Energetic, all-welcoming and eclectic. That’s the Portland way, period. But nowhere more so is that mix more evident than at its after-dark venues. Whether you’re into skittish electro beats, single cask whiskies or suave cocktails, the city’s determined to show you a good time.


There’s a touch of the Sally Bowles about Barlow. This Cabaret-inspired jazz joint is very 1920’s Hollywood, via Weimar Republic. Attracting a dressy, theater-going crowd, it’s perfect for a pre-show cocktail. Or post.


Multnomah Whiskey Library

Considered to be one of the top 20 whisky bars in North America, this really is a Whiskey Library whose shelves are groaning under the weight of almost 2,000 fine expressions of the water of life – from Scotland to Tasmania. It’s hidden away so look for the sign on SW Alder Street, below the sign for Chizu sushi bar. Then settle yourself in as it’s going to be a long night.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Multnomah Whiskey Library (@multnomahwhiskeylibrary) on

Doug Fir Lounge

Right now, this is one of the best places to grab a beer and enjoy live music in the city. Touring bands, DJ nights and local acts light up a week-round programme of loud and sweaty nights. The log-cabin style bar is cosy enough to hole up in too, irrespective of who’s playing. Check out their what’s on list at: dougfirlounge.com


Deschutes Brewery

Portland’s best loved home brew, Deschutes operates a cluster bars across the city. Mostly ‘northwest’ style hang outs, all red-brick, rustic furnishings and reassuringly saggy leather sofas. It’s hard not to lose time in places like these. And the beer’s great too. Try the Portland Public House (great food here too), or the riotously good fun Bend Tasting Room – and prepare to meet your new best friends!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Deschutes Brewery (@deschutesbeer) on

Crystal Ballroom

This historic music venue hosts big name touring stars and local bands year-round. Exactly what it’s been doing for the past 100 years. You can even take a tour of the stunning old ballroom, every afternoon at 2pm. But we recommend catching a gig for the authentic experience. Try Lola’s Room too, a more intimate space, to catch some seriously impressive up and coming talent. Friday night’s Video Dance Attack fuses MTV videos with the best party atmosphere ever.



Darcelle and her friends have been slapping on the lipstick, powder and paint for the past 37 years – to perform one of the best-loved drag queen shows in the US. Proud recipient of the Guinness World Record for the ‘Oldest Working Drag Queen’ (who knew that was a category?) Darcelle and her girls were entertaining the crowds way before Rupaul first revved up her drag race engines. Catch a show if you can – it’s simply marvellous, dahling.

Barrel Room

This self-professed ‘rockin’ showbar’ is well named. It’s impossible not to have a great night in here – with its duelling piano shows pitting two honky-tonkin’ pianists against each other to raise the roof, and get everyone rockin’ and rollin’, glasses of craft ale in hand. Good times are guaranteed.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Barrel Room Portland (@barrelroomportland) on

Back to Portland main page