The "Serious" Drinker's Guide to Portland Bars 

820 Lounge
820 N Russell, 284-5518

820 would be way more cheesy and yuppie were it not located in North Portland. Thankfully, this non-smoking liquor haven keeps its boozer cred by serving incredible drinks--the Passion Fruit Twirl is my latest favorite, followed by the citrusy Fresh. Before you go, though, just make sure you've got more than two bucks in your checking account. KATIE SHIMER

Acme
1305 SE 8th, 230-9020

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the Mercury is nutso about this newish, noirish bar that resembles something out of a David Lynch movie. Intriguing wooden blinds and mood lighting, a vastly comfortable layout, and entertainment that includes music, local film screenings, and even puppet shows supplement a well-stocked bar and a better-than-average food menu. Frequent Acme so it can become the staple of the lower SE Hawthorne area that it deserves. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

Alibi
4024 N Portland, 287-5335

It can take hours to sing even one karaoke song on a busy night, but this tiki bar has more to offer than just drunks trying to belt out Bon Jovi. Like a plethora of delicious, reasonably priced mixed drinks for instance, and also a friendly wait staff, a free buffet table (NOTE: "Free" does NOT always equal "good"), and a colorful interior design that's somehow both garish and hip. Bad taste never tasted so good. JWS

Ash Street
225 SW Ash, 226-0430

Bike messengers are some of the dirtiest, drunkest, most dysfunctional human beings on the planet--so why do we girls love them so much? 'Cuz they're cute, they smell seductively earthy, and they're drunk enough by 5 pm to ask for our phone numbers during happy hour. Beware the bike messenger, but observe them daily in their natural habitat at the Ash Street (weekdays, from 2 pm on). KS

Basement Pub
1028 SE 12th, 231-6068

In contention for the most poorly ventilated establishment in town, the Basement lives up to its name with cement floors, dark, creepy lighting, and enough cigarette smoke to blacken both your lungs 12 times over. If you can "hack" it (Get it? Hack? Jesus, I'm hilarious.), you'll reap the rewards: Tasty organic beers on tap, hard-to-find pinball machines, and a fantastic jukebox. The Basement's unassuming menu of rice 'n' beans dishes and ramen plates doesn't astound, but most of the items are extremely cheap and far from vomit-inducing. JWS

Belmont Inn
3357 SE Belmont, 232-1998

Stiff drinks, big burgers (garden and no), pool tables, overall lovable diviness, and a friendly bar staff make this big corner bar a regular in my rotation. The only drawback? It's younger, fratty crowd that's peppered with Southeast hippies. However, if we regular drinking folk continue to represent, there will be nothing to worry about. KS

Beulahland
118 NE 28th, 235-2794

Now twice as big and twice as wonderful (Beulahland now has liquor, everyone!), this is the new drinking hub on the 28th & Burnside strip. The bartenders are always friendly, the doors are always open for good airflow, and now they even have a non-smoking room for pussies. Head over on Tuesday nights if you're looking for trivia, and don't forget to heckle the handsome host. KS

Billy Ray's Dive
2216 NE MLK, 287-7254

A long tavern with a long bar and a few tables (plus pool upstairs), Billy Ray's is as comfortable to hang out in as your apartment. A host of regulars line the bar, so if you head over there frequently, you should soon find yourself in the crew. And you should, especially in summer, because the back deck has ping pong tables at which you can take your friends to school. Or if you're me, be schooled. Royally. KS

Bonfire Lounge
2821 SE Stark, 232-3704

The Bonfire is a major staple in the hipster canon (God, I hate that word!), although on weekends it can be a bit of an amateur-fest. Any weekday evening you'll find a host of good-looking people looking good in the dim lighting and eating some of the best bar food in town. Also, there's pool, so you can flirt with said good-looking folk over the shiny balls. KS

Bossanova
722 E Burnside, 233-7855

Bossanova has invented the old school modern day Portland supper club. With a lounge surrounding a huge open room of pool tables, and an upstairs bar which looks down on the action, you always have someone to spy on. So spy away, I say, and do it cheaper daily from 5-8 pm, when Bossanova's paninis, salads, and drinks cost less. KS

CC Slaughters
219 NW Davis, 248-9135

Slaughters' appeal is geared to more than just the tight pants-wearing homosexual with the non-ironic giant belt buckle. This newly remodeled, flashy, queer waterin' hole has everything from a whole night dedicated to watching Queer as Folk, Ab Fab and a gay-themed movie (please, not Lonely Hearts Club again!), to wild dance nights with DJs spinnin' your favorite hiphop. They also have the occasional party (usually having to do with underwear, hairy men, or a color). And oh yeah, Portland's only gay county/western night! BRAD BUCKNER

