Bagdad Theatre (movie theatre): Movies with a Place to Put your Beer
Update: Sadly, when the movie industry converted to digital release only, the Bagdad had to upgrade their projection system. This means that they are no longer able to show second run films at $3 a ticket. Instead, they are showing more recent movies and charging a higher price to offset the cost of having to purchase a new all digital system. Typical prices now are $9 after 5 pm and $7.50 before 5 pm.
An added update to the system: it is now possible to purchase tickets on the Bagdad Theatre's web site. This costs $1 extra.
End of Update Notice
The Bagdad is one of Portlands old movie theatres, dating back to a time when live orchestras were required as musical accompanyment to silent films.
The theatre was purchased by the McMenamin brothers and added to their now substantial empire of old buildings that have been restored and renovated to a condition that appeals to more modern audience.
What was once the dressing room for the orchestra is now the "Backstage Pub" and other drinking and establishments (Bagdad Theatre Pub and Greater Trumps) are part of the same building.
However, by far the largest purpose for the theatre remains: enjoying a movie. These days, however, about half of the seats in the theatre have been removed to make way for tables, and beer and pizza are available for purchase - as well as a number of other beverages and food common in any McMenamin's establishment. Most of the beers are McMenamins brewed specialties from their own breweries.
Movies used to be entirely second-run, but in recent years (see update at top of tip) they have had to concentrate on newer digital releases in order to pay for the upgrade of their projection system. When second-run films are showing, chances are what you are seeing here is something you have already seen, or maybe it is out on DVD already. $3 a movie is no longer possible.
The name of the theatre comes from the age of film when movies transported people to exotic, far away locations. The entire theatre has been decorated to inspire thoughts of a grand Middle Eastern palace or Turkish bath house, or some other such grand building of the Middle East.
While the movies are the primary attraction, check the schedule on the web site, as there are other special events here. In the past, this has included authors from Powell's Books (Powell's Books on Hawthorne is basically across the street), presentations on solar power, and various other one-time showings. At one time the Battlestar Galactica TV series was showing on the big screen on Friday nights with an appearance by a local actor that made it big in that series. Big sports events may also make an appearance here on the big screen.
As the facility serves alcohol, those under 21 are sometimes excluded from entering, but the typical policy today (depending on what is going on) is that minors are allowed with a guardian or parent that is over the age limit.
It should be notice that there are from time to time there are "Mommy Matinees" ("Crying babies are welcome" says the advertisements) or other special showings that are a more general all ages category.
Dress Code: Pacific Northwest Casual: wear some sort of clothing. The theatre (as are virtually all public establishments in Multnomah County) is non-smoking.
EVERYWHERE: Strip Clubs galore
Portland has a lot of these things- breweries/pubs, bookstores, coffee houses, churches and strip clubs.
Don't ask me why, but you can't throw a stone without hitting a strip joint in Portland. They are everywhere downtown, East Side and all the surrounding areas.
If it is your deal, you'll be even more impressed that they serve alcohol at all the 21 and up clubs.
Not that I know...but I hear the ones to hit are Sassy's (small but hotties), Acropolis (Eastside, great steaks), Stars (South of the city, Vegas Style). There is something for everyone here.
Expects women club goers too. Since there are so many, usually no covers and local women see them as no big deal. Don't expect them there to meet you though.
Stay away from the juice bars (18 & up). They are just terrible unless you are a teen. Not that I know.
FYI, don't expect lap dances. Not part of the deal. Ah well, at least you can cry over a beer here.
Number of strip clubs in Portland, OR (pop. 437, 319): 65 - per capita we're number 1...good or bad thing you decide. And always new ones opening.
Dress Code: No dress code, just be sure to wear pants.
Just remember to stick to the mainstream. With so many, kind of like having 6 new expansion teams in baseball- the talent gets spread thin...
Brazen Bean: $3 martinis
I love this place. In a neighborhood known for high prices, you can still get a $3 drink.
Okay, so you can only get that deal Mon-Fri 5-8 pm, but still... Located in the upper portion of an old Victorian house on NW Glisan right before you get to 21st (walking distance to one of Portland's two HI hostels), this martini/cigar bar has a great martini menu. My favorite is their lavender martini, but they have quite a few to choose from.
