Cliffs of Insanity, The Six Fingered Man, Inigo Montoya, True Love. For fans of The Princess Bride (and who isn’t?), a theme quickly emerges from the cocktail menu at Victoria.
Located in the former Luchador space at N. Albina and Humbolt, Victoria is the brainchild of Lightning Bar Collective, Portland’s supergroup of bar owners whose greatest hits include Sweet Hereafter, Dig A Pony, Jackknife, and Bye & Bye.
"It’s like when you find out two people are siblings, and you never would have guessed it right off, but once you know, you’re like, ‘Oh, I kind of see it!’" says Lisa Victoria Hare, the new spot’s owner, bar manager, and namesake.
Hare, who got her start in New York’s craft cocktail scene and served as Jackknife’s opening bartender, approached the collective in March about partnering up for a new venture. The project came together at lightning speed, opening in late July as LBC’s other current project, Century, lagged behind.
So, how does Victoria compare to the rest of the LBC family? Certain elements, like New Orleans-style eats and a movie-themed drink menu, are unique to the new space. Other touches—think somber paintings of the sinking of the Lusitania—clearly come from the collective’s design team.
“We definitely have a lot of the same feel and aesthetic in certain things, but it’s also a lot brighter, and maybe a little more elegant,” Hare says. “I want to stray away from saying feminine, but it’s definitely a lot lighter. A lighter touch; a lighter atmosphere; lighter inside, with a white backbar.”
Pedigree aside, Victoria holds its own as a charming neighborhood watering hole, with ample seating, top-notch nosh, and laid back vibes. Hare maintains a tap list of ten beers, two wines, and two cocktails (current selections include a Mule mix that doubles as a tasty mocktail). Chef Russell Van der Genugten—who also helms Jackknife's kitchen—has debuted a Cajun-spiced lineup of grilled shrimp po’boys, beer can chicken, sausage gumbo, and meat-free plates of blackened tofu, grilled corn, red beans and rice. (Click through our slide show above for more choice eats!)
Outside, a sunny patio will soon boast a covered, dog-friendly section area a la Sweet Hereafter. And since Portland is racking up 100 degree days faster than Westley and Buttercup rolled down that hill, we predict that patio will see plenty of use before the season is over.
4835 N. Albina Ave.