Portland >Bars & Clubs > Aalto Bristo & Lounge
3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.516388 -122.629742
Neighborhoods: Sunnyside, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
could care less about their customers – The folks at Aalto Lounge don?t realize that they are in the hospitality business. My two friends and I stopped by last Saturday night with intentions of sipping on some nice wine, nibbling on some food and catching up. Everything was going according to plan, except for the noise factor. We literally had to yell at each other just to hear one another. I went up to the DJ and asked politely if he would turn down the music ? just a tad. He was very gracious (at the time) and honored my request. But as soon as the song ended, it was back up again ? almost louder. A few more songs later, my friend went up and requested for the music to be turned down again; and once again the DJ honored her request. But you guest it?next song it was blaring again. We honestly felt that a 2-year old could behave more grown up. We told our servers of our situation, and well...not much sympathy on their part. Come on guys, it?s a restaurant ? not a night club. I know that profit margins in a restaurant are slim. Making sure your DJ is happy over your customers? Huh? Again ? you are in the hospitality business. Take care of you customers.
I worked for a Master Sommelier (not Certified or Advanced but MASTER) as his executive associate for over two years. I oversaw his high-end restaurant, his top-notched wine shop and his way-cool wine bar. What happened Saturday night was a text book example of how not to treat your paying customers.
[And before anyone starts rolling their eyes and saying, ?if it?s too loud, you?re too old? just remember that 30-somethings make a heck of a lot more money than the 20-something generation.]
Great Food Happy Hour – Awesome daily 5-7pm happy hour for food. HUGE and yummy caesar salad for only $3 and delicious grilled tomato and cheese sandwich with herbs and a salad for $4. My boyfriend gets the real steak sandwich with salad for $5. You can't beat it! I think the drinks are a little spendy though, even on happy hour, but if you are looking for a hardy cheap meal this is the place to go.
Our Favorite Neighborhood Bar! – This is a great place to go for happy hour, after a show, or anytime you want a relaxed atmosphere with great music, a good drink selection, smoking/non-smoking options and attractive servers. Just hip enough, but not so tragically hip that you can't bring an out-of-town guest or family member to enjoy a glass of wine. The outdoor patio is lovely in the summer, and the happy hour menu is very respectable.
Tasty nibbles and cool cocktails in a mellow, retro-flavored lounge. – In Short
Named after the modernist Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, this inviting joint on Belmont is decorated with the sure hand of a true collector. Spare, clean lines in the chairs, consoles and art decorate a dim lounge presided over by gentlemanly bartenders who mix a mean martini for an artsy crowd of Southeast locals. The bar features an alluring, French-dominated wine list with 17 vinos available by the glass, bracing cocktails and a well-executed cappuccino.
Quintessentially Portland – Great bar, great style, cool crowd without being too PDX hipster snobby, great place to gather with friendsd or roll solo
Wonderful! – As stated in other reviews, I did not think that you had to know the staff. They were all very friendly and helpful. Great wine selection and possibly the best gazpacho I have ever had (I ordered 2 bowls!).
Great Ambience – I think this is one of the best bars to hang out at in Portland. The ambience is kitchy-eames-wannabe furniture and a little-known back room area where smoking is allowed all the time. The music is usually enjoyable-I've often asked what they are playing. The drinks are definitely stiff and the price reflects it. Once you get to know the bartendars, you'll always have a fresh drink. I also enjoy the art shows they host. Definitely a cool place to "chill."
I love this place! – This is by far, one of my favorite places in Portland. The drinks are stiff and the staff is pleasant and unobtrusive. Not a fully stocked bar, but it does the trick.
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