Portland >Bars & Clubs > Aalto Bristo & Lounge
3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.516388 -122.629742
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Sunnyside
Seriously, the worst service ever. – I really wanted to give this place a half-star rating, but I guess they don't allow that. The drinks were fine, the atmosphere was nice in a chilled/loungy sort of way even if it is a little run down. But the service. Holy cow, it was bad! No one came to our table for a while after we sat down so we assumed we must need to order drinks at the bar. So I stand at the bar for at least 15 minutes and couldn't even make eye contact with either of the women behind the bar. The bar was 1/4 full at best, and I was literally inches from the bartender. I tried speaking to her several times. Was she deaf? Stoned? Only serving regulars? Dislikes anyone over the age of 30? I know I'm clean cut, over 40, and mild mannered, but honestly, all she was doing was rolling credit card receipts and drying glasses. When I finally got her attention with the help of the bar back she decided to take my order but acted like I'd interrupted the world peace talks. We'd just returned from Seattle with MUCH busier bars and got far better service. I hate the Portland to Seattle comparisons, but I might have expected the slower, rude service in the busier Seattle lounges. Someone should fire her.
First impression-Insulted by bartender for his mistake. – Not the best first impression. They misplaced my husbands credit card but treated him like he was crazy when he insisted they had held it for his tab to remain open.By the time we got home, they called and said they did have it after all.We had to drive all the way back over there to get it. It was a drag, but at least the bartender was apologetic.
I always like a good Bristo – I hate places that can't read their own writing. Maybe I am out o place and don't know the current terminolgy. Besides that, it has always been hit-or-miss from day one for me. The best thing about the place for me was when awesome people I knew worked there. Other than that it is uncomfortable and I don't care for it.
Great Food – Good music, good drinks, good food, and good service!!! Love the lime drop. Very casual atmosphere.
Dirty and Gross – I'd heard quite a few raves about the Aalto -- what a total disappointment! The place was filthy -- stained chairs, dirty tables and floors. Reminded me of Port Authority Terminal. We sat at a table for 20 minutes without so much as a glance from the staff. Wouldn't know whether or not the cocktails make up for the lack of service (since no one asked us if we wanted one), but nothing on the menu looked interesting, special, or unique enough to warrant sticking around. Add to that a bunch of unwashed, PBR swigging hipsters with ironic facial hair, trucker caps, and equally irritating attitudes -- it was like a bad version of the Hipster Olympics -- one where everyone takes themselves seriously. I'm not sure what the appeal for the Aalto is... perhaps it's something only the tragically hip understand -- and that's fine with me.
Aalto is a DUMP! The place really is dirty and I think they need new owners to fix their problems! – The Aalto Lounge is a Dump. The place is full of cheap old garbage garage sale chairs "real trendy" its music is played too loud on speakers that are very poor quality. I know sound systems and I know theirs is very cheap. The drinks are ok but The service is poor. The attitude seems to be we are better then you. Look you are a bartender, make me a drink and take the toys out of your hole. The art they have on the walls is always like 4-5 hundred dollars? Who would pay that much money for scraps left on the side of the street tacked up on their walls. There is this one bartender who has a real problem with his self image. I think he thinks that he is more important than the monkey drink poorer that he is. Bottom line, Don't go to aalto because you will be disappointed.
The Bartender is a Bich! Gives crappy Service Expects Tips, for Popping the top to a beer! FUC Aalto Lounge! – I have been going to the Aalto for awhile, the bartender gives garbage service. He thinks he is really cool with his bandanna and tight tee shirts and tight faded black jeans. Just bought Two PBR's tonight and then when Leaving he said: You have to give me a tip, thats the way it works here. So I said: If you give better service you would get a tip. Thats your tip. Fact is he was bitching over about 50cents, and I WILL NEVER RETURN. NEVER. I will Tell ALL my Friends to NEVER go to the Aalto, so Guess what, YOU WILL LOSE MUCH MORE than you Ever thought. Fact is its a Tuesday night and The place was empty so he didn't get many tips and so he was taking it out on me and my friend, well Wake UP! Our Economy is in a Depression and your bar is A BROKE DIVE! Forget about all the TIPS I gave you in the past you ungrateful little Trick!
Don't go a changin' – Dj's spinning vinyl, a great beer and wine list, cute bartenders, outdoor patio and grub you won't feel guilty eating. This place is a neighborhood gem. I would not change a thing about it.
this place rules – I love the aalto lounge. The bartenders are, for the most part, effective, attractive, funny, and smart. It's the only place I've been to in portland where a spectrum of people can all hang out comfortably. I can go there on dates, meet for business, or go by myself and run into people I know. Its not too hip or too fancy or too anything. Its my favorite bar in portland.
Not a Library – "Come on guys, it?s a restaurant ? not a night club. "
Actually, no. The Aalto Lounge is a neighborhood bar/watering hole that happens to serve good food. Also, DJs start at 10 -- a time when people play and listen to loud music. Canby, who authored one of these reviews and the quote above, is a tool and he's offbase in his review. The bartenders are generally solid, nice and polite. They'll make a mean drink, but they're not babysitters or there to pamper you. Get over yourself. If you want a quiet place, go to the library.
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