Dark, red, fun! Dante's is a great spot for drinks and to catch a show. Although a bit on the "alterative entertainment side" with Sinferno Cabaret, Karaoke from Hell (live band backing you up) and a few electronica eact and erotica acts to keep you on your toes.
Nothing too out there and not a goth crowd as you might expect.
Fun place to catch some good, or really bad music. Good bartender and half of the place is walled off bright and much quieter for those wishing to escape the flame lit entertainment side.
Lots of live local music, but that isn;t always a good thing.
Dress Code: Black. Can't go wrong with black, but otherwise pretty casual.
Alcoholic?...Dont't really care about all these bars with music listed in my travelogue, and just wanna' know where to get trashed in Portland and Seattle...and for as little money as possible? Get yourself to the websight below for the online version of this little PDX mag called Barfly. Barfly has the most complete listing of bars, with band schedules, happy hour listings and club listings. They also have neat little events like the Dysfunctional Family Feuds, and Stupid Contests. The Barfly bus is an old school bus that goes around town to all of the coolest little unknown bars, and allows you to get tanked without having to be designated driver for your useless friends. The last issue stated that "pukers and lightweights not admitted" so be forewarned. Its like college again, only with Charles Bukowski as your professor!
Love it or hate it, Dantes is now a portland institution. Nestled on the downtown side of the Burnside bridge, Dantes is a little slice of sin in a seedy area of downtown. Despite being a bit expensive for drinks, (go to the Shanghai down the block between songs) and a little pretentious when it opened, Dantes is finally coming into its own. The bartenders can be hard to reach sometimes, but are now some of the friendliest around. Storm Large, (of that awful show Rockstar-Supernova) used to 'tend there. The small firepit near the back is great, and Dantes is one of the few places in town to get New York style pizza. The music varies, ranging from local bands to the legendary punk band X, who decided to play there after being dissatisfied with playing huge places like the Roseland and the Crystal Ballroom. For those that are a bit more adventurous, check out Sinferno late Sunday nights. Local strippers do a cabaret style event with fire dancers, good music, and go go girls on glass catwalks overhead. There is also a corner window that serves the second best New York style pizza in town. Also across the street....Voodoo Doughnuts.
Dunes has no sign, no advertising, not much of anything to get people there except word of mouth. That doesn't seem to be a problem though, as Dunes seems to be packed three out of four times I go there. Its tiny, it can get way too hot and crowded, but they make mean mint juleps, and the owner kicks ass. There are bands playing most nights, and dance parties others. The crowds are often hipsters and models, but for the most part, Dunes seems to feel like a time warp into the mid nineties. I came there with eleven friends one night, as the owner was about to close. He stayed open an extra three hours while we drunkenly sang along to Alice Cooper songs on the old jukebox in the corner. Seeing him a few days later, a friend asked him about that night. He responded "I had alot of fun, you guys broke a whole lot of Sh::". When we apologized for that , he replied- "no, that is what this place is for..." And that is why I love Dunes.
Dante's is a dark and mysterious bar with some incredible alternative and on-the-edge performances and shows. This fantastic roomie establishment is one of the better hangouts in the Portland area. If you're in town, this is the place to be. You'll always love the nights entertainment. Good drinks and good ambience. Dante's will burn your soul. Rated 5 stars out of 5. Visited 10/2005.
Mardi Gras at THE LOTUS Card Room and Cafe !
- Don't let the name fool you. I've never seen any cards, and I'd hardly that counter a cafe.
All year round this is a great place to go. I think they are closed on Monday or Tuesday but the rest of the time, it's the place to be. The back dance floor looks like it is in a dark cave, with at least 25 foot ceilings, and the cage above usually has some hottie grinding around up there.
Dress Code: Dress code is all over the board. Some people will be wearing jeans and a night-out top. Some girls are dressed for cosmo photo shoots, and some people are all gothed out. Generally normal club clothes, or dressy casual (dockers) will keep you in the majority. But SEXY is IN!
Oba's! is where I go when I miss the Bay Area California. It is where you can see more silicon than anywhere else in the city.
The crowd is a little older (26-35 on average),
thus more money and oh so much more cheese that goes with people that age still hitting the bars.
It is one of the hipper spots, but when hitting the bar expect a wait for a table, service, etc...
This is where a lot of very pretty people and older (over the hill) strippers come to drink. I swear the scrunched up leopard cowboys hats have to go...
People watching is a must. You can see plenty of crash and burns.
Dress Code: Traditionally no jeans or sneakers. But still pretty dress casual, it is after all Portland and some dorky local will wear shorts and sneakers...
Vegas-style cabaret revues that are comical and entertaining. I went to Darcelle’s with You MUST be 21 with a valid ID. some friends for a bachelorette party but people go just to go. Darcelle is usually out doing the meet and greet thing as you some in and is the MC for the show. It’s something worth seeing even if only once.
FYI - On the weekends, after the drag show they have a male stripper thing. I’m not recommending it because I have seen better, but it was amusing. It is like watching the bad audition tapes for the Chip and Dale rejects.
Dress Code: Come as you are. Some dress up some dress down some you wonder what they were thinking when they walk out the door.
Get a team of people together who know lots of stuff about lots of things and try to answer 25 questions; bonus questions put your score over the top. Mind you, the questions are hard. Eg: What year was Pluto discovered? Who was the creator of Tarzan? Who produced the PC "Junior"? Bonus: What year did it come out? What famous guitarist played on Michael Jackson's "Beat It"? Bonus: What year did it come out? Etc.
Small, smoky bar. Will pull a pint from the tap or give you a glass of mead. Food also available. Service is pretty mediocre but you go for the trivia!
Dress Code: Anything from the black hair, horn-rimmed glasses wearing set to people in button up shirts with sweaters over them to cargo pants and t-shirts. Just wear clothes and you'll be fine.
Lush has something for any mood. The main level has a bustling stainless steel bar surrounded by roomy booths w/ velvet curtains. The downstairs bar has plush couches, red lighting and leopard carpet to add a lounge type feel. During nice weather the outdoor courtyard has a cash only bar and candlelit tables. If you're interested in dancing to techno/house music, just check out the Level nextdoor.
Dress Code: Whatever you wear, make sure you dress to impress. This is a place where people expect to see and be seen.
You will be suspicious when you see the entrance. Keep moving. Inside is the largest collection of local Portland riff-raff, deadbeats, freaks and other various and sundry local characters. And they're all... really cool people. You'll see punk rockers, goths, hippies, hipsters, and pseudo-yuppies all living in harmony and drinking the $3 well drinks and $1.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon pints. Never pretentious, always fun. Strike up a conversation with someone you usually wouldn't - you won't be disappointed. I'll see you there.
Dress Code: Whatever you want, as long as you don't mind it being permeated by smoke.