Ah, and one of my friends that likes chocolate has said their fondue for two is almost better than sex. ;)
Dress Code: Dress code??? This is Portland. Dress codes barely exist.
Scandals Bar & Nightclub: Quieter Atmosphere
This is a good club if you're looking for something a little quieter than the SILVERADO. Complete with pooltable, dart boards and video poker machines, this bar is the place to go if you're not looking for a huge crowd on the weekends but still want some fun in that otherwise dull weekend.
Dress Code: Clothes are a good idea!
Portland City Grill: Start your evening at the "Big Pink"
Portland City Grill is located on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp Tower, better known as "Big Pink", the second tallest building in Portland. It's often described as the restaurant offering the best view in the city, and it's especially popular for happy hour. We showed up on a Wednesday night and the place was packed! Judging by the way people were dressed, most of them had obviously come straight from work, but the atmosphere was still pretty casual so we didn't feel out of place wearing jeans. Of course, all the tables by the windows were taken but when I asked a couple if I could squeeze in just to take a picture, they actually invited us to take a seat since they were about to leave (score!!). I ordered a sunberry martini while Sylvain went for a mojito, and we also ordered some happy hour snacks - the mini-burgers were especially good, and although drinks were more expensive than what we paid elsewhere during happy hour, it was totally worth paying a bit more to enjoy the view of downtown Portland at night. No wonder it's one of the city's most popular spots!
Dress Code: Semi-casualRelated to:
- Food and Dining
Southpark Wine Bar: Nice wine bar in downtown Portland
My friend Sylvia presented a paper at the Jane Austen Society of North America AGM we were both attending and to celebrate how well she did, we decided to head out for a glass of wine before the closing banquet. We followed the concierge's recommendation and walked over to Southpark Wine Bar. Southpark is actually divided into two sections: there's a seafood grill and a wine bar. Both offer a really nice ambience, perhaps less casual than other places we'd been to, but still affordable and the staff was very friendly. We ordered some marinated olives and fried chickpeas (only $4 each and really good, especially the chickpeas), and sampled a couple of Oregon wines that our waiter recommended. I very much enjoyed the loungy atmosphere of the place, and Southpark turned out to be the perfect place to celebrate, chat and relax once the conference was over!
Dress Code: Dressy casual?!Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Kells Irish Pub: Every night's an Irish night!
Kells Irish Pub is supposed to be one of the best Irish pubs in the United States (at least according to food critic Tom Horan), and it certainly is one of the city's most popular nightlife spots. I think what's made this pub a favourite with locals and visitors alike are its great happy hours followed by live Irish music every night of the week - so if you ever find yourself in Portland, say, on a rainy Tuesday night, you always have a place to go for good food and entertainment! We stopped by Kells for happy hour early on a Friday night and already the place was getting crowded, and there was a nice atmosphere all around. There was an impressive selection of appetizers offered at only $3 each, so my friend Sylvia and I decided to share a plate of Irish nachos (like regular nachos but with deep-fried potato slices instead of chips) and the gorgonzola spread. Both were really good and very filling! We washed it all down with a few pints of Black & Tan, and although we couldn't stay for the music session (we had a date with Darcelle that night!), we did hear some of it on our way back to the hotel and the band sounded amazing. This is definitely a place I wouldn't mind visiting again on another trip!
Dress Code: CasualRelated to:
- Food and Dining
Darcelle XV: Nope, that's no lady!
Darcelle XV has been around for an impressive 37 years, and Darcelle herself turned 80 years old in November 2010. But this Las Vegas-style cabaret show is so much fun, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it's been running for so long. We attended the 8:30 pm show on a Friday night and the crowd was large enough to create a nice atmosphere, but at the same time it was small enough that the performers could interact directly with the crowd - a young man with nice curly hair was especially popular with the ladies! And even I got to exchange a few words in French with Darcelle :o) The show includes a good mix of stand-up comedy and music, with the cast impersonating the likes of Cher, Liza Minnelli and a rather unforgettable rhinestone cowboy. As the MC said, bring your camera and make sure to take pictures because no one will believe you were there - definitely something fun and different to do in Portland!
Dress Code: CasualRelated to:
- Gay and Lesbian
ID for non Americans
I was refused admission to a couple of bars on Saturday because I did not have appropriate id. I had my EU driving license and while that was fine for most places, a couple of places (one of them was Dixie) said that by state law the only acceptable id for non Americans is a passport.
