Portland >Bars & Pubs >
Lounges >Boiler Room
228 NW Davis St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.524508 -122.673138
Neighborhoods: Old Town - Chinatown, Neighbors West - Northwest
A karaoke bar that is a ton of fun. The difference with this karaoke bar - everyone is dancing around you while you sing, which means you don't have to feel like you are "on stage." Perfect for those of us that are not the best Whitney Houston impersonators but still love to belt out " I wanna dance with someone"
Home to the Pacific Northwest's longest running comedy open mic night, the Boiler Room remains an apt title for a venue whose open mic runs like a well-oiled machine. Kevin-Michael Moore hosts 20 comedians for two hours of boundary-pushing comedy. Stay after the show to enjoy the smooth transition into a karaoke night.
I love Boiler and have been coming here for years. The crowd is great, minus the few stragglers that are too drunk and probably shouldn't be allowed in/should be cut off at the bar. It's not rocket science, to the people who have written that they have had issues with the staff: if you're acting like a drunk moron, you're not getting in or getting served. That's not the bouncer or the bartender's fault.
Anyway, as a long-time fan of Boiler Room, I will give you a quick rundown of what you'll find.
*Great karaoke selection (They have multiple obscure tracks by The Darkness!) and wonderful KJs who put on hilarious performances of their own from time to time.
*Strong, cheap drinks to give you the courage to sing.
*Supportive, cool crowd of good old fashioned Portland locals looking to have a drama-free good time.
*Cool staff that are wonderful to talk to, unless (I guess) if you're too drunk to count your own money and are yelling at them for no reason.
*A FUN night that you'll be talking about the next time you venture down to Old Town looking for a great time.
Rockin' Karaoke Bar! – I love this place!! Just went in again recently and it continues to rock. Great music, nice staff, fun crowd! I don't understand some of the negative reviews because they could apply to any bar in Old Town. . . (people puking, people being cut off, drunks, and young meat hounding men.) You don't go to the "entertainment district" to be the only person in the bar! Of course it's crowded and the people watching is fantastic. When you're not dancing... The mix of amazing and talented singers and people who just give it their best is what makes it safe to get your ass up there to sing! What I really appreciate is the bartenders' ability to scan the bar and actually select who is next, rather than looking up from one spot and taking whoever steps in front of them. Classy! My only complaint about this joint is that once I'm there, I can never get myself to leave before closing. It's truly a Vortex! Love it.
I hate people when they're not polite – the bouncer steals money.
bouncer: you are a big fat man, pasty complexion, short beard that reminds me of the hair on my scotum. your behavior will catch up to you.
manager: I don't know why you let this piece of fetid fecal matter deface the door of your establishment. I suggest you fire him as soon as you can. he will lie if you accuse him. just fire him.
potential customers: if you see the above described bouncer, go somewhere else to have fun. bouncer boycott.
Karaoke and Dancing, horrible. – I love horrible reviews for places I love.
This place sucks... its horrible... please.... stay away.
I love the Boiler Room. This place turns into a karaoke nightclub on the weekends, but that works for me. Last Saturday I sang two times from about 10 till 2am. Not bad, but its Saturday night, what do you expect?
The food isn't anything special, but its there. Not a whole lot of seats, if you hate to stand/dance/mingle, stay away. The staff didn't really talk to me much. Oh well, I got my drinks just fine.
Boycott the most classless spot in Portland. – Guys, if you are going to take your girl friends out, take them someplace classy, not to Boiler Room. This place is awful. And ladies, if you are desperate and want to go somewhere with immature and drunk guys that are only there to get smashed and hit on you or show off, this place is for you.
In fact, after two visits here, I've decided to come online and write a review, something I never do, only because this place is so classless.
Overly crowded. Finally got to get a drink from slow bartenders and signed up to sing karaoke. I went to use the restroom and there was a girl puking in the men's room. There were a few immature guys outside mocking her, yelling mean things at her even as she was walking out. Total jerks.
I saw a group of guys standing in the middle of the bar. Some other guy tried to get through but these guys wouldn't move out of the way. Finally the guy was squeezing through and I saw one guy start pushing him, as if these guys were looking to fight.
The people here just seemed tense, impatient, and egotistical.
Overall, the service was awful, and the crowd was classless, and just one big meat fest. One guy karaoked Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody". I'm very forgiving, but this was the worst karaoke I've ever heard. No one clapped for him except me and my buddy, and I noticed the crowd was occasionally rude to the singers.
A couple weeks later... I had a group of friends from out of town. We were eating dinner at Kell's, and they wanted to Karaoke. Unfamiliar with Portland, the only place I knew of was Boiler Room. Maybe it was the fact that I was one of the only guys in my group of friends or that I wear glasses and don't look like some 20 year old smug frat boy, but the bouncer looked at me, after all my friends had gone in, and said, "I dunno about you". Excuse me? After my previous experiences with all those drunks, and this guy isn't going to let me in now? I told him I had just shown up, and that I'd like to go in, but needed to use the ATM. He seemed to chill out for the time, and let me inside to use it. While I was in the middle of using it, he grabbed me by the neck from behind, pulled me outside, and threw me into the little tree outside, saying "You're done here". Luckily, no one used the machine and I didn't lose any money, but he definitely should not have done that.
