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Dance club over a Greek restaurant: Downtown Deli and Greek Cusina
One thing you'll notice while out in Portland, everywhere serves food. There is few "dance clubs" or "bars" that are strictly just that. Everywhere is a pub once way or another.
You can;t miss this one with the huge inflatable purple octopus on the outside of the building.
The Greek Cusina is a restaurant downstairs and upstairs during lunch hours. During the evening the upstairs is transformed into a drink fest and crowded dance floor.
While I'm sure they are breaking firecodes as this place is just too packed.
You'll love it if you are 21, drunk and ready to grind. As being in my 30's, personally I find this place a bit too crowded, young and filled with amatuer drunks. Just not that much fun.
But it can be for the right person.
The food - so so (although the happy hour is great). The drinks alright, but the DJ is good.
Very mainstream, just a bit on the young side.
Be prepared to have your shoes covered in party gravy, it is a mess here.
Dress Code: More dance club style, but you'll see a few in jeans.
Dancing: Salsa Dancing
I dance with a local salsa team here and we usually dance at Aztec Willies on NE 15th and Broadway. Saturday nights are best there. I used to frequent Mambo Lounge, but haven't been since the ownership changed.
Andreas Cha Cha club is more for hanging out, due to the small space. Cuban dancing is also more popular there, and there is a great Cuban band that plays sometimes.
Dress Code: No dress code enforced, but people usually dress up at least to the business casual standard. But a little sexier version. :)
- Arts and Culture
Dancing: Best Bet! The Ohm Nightclub
When you are looking for a great place to dance, mix and mingle, I highly recommend going their Fridays. The people are friendly and looking sharp, the music is trendy and the drinks are superb. They always have enough people staffed for quick service and parking is only a block away. The Dj's play Hip-hop, R&B, Mash-ups, Current Hits and occasionally take you back with some great tracks from the 80's and 90's. The downside is they do allow smoking and it can be a bit much, but the outdoor patio is a great way to refresh from all of that. All in all this is one of the best places to party in the city. You can let loose and let yourself be free. It's also conveniently located in Portland's historic entertainment district by the waterfront. Definitely a spot to put on your list for a club crawl or club hopping. The ohm has been around for along time and it will be around for many successful years to come.
Dress Code: Dress to Impress, No Hats
- Budget Travel
Aura Lounge: Aura Dining and dancing
Depending on the type of nightlife you enjoy Aura might be a fun place to go. Its has a modern lounge vibe with wispy white curtains and colored lighting. It is probably one of the "cooler" looking night hangouts here in Portland. Happy hour is great, its rarely busy and you can sample small portions of their regular menu for less $. If you go for dinner before 9pm on a friday or saturday night you can skip the $5-7 cover. Food is pretty good, I recomend the meat or veggie skewers, tasty and a pretty good value for what you get. Other idea..mini burgers..you get 3 of them all with a different flare. Fondue for two is ok as well. (although don't expect gormet cheese/wine mix) As for drinks, try "May flowers in Moscow" for something different. They have fruity martinins named after their color that you can choose depending on your mood, decent but a little pricy for their size and never quite to the rim. After 11pm or so the dance floor starts to pick up, and can be a fun time. Usually a pretty good mix of a crowd. I have been there and had a great time, and I have also gone and left early expecting more. All in all its worth a try if you are into the loungy martini scene.
Dress Code: I do not think they turn people away for dress code (not sure) I am pretty sure I have seen people in just about everything from jeans and tees to snazzy dresses and heels. I prefer somewhere in the middle.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Dancing: Bar IV
Great bar located right downtown...in the heart of the city. Many other places to venture too nearby as well. Mixed crowd of people. Two sides to the bar....one lounge style, and the other small dancing area....and tables. Although small....great place to mingle.
Have to say that the Naughty Girl Lemonaides are FABULOUS.
Dress Code: nice/casual
Fernando's Hideaway: Learn to salsa!
Fernando's, as it's called, has two spots on my VT pages about Portland. You can dance here at night but also have dinner here. Please stop by my restaurants pages and check it out.
After dinner you can shake your booty . . . there's a free dance lesson Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 9 pm. The lesson ends at 10 and the music is cranked up. They play latin music and other dance tunes.
All lessons and music take place upstairs.
See my restaurant tips for info on Fernando's food.
No cover charge for ladies, unless there's a special event going on.
Dress Code: For gals, wear anything you're comfortable dancing in. I'm not sure what guys are required to wear but if their web site clarifies anything it says business casual. (I'm guessing slacks and a collared shirt.)
Bar XV: Dark and Sexy
The party happens every night but the weekends are the busiest. The bar is dark and sexy to a T. There are several lounge areas where you can curl up with your friends old and new. The staff is great and the music is pumping. This is definitely one place you will want to hit while in the NW.
