Oregonian couldn’t bring itself to endorse either presidential candidate, but the state’s erstwhile paper of record does have a decent round-up of E-Night parties, including a clutch of events thrown by McMenamins. (Incidentally, FiveThirtyEight currently gives Clinton a 93.4 percent chance of capturing the McMenamins Empire’s seven electoral votes.)

Beyond that roster, the partying landscape grows fragmented, as they say, with many restaurants and bars laying on specials (and the occasional cover charge) to encourage safety in numbers, the traditional array of campaign-sponsored gatherings, and a few true outliers that should be really great if, like, the world doesn't end. Behold a few noteworthy options:

The esteemed modernist Catalan restaurant Chesa deserves some kind of commendation for the name of its Grab Them By the Porrons: Drink to Forget party; the Northeast Broadway bar promises that “Bar Manager Dani Frosh has created a porron [poured from a traditional Spanish wine vessel] cocktail especially for Election Night, and they will be live streaming results all night long. The porron cocktails are sure to make the results a bit easier to swallow...” Sure thing!

The community radio station XRAY FM and the political engagement nonprofit the Bus Project will party with comedian Bri Pruett at Mississippi Studios.

A more traditional rallying point for civic engagement, the venerable City Club, will totally rage (from 6–8 p.m.) at On Deck.

Tomboy fashion brand Wildfang goes all in with a confident First Lady Prez Party at its inner Southeast “fort.” Hopefully that name doesn’t have to get too literal.

The close-in east side will, in fact, be the most efficient party option for liberal-leaning Portlanders. (You know who you are.) The Democratic Party of Oregon throws its flagship party at the Oregon Convention Center from 7 p.m. on. (Just a personal note: this party was not very animated in 2004, but might be fun this year—it’s too soon to tell.) Not far away, City Council candidate Steve Novick will hang out at Spirit of ‘77, while his rival, Chloe Eudaly, rallies the troops at Holocene.

The Portland Mercury will host at Doug Fir, where a thematic piñata of a certain prominent national figure will be smashed. All fun and games until the Secret Service hears about it, guys!

And where, you ask, is the partisan variety? Well, it might be slightly hard to come by here in Deep Blue. The Multnomah County Republicans had not posted any party info we could find before publication, but we’ll update if we hear from them. The statewide GOP is partying at the Salem Convention Center.

The Libertarians, meanwhile, are gathering at John’s Incredible Pizza in Beaverton. Be safe out there, and keep on rocking in the free world.

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