Hey Blogtown, remember when there was a tiki bar called Thatch around NE Broadway and 28th? Yeah, that shuttered in May, and was sold to the appropriate hands of Blair Reynolds (of B.G. Reynolds Syrups fame—you've had it in any good tropical cocktail in town). Now it reopens as Hale Pele on Wednesday. Some of your favorite professionals from all over Portland are running the show (familiar faces from Beaker & Flask, The Hop & Vine, Kask, Biwa, and Teardrop Lounge can be seen behind the bar, on the floor, and in the kitchen), so it's sure to score an instant industry clientele, and would make a great local haunt for any NE dweller.
This is coming from someone who doesn't really get the whole tiki-theme appeal—and has a mild allergy to pineapple. However, I sampled their wares at a soft opening last night and I like the food, the drinks, and the booths (possibly the most comfortable kind of restaurant seating in existence). Cocktails are delightfully strong—the Suffering Bastard, a giant glass of gin, bourbon, housemade lime cordial, and bitters is as delicious as it sounds, and the Nui Nui (aged black rum, lime, orange, and B.G, Reynolds' spiced syrups) offers flavors only tiki aficionados might associate with the genre. It's a grown-up tiki bar. The food is similarly mature in concept; Asian-inspired touches abound, like in the incredible Ahi Tuna Poke with ginger, sesame oil, and wakame. Pele Lumpia, housemade spring rolls with pork, bean thread, and taro are tasty as well, and the Koloko Moco, grilled Portugese sausage with scrambled eggs, rice, and a banana sauce, is all you could want for breakfast or a late night snack. Decor is... so tiki, I warned you that I don't love it—but if you like tiki, you will. It's a very cozy bar, with mismatched cutlery and rescued lamps, little details I do appreciate. And I would drink my way through their menu in a drafty attic, so I don't mind all the bamboo at Hale Pele.
Anyway, I think you'll like it. So go pack the house for their opening night! They open at 5 pm on Wednesday, the 29th, for happy hour, which ends at 6 pm... but the tropical drinks flow til 1 am.
- Clare Gordon
- Hale Pele's Soft Opening
Hale Pele is located at 2733 NE Broadway.