Dress Code: I think it is a black dress and pearl night but I guess it all depends on your mood and the mood of others. I’ve seen shorts and t-shirts once and my favorite regular guy wears a Carhart style kilt and sweatshirt. ;o) In general it seems most just go for the downtown hip urban look.
- Road Trip
- Gay and Lesbian
Dancing: The Fabulous Greek Cuisina
FUN! Not only does this restaurant have great food, the weekend entertainment in something to see. Greek dancing for everyone, belly dancing, oozo contests, hip hop and house music...this place has a bit of all of the above. Great for parties or just with your friends.
Dress Code: Casual/ Nice
Embers: If you're into it
I don't really care for this place, but a lot of people seem to so I'll mention it. It's primarily a gay bar, but straight people go there as well. There is dancing on the main floor where they play some really lame music such as the Grease soundtrack. If you're lucky they'll throw in "erotic city". I think they play the same songs every night actually. The second room is pretty entertaining because there are drag queen shows.
Embers is really cool during Christmas I have to say. They decorate the place with trees and lights and it looks pretty awesome. I went there on Christmas one year and it actually really put me in the Christmas spirit.
Dress Code: There is no dress code. You could probably go there naked and get in.
The Level: Get down
This is a great club which accomodates many different types of people. I like it for the big name djs who come through on the weekends (make sure ahead of time of the lineup, sometimes it's not so happening), and for the local djs on some weekdays.
If you aren't into electronic music there are 2 other completely separate bars here (hence "the level") and other areas to explore. It's classy and swanky and always happening. The crowd can be a little Paris Hiltonish so if you can stand that then it's all good.
Dress Code: There is no dress code that I'm aware of.
The Ohm: Ah yah.....
To be honest I don't really like this club, but lots of people do so I'll recommend it. It's probably one of the better dance clubs in Portland because it has djs and good music on certain days. The nights really vary, sometimes their are live acts there, especially on the weekend. The atmosphere is pretty cool, it has a bit of an underground feel to it, or at least it tries to. There are visuals there and pretty good sound, and there is an outdoor area. It's open after hours on the weekends. On Wednesdays during the summer they are connected to the Voodoo Lounge a bar next door which sounds interesting.
Dress Code: There is no dress code here that I'm aware of.
The Greek Cusina: What happens at The Greek - Stays at The Greek!
The Greek is the place of choice for people watching and small dance floors. If you can you want to make reservations to sit upstairs for one of the weekend evening shows. The evening starts with a Greek band, a fabulous singer [that looks like the gal from Cutting Edge] and then misc events after. They have Greek dancing, the owner grabs a table edge with his mouth and picks it up and dances, there are Blow Jobs [expecting bachelors sit and receive OUZO while a random bachelorette grabs a shot from his crotch area], plate smashing, belly dancer and the list goes on. At the end of all of this the club starts up and there is dancing on two floors. Its a huge party all the time so it works well for group gatherings.
Dress Code: Dress as you will but it is in downtown so dress like you would for a night of clubbing. Summer bring out more short skirts and sandles but guys are almost always in pants.
- School Holidays
Dancing: The Ohm
The very first club I ever went to in Portland and also the place where I met my wonderful friends and even my boyfriend Brandon. Club caters to the electronic scene and you get to see big name DJs like Sandra Collins, Christopher Lawrence, Mark Farina spin alongside local talent. It's an intimate venue where you can dance all night long.
Dress Code: Very casual. Its Portland! :)
Bar 71: See to be seen club
Bar 71 is another popular nightclub in Portland. I think it's just an overpriced club, where people go to be seen, and where girls go way out of their way to get you to buy them drinks. Yet, they still manage to charge you $10 to get in, and there'll never be a drink special. Also, there is only one stall for the men, and one for the women, which becomes worse considering a lot of the clientle goes to the bathroom for alternative reasons......think Scarface...
Nevertheless, this place makes many people happy.
Baracuda: Dance Scene
"The 20-something set converges at this breezy concoction of singles scene-meets-Caribbean island hideout.
Gargantuan faux palm trees line the expansive hardwood dance floor; above, a halo of glowing VIP rooms overlooks the undulating mass of dancers. Four bars, weekend DJs and feisty servers keep the cocktails flowing and party hopping. Though open for dinner, the bar/restaurant is usually dead until after 10pm.
They come for the check-me-out atmosphere, but stay for the stellar mixed drinks and an impressive menu of noshes served all night. Fanciful 60-ounce fishbowls of tropical libations pack a punch and won't be served to parties less than two. Make a friend and try the Cuban Beach Tea, a deliciously potent variation of the mai tai. Appetizers shine, especially the zesty Rasta onion rings, and the prawns dusted in slivers of coconut and flash-fried to crispy perfection. Entrees hold their own, particularly the kebabs and seafood selections. But avoid the sandwiches, which tend toward over-priced blandness."
Dress Code: Dress clothes.
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