Totally ridiculous. Since I hadn't drank anything here and wasn't intoxicated, I thought maybe he had me mixed up. I called a friend of mine who came outside, and I tried talking to the bouncer. I just wanted to know why I was thrown out like that. He promptly got right up in my face, and started cussing and threatening me. Unfortunately we soon decided to leave, having our money taken at the door and our night spoiled.
I should have learned my lesson the first night, and shouldn't have assumed that somehow my next experience would for some reason not be as bad.
I've been to plenty of bars in cities around the northwest, and this was by far the most unfriendly and unprofessional waste of time I've seen in my life. I've never been confronted by a bouncer like that in my life. What is his job there anyways? I might go back and deal with their crap and not buy anything if my guy friends ever want to go back there, but I would never take any ladies back here.
If you take your girlfriends here, they will get hit on by sleazy guys, and you just might get thrown out instead. No wonder there are other negative reviews online. Sheesh.
Hey Portland, please boycott this place. The management should read the negative reviews showing up and deal with their mean and antisocial staff, especially that angry boar of a bouncer that was working the front door the night of 5/28/10.
Worst Time in Portland – I previously have enjoyed Boiler room up until this evening. I had a girls night out with my girlfriends and had about three drinks over three hours. I have been to Boiler Room many times previous. In the past I have always enjoyed the karaoke bar. This evening I was told that I was cut off when I was not close to intoxicated. I was aware that Boiler Room looked for this, I was not aware their bartenders were allowed to play favorites and show their temper for the evening. I have never felt more offended. I will make sure my friends; and all that I know pass on an overrated establishment with (previous cheap drinks), and welcoming staff. The man with the tambourine should seek a job where it is not ran by uptight individuals with a chip on their shoulder
Boiler Room, boiling hot - a review – The Boiler Room in downtown Portland is one of the city's most classic karaoke spots. It's been around for at least as long as I've been twenty-one and has karaoke 7 days a week, all night long. Its corner, old town location is easily accessible to the spill-over from nearby bars which brings quite a range of 20 and 30 somethings and even a few mid-lifers. Inexpensive beverages and two pool tables compliment the awesome activity that is Boiler Room Karaoke which allows performers to be on the same level as the audience. An audience so close that it's sometimes hard to tell who the singer is.
I happened upon BR just the other night (Wed) and was happily greeted with throw-back K-Jams like "Don't Stop Believin", "Shot to the heart" and "I Will Survive". Seemed typical enough except... You could barely distinguish the voices of the singers. Not because of a crappy sound system, but because the audience (many in the audience) were each singing at the top of their lungs, all the words, to all the songs. So much energy, so much love, so much music. Kind of unreal. For a few hours you felt like you were in the closing scenes of the most magical musical ever! In true musical form, the night ended with "Seasons of Love" (Rent). "Five Hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes!"
Have to give the Boiler Room 5 stars for a boiling hot night of musical karaoke madness and awesome audience participation. More reviews at BolaKaraoke!
Love this bar – The boiler room is by far my favorite bar in portland. Its consistently a great time. The staff is great and the bartenders (especially Anna) are always extremely nice despite having to deal with drunk people all night.
Friendly and crowded – The night I went to Boiler room I was meeting my brother and a large group for his birthday. He had arrived 30 min before me and said there was no cover. When I arrived...there was and I had no cash! The door guy said there was an atm around the corner, but I couldn't find it (maybe I'm blind?) Luckily my brother had some cash and got me in.
Well my first impression was CROWDED! It was like trying to slither through a crowd at a rock concert. Wait times for drinks was the longest I've ever had to wait...about 20-25 minutes...not that the bartenders were slow or ignoring people (they were actually quite fast), but there were just way too many people in there. We all ended up taking turns standing in line for drinks because of the wait.
Besides that, everyone was very very friendly (bartenders and customers), and we ended up having a really fun time and forgetting about how packed it was. In fact, everyone in the place seemed to be having so much fun singing like a big chorus...this is a great place for a party.
The Most Awful Service Ever!!! – If you want to be treated like garbage on your fun night out, be sure to stop by the Boiler Room. It appears whom ever owns the joint likes to hire unfriendly and angry staff. Especially Anna. Watch out for her!!! Not only will she bite your head off when you order your drink, but she'll attack you when your trying to figure out what to tip her at the end of your evening. Don't take too long, it makes her mad and she will throw insulting remarks your way. Any attempts to get a smile out of any of them is like breaking bones. You couldn't pay me to go back or my friends / family. Maybe it's named the Boiler Room for a reason.
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