Portland >Arts & Entertainment > Alberta Street Public House
1036 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.559036 -122.654837
Neighborhoods: King, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Gone are the days of the old Alberta Street Pub, when a pint of PBR was served in a dimly lit dive over a pig picture-covered bar. Say hello to the revamped version of the pub with light bulb chandeliers, expansive patio and an airy, minimalist atmosphere--much like the rest of the quickly transforming Alberta Street.
Don't be fooled by the exterior, on a – The old classic pub had an atmosphere like nothing else in the 'hood. Now, after the remodel the bar has the feel of many newer Alberta Street establishments, fitting in rather seamlessly to the street's changing face.
Not Any Better – Well, all I can say about the favorable reviews is that either they're written by staff or the owner or these people have never experienced a good pub.
I've been in this place a few times and it's the music that draws me, though the decor isn't bad. But the food and the service are so abysmal that nothing can redeem this place!
One of my more recent experiences: I go to the bar to order food and beer before a show. It takes me forever to get to the front of the line. By the way, I'm not a tall person and it certainly seemed like the bar tender skipped right past me to serve taller people. I finally get her attention, ordered a beer (no problem) and the soup listed on the daily specials board - potato chowder. I take my seat and wait (and wait, and wait, and wait). OMG, all I ordered was soup! I assumed it was pre-made. It takes almost 30 minutes for them to get my soup out! SOUP! Then it's not potato, but a very LAME Cheddar broccoli. I really don't want to deal with the Ms. Surly Bartender again or wait in line, so I just eat it. Later, I return to the bar for another beer. I tell Ms. Surly that BTW, the soup on the board is wrong. Not only does she not apologize, she looks at me with a glare that says "so what?" and she doesn't even change it! When I leave the pub quite a while later, the board still said "potato chowder". I leave feeling ripped off and sorry I left a tip for being treated like I was a pain.
Great pub with good food & live music – This is a great pub. All the food I, and my guests, have had has been very good. We think the fish & chips are some of the best in town. As others have indicated there is a sign at every table letting you know to order at the bar. Usually only 1 person working the bar and taking orders but it all moves along just fine and we've never had anyone give us any 'attitude' (as some other reviewers have objected to). We have always enjoyed ourselves and think it is a great place to hear groups. Recently went for the Rite of Spring and Tom May show and it was a fun night of great music and great food. One person with me had never been to the pub before and she will definitely be going back for other occasions as she really enjoyed it.
Only Con was a women talking too loudly in the back during the music. She quieted down after several people looked around to see who was making all the noise during the good music. She apparently wasn't there for the music so she really should have been visiting in the bar except that she was talking with the owner! He should have hushed her up before she bothered those that were there for the music.
Some of the best music around – I have seen some great touring folk acts at the Alberta Street Pub: Bruce Molsky, Bohola, Niamh Parsons... and some of Portland's greatest: The Stolen Sweets, Lara Michelle, Kate & Steve Einhorn (former owners of Artichoke music), Trashcan Joe, & lots of others.
The quality of service depends entirely on who is behind the bar. In the past, I've seen some bad attitudes, but lately everything's been fine. I like the veggie lasagna.
Great music and great beer prices – I first started going to this place because several bands that I love to hear play here sometimes and have grown very fond of it. It's one of the few places left in Portland where you can still get drinks for reasonable prices and hear some great music at the same time. And the patio out back always offers a wonderful retreat if it gets too crowded inside. I've always gotten descent service at the bar although the staff can be a little overworked at times, especially on busy nights. This is probably not the place to go though if your looking for a dining experience, it's a bar, not a sit down restaurant and the service would seem to really lack something if your expecting a restaurant. Personally I'm not a big fan of their pig themed decorating that's been way over done(there are everything from piggy banks to flying pigs on every inch of the bar and scattered around the whole place, some of them kind of creepy looking) but that may just be my personal taste.
Horrible food, horrible service – I went to the Alberta Street Public House the other night and had the worst food and service I have ever had. The bartender was incredibly rude, rolling her eyes and huffing under her breath when we ordered. The hamburgers and nachos came out freezing cold so we had to send them back and she blamed it on us because we "ordered at a bad time" and "probably didn't pick our food up from the window right away" (even though we picked it up less than ten seconds after she set it down.) I have never felt so disrespected as a customer. I won't go back there for food again and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. The only pro -- the live music was great.
How Rude! – So, never been to Alberta Street before- Going to hear some music- Check them out online.
Reviews say "Lousy Service" Good food....
That is exactly what we got when we entered the door- Couldnt belive how rude the barmaid was. How long has she gotten away with this? Customers were clearly just a pain in her as*. This woman must get a great hourly rate because she surely doesnt live on tips.
Food was OK? Nothing special- Music was OK, nothing special- infact a little weak- Sound system consisted of two speakers, mounted high- considering the size of the room- it kinda worked.
The only reason I would return here is if it was the last place on earth that I could hear some music that was important to me.....If the music is in Seattle or Eugene- I'd rather drive than return to Alberta Street Pub.
And for what? – Maybe I picked a bad night, but it was really horrible. It was an hour wait on a club sandwich, the one waitress (should have been more) was rude, the organized twenty minute line that stretched outside the main door for a beer was a complete mess so instead of getting a beer when you reached the head of the line, you waited instead for another 15 minutes. The bartenders moved incredibly slow considering how long the line was. Probably the first time in my life that I didn't tip. These guys are the worst, which is too bad since it had the potential to be a really good spot.
Great Pub – I have been to this pub hundreds of times and have never had any problem with service. The staff is not rude. I have no idea what you people are talking about.
as for the person who's diabetic friend ordered rum and diet, wtf? is your friend stupid? Rum is made out of sugar. I agree with the bartender.
Besides that, they have great french fries, a heated patio, its non smoking, and just generally great.
boycott – I AGREE!!!! this place is awful!!!! it isn' t hard to order at the bar, it is just unacceptable to wait 15 minutes to get a beer and deal with the rude employees. these must be the coolest people in town. i mean the coolest poser hipsters. neo corporate punk rocker wannabes seems pretty accurate to me. it's corporate neopunk because it's a look that died in the 80s and is now marketed and sold to identityless hipsters like you by huge corporations. isn't tipping based on service? i'm paying you for food and tipping you, but you can't walk 10 feet to give me my food? i will never spend another cent here nor should you. you know a place is desperate when it's own employees have to review it. the old irish guy is obviously too old to be running a successful business. spend your money somewhere that appreciates your business!!!
learn to wipe your own butt – This is a response to the other reviews: the service here is fine. If you think it's bad it's probably because you are expecting somebody to wait your table. This is a bar, so you have to know how to take care of yourself when you come here and you'll have to learn to order a drink all by yourself. There are signs on every table that say "please order at the bar" so don't feel ignored by the staff when they don't come up and kiss your butt. Blaming it on their attire is just too easy and a cheap shot. "neo-corporate-wannabe punk rocker"? That doesn't even make any sense, you just end up sounding really insecure. If you don't want to be around people that don't look completely normal then you shouldn't hang out in the trendy "alberta arts district" because most artists are poor service industry workers. the owner is a really funny, charming old irishman who is friendy, funny and very entertaining. The pub is non-smoking, and there's a quiet, heated, sheltered patio outside for the smokers. I agree that it gets too crowded here at night so the best time to come is during happy hour for the restive atmosphere and to strike up a cheap bite to eat and converse with the goofy staff or listen to the free entertainment. Best happy hour on alberta by far. There is one rude bartender but she only works a couple days a week. Hey, every bar has at least one rude bartender, right?
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