Portland >Bars & Clubs > A Roadside Attraction
1000 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.515740 -122.653548
Neighborhoods: Buckman, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
An eclectic collection of art, garden decor and random finds gives this establishment a recycled chic look that flows seamlessly and feels welcoming and cozy. A killer patio with fire pit, the perfect place to enjoy your beer, cocktail and company of your friends. The food is better than bar food and the service is excellent.
Very Likable – Roadside Attraction has a great red, re-used opium den feel to it with friendly bar-tenders and cheap, STRONG drinks. I would go here often if it wasn't so chilly inside. If you sit in a booth, have your partner take the seat against the wall because it is freezing cold. Bring a thick coat and cash and you'll have a great time.
Don't go for the food or friendly service – This is a "what do you want" kind of place with no table service where you order all food and drinks at the bar. The bar guy is not friendly and has little knowledge of the menu entree ingredients. If you have a food allergy, forget about it. He won't care and he doesn't know what is in the food so you are out of luck.
What's with the the fire – The fire should only be lit if its freezing out. Nobody wants to smell like campfire...
Owner just does not get it – A group of about 7 of us came down to see one of our friends perform on a Wednesday night this week and while the amount of chatter and noise from the sizable crowd during his set (especially the mellower tunes) was a little disturbing, I have been to enough shows in bars in Portland to get over it quickly and enjoy myself anyway. Then during the second act's performance, my friends and myself were having a conversation when the owner tapped me on the shoulder and "shushed" me. Now I have no problem with this as I have a booming voice and have embarrassed myself many times over for not realizing this. We decided to leave and the owner choose to make an example of my girlfriend by calling her out to other patrons as someone who "just doesn't get it." What he doesn't get is that there are better ways to make your point than by embarrassing your guests for enjoying themselves in your establishment. We had been there for 3 hours spending our hard-earned money (we even came to the bartender's rescue when he lost his wine key in the middle of a considerable rush. My girlfriend gave him her extra) and it was a really sad way to end an otherwise enjoyable experience at his place. It's too bad because I have always like the joint and I live just around the corner. Unfortunately, I will just make use of one of the umpteen million other bars in my hood instead from now on.
Beers pulled right after last call – I went to this bar last Saturday night for the first time. I showed up late after my friends had been there for a while. The bartender sold me a beer at last call & then proceeded to give us the boot 15 minutes later. She claimed that she gave us ample warning & wouldn't let us finish our drinks. Hey ... I may be a slow drinker but 15 minutes is fast for anyone to chug a pint of IPA. She was incredibly rude and I will NEVER go back to Roadside attraction (especially since there are so many better bars in the area).
The bar of my dreams – I picked Roadside Attraction at random from a list of nonsmoking bars in Portland, and was blown away the first time I walked through the gate. It was like I had walked into a bar that I had come up with in a dream. It's the greatest blend of pirate ship/oasis/antique store/bordello/crazy old aunt's house. I want to marry this bar. I want to move into this bar. I want to die in this bar. Cheap drinks, great service from the bartenders Jen & Mike, free jukebox, free pool (and somehow the table is available whenever I go), incredibly beautiful and homey atmosphere, good comfort food (where else do you find tri-tip on the menu?). Hands down the coolest place in Portland.
Great Atmosphere – For a new bar, Roadside Attraction hasn't missed anything. They have a great, although limited, food menu; a unique setting; and a great jukebox. The veggie kabobs are excellent and cheap, and they come with 2 side dishes, like rice, coleslaw, mac and cheese, or potatoes au gratin. The jukebox has a good selection to choose from, and it's free, as is the pool table. What keeps me coming back, though, is the place itself. Enclosed by a high wooden fence, it is easy to miss Roadside Attraction. The patio is a collection of covered tables in the middle and private 2 or 3 person alcoves along the side. A small shed has been turned into housing for an even more private table, and the rock and plant garden has hidden treasures throughout. Inside mimicks the outside, with several open rooms, and more private nooks scattered around. The red walls and dark wood, along with the awesome Chinese arch leading into the back room, give this place a David Lynch- esque quality that's not to be missed. One of my favorite new haunts.
Editorial Review by Mary Morley – Funky, cozy neighborhood hangout in SE Portland offers rotating taps and domestic beers, plus a small menu of grilled items.
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