Drexler McStyles resides in Portland, OR with his wife Nicole and their finches: Isis and Dylan. Born near Denver, Colorado in 1974, he spent most…
tapping the source
Dropped in here opening night (or re-opening night, depending on your vintage). Place was a'hummin with folks from all walks of life. Old timers congregating at the head of the bar, reminiscing about the good ole days and bitching about how beer aint a buck anymore and how the bartenders (of 2 hours) dont know their names. Couple of punks slummin in the back booth, suckin at some Hamms ($2), eying the pinball machines. Friends of the neighborhood fleshing out the tables along the wall, picking curiously through the menus for their dinner. 30-somethings pinned to their bar stools, taking in the new and waxing nostalgic over those summer nights just out of sight; this is the scene I stepped into as I crossed the threshold for the first time.
I really like the Lutz. You cant help but feel youre standing in a place with some history behind it. Theyve done a great job of emphasizing the original streamlined layout by stripping away anything that remotely belongs to the 21st century (digital jukebox and a single HDTV are the only exceptions). The bar is at least 20 stools long, maybe more. The pale blue formica counter top looks original, red leather booths too. Sparsely placed throughout are '60's and '70's breweriana. Some of the stuff is from brands long defunct and I think that speaks to the genre of the place youre sitting in; an era revived.
Anyhow, enough on that. Let get to practicalities; Booze. Liquor selection is pretty standard, with a small crush on Bourbon (Black Maple Hill?! Hello!). Pleasantly, I noticed a complete absence of bottles of the 'spring break' variety. By this I mean; no Peachtree, no Apple Pucker, no Buttershots. In fact; there are no Schnapps of any kind. Though they obviously didnt want an all out war, because I did spy a bottle of Jagermeister back there. So they did throw the kids at least one bone. The Lutz definitely does not seem interested in being a college sports bar (there are all ready a couple of those across the street). It seems to be a neighborhood place with emphasis on conversation and cocktails. Not that there are any shortages on the Beer front. 8 on tap, with the only swill being the aforementioned Hamms. No Budweiser of any kind means room for other brews, and I like it. 5 different $2 Tallboys (rumor has it that the famous can press opener thing-a-majiggy has a brother that will be appearing on the bar sometime soon) and a nice variety of bottles means that only a clown couldnt be happy here. The Cocktails I had were all plenty strong and my 'reprise from Whiskey' Beer was crisp and cool. No complaints on that end. Service was very good. Especially for an opening night, Nicole (our bartender) is obviously a vet of some other good fight, and kept us happy throughout.
I decided to come back last night with my wife for dinner. Place was much more mellow this time around. Different bartender, same strong drinks. I figured the Lutz Burger ($7) would be the way to go. My 'Lettuce and Cheese only, Sauce on the side' made it up through the chain of command just fine. All in all; a better than most bar burger. Obviously no frozen meat from a box is used here. Im guessing this guy was a 1/3 pounder. Stout Bun and a plethora of Cheese and shredded Lettuce. Fistfull of Shoestring Fries didnt leave me feeling like I ate a pound of deep fried artery killers, which was a kind deception on their part. Mrs. McStyles had the Knuckle Sandwich, which is clever code for what is commonly referred to as a Club. I kind of Guffawed at the $9 price tag, but once it came out and I realized that it was really 2 meals in one, I simmered down. It tasted like good times were comin. The Sourdough (from Portland French Bakery, I came to learn) and house smoked Meats left nothing to question, except how we were going to finish the damn thing. Onion Rings might be house made, might not be. Whatever they are, they were mighty fine.
So yes, as I said earlier, I really dig The Lutz. It comes across as a place where adults can come to converse without playing second fiddle to 'the game'. Yet, it doesnt look down on the simple bar room pleasures like a game of pool or pinball either. The entire bar is lit pretty dimly and I think that fosters a tranquil vibe over the proceedings, even when the jukebox is screaming headlong into the night. I didnt mention the patio out back because I dont smoke, but there you go; it there for the taking, if you so desire. Yes, The Lutz is a treasure certainly worth checking out; as traditions are sometimes meant to be reborn.
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"Several sounded like they came from Sheridans, where a sausage will probably set you back $2"
No, I buy uncooked sausage from Sheridan all the time. Theyre usually just over $3. I believe when they grill them out front theyre 5 or 6 bucks. The Wurst sells them for $6.75 or $7.50. Everything in your post is over exaggerated. Though I agree that there is no place in Portland for $12 cocktail menus. Certainly not on E. Burnside....
Their sausages come from Sheridan fruit Co. I recognized them by their names. Sheridan makes some fantastic sausages. I will agree, a $12 (?!) cocktail list? Yeah, thats gonna work.....
Their Sausages come from the folks over at Sheridan. I recognized them by their names. Sheridan makes some incredible sausages....
Would you be comfortable going into a predominantly black bar in north portland and using that word? Would you be confused as to why you were picking up all your teeth off the ground as a result of it? Common sense is all we ask.
You may be technically correct about the use of the word niggardly. However, who are you trying to kid? This term is 'good ol' boy' grotesque and automatically conjures an ugly, racist image. Im the last guy to jump on the crybaby, PC bandwagon, but in a town with a historically poor racist background regarding minorities, you might have at least used some common sense to avoid this conversation.
Awesome. Theyre moving the toilets away from the street and right up against my back yard, next to the trash bins. Joe was out there overseeing this and I went and talked to him about it and he say "Thats just part of life in the city". Wow, so fucking glad I helped support to get this pod re-opened so he could completely fuck us like this. Look forward to the smell and noise of them vacuuming the shit out twice a week at 7 AM. Douchebag
Nice to see that they fired the jackass that wrote this article. After all, journalism of all most any kind does require at least a small bit of factual accountability.
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