Feature » Eat and Drink

Bars That Will Still Be Here in 2113

The Perfect Spots for a Future Drunk


(Item #7 in our time capsule)

THERE ARE SOME who say that in the future, there will be no bars, and we'll simply derive drunkenness from dissolving alcoholic contact lenses on our eyes. POPPYCOCK! As long as people want a place to gather, sing, and booze it up, there will be bars—and to all of those reading this in 2113, we invite you to visit a few of our favorite drinkeries that will almost certainly still be around. (You may even find our murdered skeletons buried inside the walls!)


The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd

Even future people have trouble "fitting in" sometimes, right? Well, on an average night at the Spare Room you'll find every possible demographic—from happy-go-lucky senior citizens, to bespectacled hipsters, to cute rocker chicks, to bumbling drunks, to cowboys/girls, and (yes) even time travelers from the future. These demographics especially love the daily drink specials, the ginormous and well-used dance floor, and the insanely varied (and talented) entertainment that graces their stage. In short, no matter what year you're from, you'll fit in at, and love, the Spare Room. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


Tavern on Denver, 8234 N Denver

The inexorable hand of time cannot lay a finger on the Kenton neighborhood's Tavern on Denver, a dive so permanently ageless that a trip through its doors feels like a time warp. Cheap, cheap beer, ballgames on TV, and absolutely no other frills whatsoever give this unpretentious, cozy hole its homey charms, none of which have anything to do with fashions or current trends. Whatever else happens in the next 100 years, this place ain't changing a lick. Thank god for that. NED LANNAMANN


McMenamins Barley Mill Pub, 1629 SE Hawthorne

Just as Taco Bell won the Franchise Wars in Demolition Man—thus making all restaurants Taco Bell—in 2113, all Portland bars will be McMenamins. It will be a dystopia of bland beers and crappy hippie art—but hopefully the original McMenamins, the Barley Mill Pub, will retain its charm. Unlike other McLocations, it still feels low key and welcoming, full of dark nooks, chill service, plenty of outlets, and a pool table. Some will rightly mock its antique Grateful Dead décor, but let us face the regrettable truth: Like tall bikes and white people dreadlocks, Portland's dumb Deadheads aren't going anywhere. ERIK HENRIKSEN


Watertrough Saloon, 4815 SE Hawthorne

In 2113, when everyone drinks their own recycled urine and fought-back tears, the concept of something so luxurious as a water trough will be impossible to imagine. Yet the mural of a grizzled old-timer bathing with his horse in such a confection will still stand on SE 49th and Hawthorne. And behind its windowless front will be the dive bar exactly as it stands today. It's a glorious hole in the wall, with low ceilings, wood paneling for miles, friendly barflies, a good jukebox, a smart '70s fireplace, and the air of a well-preserved rec room. May you futuraholics enjoy its confines as much as we did—even though I'm pretty sure we had better (less salty) drinks in our day. COURTNEY FERGUSON


Slims, 8635 N Lombard

If Slims has managed to survive for 102 years already—watching St. Johns crumble from a proud blue-collar enclave, to a bombed-out skid row, and now a destination for budget-conscious families—the next century ought to be a breeze. New owners have worked hard in recent years to keep the right amount of grit while kicking the bar's reputation as a haven for criminals and sad drunks. By day, Slims is a kid-friendly public house with quality food (among North Portland's best burgers) and a nice jukebox. By night, it's a can't-miss spot for loud music. And some days, a few of the old regulars still haunt the benches outside—living, chain-smoking reminders of the way things were. DENIS C. THERIAULT  


The Slammer, 500 SE 8th

When Waterfront Park has slid into the Willamette and six-foot-tall cockroaches roam Portland's streets, I have no doubt that the lights of the Slammer's annual Christmas display will still twinkle festively through the post-apocalyptic haze. Novelty cocktails might not survive the century, but a stiff well drink and a bar full of well-pickled regulars will no doubt stand the test of time. ALISON HALLETT


Pirate's Cove, 7417 NE Sandy

Already a Portland landmark, the Sandy Jug building—with its iconic hooch-jug shape—will certainly be added to the historic register within the next 50 years. Currently a strip joint that invites many "clever" comparisons between the jugs on both its interior and exterior, it's already gone through more lives than a cat. It's been a lunch counter, a mechanic's garage, and currently the "Pirate's Cove." Of course by the time 2113 rolls around it will probably have become repurposed as a museum of stripping, which will be considered a quaint, if barbaric, relic of the old Wild West, human strippers having long ago been replaced by customized, full-service sexbots. MARJORIE SKINNER


Comments are closed.

Quantcast Quantcast