Portland >Food & Dining > River City Saloon & Restaurant
1133 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720145.516551 -122.686117
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Neighbors West - Northwest
Good food – A pleasant surprise....we walked by it many times and weren't even tempted to go inside until a friend told us the food was surprisingly good. We tried and we agree. It's reasonably priced and quite good. The place can be noisy, smokey and sometimes the service is slow but what the hell...you're in a neighborhood bar...chill and enjoy the dynamics!
Great neighborhood joint – The River City is the default hangout for my friends and I. Many of us live a few blocks away, which is very convenient. If we're taking more than five minutes to decide where to go out for drinks, we just come here. The staff is always friendly and pleasant, especially Tammy and Tara, who stay fun even when doing what should be three peoples' jobs. The clientele is amusingly eclectic, ranging from Jefferson Theater attendees to college kids, retirees from nearby buildings to young professionals. The drinks are cheap and good (they have a better martini than many more upscale joints, and it's only $4.50 here), and the food is amazingly good considering the divey nature of the place. They seem to have lucked into a cook who actually *cooks*, which is a pleasant surprise. In particular, try the daily specials, which are almost uniformly great.
The only downsides of note are the occasionally slightly-too-skeezy patrons, and the incredibly awful jukebox, which is apparently there at the (pretty unpleasant) owner's personal insistence. If I have to hear "Roxanne" one more time I'm gonna rip my ears off.
Poor Form – if you are in the mood for feeling like an inconvenience, this is your place. The service is moody and abrasive. If I wanted to be treated like a chore, i would have stayed at home. A piece of advice to the hired help is to remember that you are "HIRED HELP" and that you have a great gig at a chill spot. Things could be worse.....
The only saving grace for this establishment is that it is smoking friendly and has a surprisingly pleasant crowd. A friendly game of pool is just around the corner ;o)
Mickey Rourke and Faye Duniway await you! – What more can be said:
Tammy is sweet but overwhelmed.
I miss Jake
The Beer is warm
The owner and his drunk, druggie buddies can overwhelm and entertain at the same time.
Don't diss on the Yankees or you could get hurt.
The bathrooms, ah yes, the bathrooms.
An eclectic mix of folks to be sure.
If you liked Dino's, you'll like this place.
Really not a bad place if you want to burn some time before a baseball game, but c'mon there's always the Kingston.
Could be a good sports bar, but not much effort is made into being one, just sell the booze man and shut-up.
Free food at happy hour, but say away from the curled celery.
Reasonably priced but don't expect anything in the way of service.
This place could be a great "Dicks Last Resort" as that's pretty much the way you get treated here, but at least at "Dicks" you know you are are going to be treated rude.
Ricer city saloon for goons – Well good freind, let me start by saying that Tammy the server is the only good thing about that place. one male bartender is pretentious and slightly gay while the other is short and insecure who overcompensates by artificially deepening his voice pitch. The owner is a short fat grey long haired hippie that likes to sit at the bar and make off color comments and pick up lines to the pretty girls that come in the bar, wether they are with a guy or not. their pool tables are small and non flat crammed next to the sectioned off gamblin area, and there is always some kind of overdrunk person yelling about something. there are retirees and handicapped and other various street waste slithers in there from the jefferson theatre < dont shake hands with anyone > and the other half are there to see the spectacle or get wasted in a place that caters to - anyone. if you are looking for a place to lay low and just get wasted and dont care about anything else, this is your place. but if you actually have a discerning palate- take the extra 5 minutes to go to the cheerful tortoise or some other local watering hole. you'll be glad you did.
Best downtown dive bar – One of the most unique bars downtown. What makes it so interesting is the crazy mix of people that can be found there every night of the week. From PSU students, "adult" theater go-ers (the jefferson theater is next door) to the older folks that live in the retirement towers nearby.
The food is cheap and very good considering the River City is a dive bar. I highly recommend the beef and bean nacho platter, which can easily feed 3+. The specials are usually excellent also.
The only cons are that the bar is smokey, but honesty how many bars aren't? For some reason the juke box also seems to be taken over by bob marley fans, so you may have to hear No Woman, No Cry a few times in one night. The bar can be understaffed, but the excellent bar tenders and cocktailers more than make up for it. Tammy is probably the sweetest bartender in Portland.
Fabulous FOOD – The food is fabulous. Too much smoke, service is slow - but you can't beat the food. It's consistently wonderful and a great bargin.
Where's the Love? – For a establishment that caters to a very young crowd I was amazed that workers and owner alike, especially the owner, drink continuallyThe food took way too long to arrive concidering it was only an appetizer platter. holding your money in paper bills where it can be seen helps to promote employee's to respond with some service. the worst being having to sit through very very intoxicated individuals yelling at the top of their voices uncontrolably and without intervention on the part of management.
Your typical local dive – A good mix of people frequent this bar. Drinks are low priced, and the food is decent. I haven't found the service to be very good, probably because they're usually understaffed. Try to get control of the jukebox, and you'll have a better time. The other night someone had turned it into unofficial funk night! Yeah buddy my hat's off to you!
Be careful in this neighborhood though, it's mostly just bums, but be careful nonetheles.
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