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall: by all means, bring your dog, borrow a dog
We were not really planning on going to the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall. We had already been to both Deschutes and Bridgeport that day but it was still beautiful out and I wanted to go for a walk. Of course, it didn't seem to matter that it was in the entirely opposite direction of our motel. We arrived at the cavernous aptly named beer hall to find it empty but in the rear it resembled a beer garden cum frat party. It was packed but we found a couple of open seats at a bench and blended in. We might have been east coasters but with so much Oregon beer coursing through our veins, we were nearly locals.
With a name like Lucky Labrador, you might expect a few dogs but this place is VERY dog friendly and it seems everyone there had a dog with them. We had a very cool dog at the table next to us. We kind of felt like he was ours and he liked our scent. We probably smelled like pizza. You had to go in and get your beer at the bar and the bartender may have been cute but she was clueless about beer, a hard thing to even imagine in Portland. I tried a couple tasters while in there but nothing really hit me so I went with their IPA and safely got Doreen their nitro poured Irish Stout. Mine was deep golden with a floral nose and bitter finish. After the cask beers at Bridgeport, it seemed a bit fizzy and harsh. Doreen's Stout was smooth and roasty with a bittersweet finish. We enjoyed our beers as the sun went down and cast warm hues on the brewery's cleverly adorned exterior. Worth the short detour but certainly not necessary that night. With more nights in Portland, it could be a sure stop, especially if you have a dog. Cost: $11.
Dress Code: Woof woof.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
The lotus: The Lotus
For after work drinks, The Lotus is a great place to go. The bartender Christian that works on Thursday and Fridays during happy hour is the best bartender I have seen. You'll never have to wait for a drink while you are there, he is always on it and keeping an eye on what each table needs. Food is good for bar food standards. FAT TUESDAYS ARE ALWAYS A BLAST!!!!!
They always put on an amazing mardi gras celebration. Ive been two years in a row now. Super fun. You can earn your beads the old fashioned way. Always live music, dancing, Drinks,Drinks,Drinks! There are bars available ever room your in. People really get into the spirit of mardi gras!
Dress Code: No dress code.Related to:
- Road Trip
Kay's Bar: Dive Bar
If you enjoy an atmosphere of a dive bar, then Kay's is exactly what you're looking for. They have reasonably priced, stiff drinks and interesting selection of bar food. We were there on a Monday Night, which is their Karaoke Night. It was pretty crowded for a Monday.
Dress Code: Definitely no dress code required, it's a dive bar.
XV as in roman numeral 15: Good Place to Start the night
Great place to start the night with dinner and drinks or just drinks. Get there before 9pm and it might be kinda dead (great if you want to get a seat) Get there after 11 and its packed. Drinks are good and they have a slightly unusal mixed list that are almost all somewhat sour and strong.
Dress Code: Usually a young professional crowd (mid-late 20somethings) some afterwork crowd dressed up, but plenty of people are casual as well.
Voodoo Donut Shop: Cock and Balls
Dress Code: If you live anywhere near downtown Portland or are one of the many that have frequent late nights in the bridge city you have either heard of or most likely visited The Voodoo Donut Shop. They open sometime after 10pm and entertain all of the late night party animals and drunks until about 10am. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday they actually grace us with their presence starting at 8am. They are closed Sunday night though! Whoo hoo!
If you go you need to order the Cock and Balls. It looks just like it sounds! The cock and balls are filled with a yummy cream and as you will see in the pix – it can make for a mess. Don’t they always! =)
They have a huge variety of your not so normal donuts and one glazed donut that looks like it was made for the Jolly Green Giant. If you can finish this HUGE donut in a certain amount of time they will refund you the purchase price. I have never attempted it but you can see pix of others that have on the walls of the shop.
They also have bands that will come in and put on a show in the smallest and tallest stage you have ever seen. Trust me – it is worth trying to catch a gig.Related to:
- Road Trip
Vault Martini: Seven Deadly Sins
This place has the most extensive martini menu. It's just as fun to read the drink descriptions as it is to drink them. This place is great for Happy Hour or later in the night. There are some tables outside facing out to the street so you can enjoy the outside and people watch. The inside is ver chic and modern. They have comfy couches and a fire place.
Try the habanero martini, you won't be disappointed.
Dress Code: Nothing special.
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