There comes a time in every sports enthusiast's life, perhaps Sunday afternoon or Monday night, or maybe just whenever his/her sweetheart hijacks the television to watch The Bachelor/Battlestar Galactica, that they must escape somewhere populated by kindred spirits who truly appreciate the classic combo of balls and beers. Places like these popular big screen tv and taps-filled Portland dens-away-from-home, none of which you'll ever find me at because I'm too busy watching The Bachelor, but to each their own.
In the heart of PSUland lies this landmark 365-days-a-year bar that sticks faithfully to its straightforward motto--"all sports, all the time". So regardless of whether you're into big balls, little balls, oblong balls or maybe even pucks, the game's playing here. Plus, breakfast is served all day. Score!
Don't be surprised if you spot a few of Portland's top chefs at this lovable, kitsch-spattered Division Street dive, nursing a beer and perhaps a basket of the acclaimed fried chicken 'n jo-jos after a long night in the kitchen; it's a popular hangout for lots of the city's most discerning food folk. There are also a few tvs here and there, if you're less into chef-stalking and more into game-watching.
You can't beat this busy Pearl brewpub for energy level and cool patio space--it's one of the nicest places in town to while away a sunny afternoon.
In spite of its somewhat far-out location, this local beer-brewing behemoth’s North Portland Gasthaus Pub is predictably packed with brew lovers enjoying Fondue pretzels, Amber Ale-braised kielbasa, and of course, the fruits of the tap. Gluten free diners, the GF menu considerately includes both food and beer.
Sure, I put in my time at this quintessential sports bar of sports bars when I lived in the Pearl and was 20-something and still owned tube tops and could drink my weight in inexpensive domestic lager and function relatively unimpaired at work the next day. Lots of big tvs, spunky servers, and some formidable plates of nachos, plus an expansive deck that's great for tanning your bare shoulders on sunny afternoons (because you're wearing a tube top, duh).
There's something about Claudia's when you first walk in, that makes you feel like you've known her all your life. It's got all the trappings of a proper man cave--crackling fireplace, plenty of tvs over the well-endowed bar, video poker and pool. Free wi-fi even, if you need to check in on your fantasy leagues now and then.
If you want to watch the game today, and your partner wants to go bowling, there's no need to thumb wrestle over it, because you can have it all at this big glossy Buckman bowling alley/sports bar/billiards lounge. Happy hour drink specials run M-F 3-6pm, so plan accordingly.
I have yet to see this big bright Pearl District brewhouse not packed to the gills, thanks to good beer, hearty pub grub, upbeat energy, and some seriously gorgeous woodwork.
'Twas never a hipper place to sip a bottle of Miller High Life or cocktail, nosh on "gourmet stoner food", and gather with your most attractive friends to watch the Blazers/Timbers/etc game. If you're inspired to take up a sport yourself, but want to ease into things, there's pop-a-shot, pinball, skeeball, and foosball available.
This North Portland beer bar has an interesting and ever-changing draft list, more than 250 bottles in gorgeous vintage coolers, and some very tasty pasties (I like the beefy Nater myself). They also have a little something called Free Bacon Night (every 2nd Monday), which pretty much says everything you need to know.
Just place to scratch your Belgian beer itch, Hilda Stevens' immaculate Hawthorne bar is a classy sort of place to watch some football (the kind you actually play with your feet) over a Saison Dupont and a chutney burger or Flemish stew.