by Nina Lary - 21 Reviews - 50 List
During a recession, people are quick to give up luxuries like manicures and vacations. But economic downturns do not have as much of an effect on the bar world. We got to keep our morale up somehow, right? In 2010, Portland welcomed a handful of great new bars. For your boozing convenience, we chose the seven new watering holes that shone brightest.
Updated: March 11, 2011
The hip big brother to Tommy Habetz's instantly famous Bunk Sandwiches. Bunk's serious sandwich list plus a few exclusive goodies are available at a pickup window from 3pm 'till late night. Enjoy your sandwich with a cold beer or full range of cocktails in the adjoining bar area. Bonus: there's often live music.
Andy Ricker saw that the masses patiently waiting for a table at Pok Pok went directly into Matchbox Lounge, so he opened his own bar. But WSL is much more than a waiting station for Pok Pok diners--it has an identity all its own. It's focused on Thai street food and dark and romantic, as if chance encounters should be expected. Oh, and in the summer, they have beer slushies.
Tired of fried mozzarella sticks qualifying as legitimate beer munchies? So was writer/owner Bart Blasengame when he decided to open a Southern trashy-meets-classy trailer bar, where barflys can grub on equally unhealthy items with infinitely more soul, such as Rotel Dip, the St. John's Chili Bucket and Ritz-crusted Chicken. Isn't that worth a trip to St. John's?
The newest venture from the owners of North 45, this classy Belmont bar alludes to the year of prohibition's repeal. In that spirit, there's an entire section of classic cocktails as well as a selection of more than 100 whiskeys from the library bar. With high-end drinks and an interesting selection of smoked meats, it's a refreshing choice if you're dive-bar?ed out in the Belmont area.
Is hipster sports bar an oxymoron? Those into the game and those into the scene fill this cavernous bar with hoops machines, cinema size screens and upscale bar food. For those seeking a perch to watch the game sans grumpy old men, the bar is heaven-sent.
Talk about a patio. Bar Bar opened this summer to a rousing debut and a slew of free outdoor shows. With as much patio as indoor seating, the bar is part of a complete Mississippi Studios overhaul. Daily cocktail specials, fast food-style hamburgers, iceberg shred salads and dark beer floats allude to the spot's refreshing no-nonsense attitude.