Chin-Yen
18 NE 28th, 231-7781

Reviewing this bar is like euthanizing my favorite horse--I love the Chin-Yen and I don't want you to go there. If you have to go, prepare yourself for some of the stiffest and cheapest drinks in inner Northeast, served to you by either Lisa or Jen. Lisa will smile and be nice to you. Jen will make fun of your penis, your hair, your faggoty walk, and anything you do to attract attention to yourself. Whatever you do, be nice--the line between being served and being punished at the Chin-Yen is very, very fine. PAUL VERLAINE

Chopsticks Express
2651 E Burnside, 234-6171

One of my good friends has been '86ed from Chopsticks like three times for "dirty dancing," but that doesn't stop us from going back. Chopsticks has ambiance equivalent to a giant arcade, with a karaoke parlor on one side and a lounge stocked with poker machines on the other. Scenesters, regular Joes, frat boys, and slutty drunk girls all happen upon this place at some point during the night, so you've got a good chance of finding someone to go home with. Plus, they have really cold Jägermeister, which gives you an excuse to buy that drunk girl a shot. KS

Club 21
2035 NE Glisan, 235-5690

Known to me and all my boozer friends (aka the Mercury staff) simply as "The Club," I couldn't feel more at home at a bar if there was a bar in my home. Strong drinks, old/young clientele, and really decent bar food, the Club is just as close and far from perfection as a dive bar can get. KS

Conan's
3862 SE Hawthorne, 234-7474

Drinking at Conan's is like drinking in the school gym, except not quite as naughty, and a lot louder. The folks here are nice as hell and not too bent on their Irish theme--although thankfully for Jameson lovers, they did recently start serving liquor. This is a great spot to get lost in because it's huge and people of all types stumble around the room. KS

Crow Bar
3954 N Mississippi, 280-7099

Every time I've been to the Crow Bar, the place has been full of beauties. Beauties at the bar, beauties behind the bar, beauties playing pool, and beauties on the couch. It's true that their bartenders are hunky. I like their dark, seedy-chic atmosphere, and their extreme tolerance of cigarette smoking. EVAN JAMES

Crush
1412 SE Morrison, 235-8150

I've gotta to say it: I've got a little crush on Crush. Formerly a one-room wine bar with tasty food and movies in the bathroom, Crush has recently blossomed, transforming its hideous troll of a next door neighbor (the Morrison Street Pub) into a handsome prince of a queer (yet straight-friendly) club. Two new rooms feature a curvaceous and studly new full-service bar, supple couches, a hot-yet-shy dance floor, and a unisex-y bathroom. Bad boys and girls can smoke in the Vice Room or do it outdoors where there's plenty of seating. (The rest of the bar is smoke free). Check out: Happy Hour all day Tuesdays, their Sunday T-Dance, and other occasional spicy events. BB

Devil's Point
5305 SE Foster, 774-4513

Tiny and inconspicuous looking, Devils Point is actually much bigger than it looks from the street, especially since they knocked down a wall to make way for a pool table. Teeming with strippers and cabaret-style go-go dancers from internet chick showcases like Suicide Girls and Fatal Beauty, this is a good place to go if you like your itty bitty goth dancers tattooed and/or costumed. For whatever it's worth, a TV crew from the Playboy Channel shot some footage there recently and lovvved the place. Plus, they squeeze in rock bands every now and again, so you can get some real culture to go with that drink. MARJORIE SKINNER

Doug Fir
830 E Burnside, 231-9663

All I can say is Portland (and Gresham and Beaverton and Tualatin and Hillsboro) are in a Doug Fir frenzy. Check this stylish urban mountain lodge for a drink on the weekdays, but the weekends are an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Of course, I'm claustrophobic, and I HATE white hats. KS

Driftwood
729 SW 15th (in the Mallory), 223-6311

The Driftwood tends to be a little off the general drinking map, but it shouldn't. This small, brick, forest green, woodsy lounge sits inside the sparkling Hotel Mallory, which adds to its unique flavor. Unless you live super close by, it's easy to feel like you're on vacation in there, because there are no windows to remind you where you are, and how often do you sip your Makers at a hotel in your own town? DELANE WAVERLY

Dunes
1905 NE MLK, 493-8637

Somewhat underground and semi-media shy, Dunes had its clientele established long before members of the local media (who were, by the way, offloading quite a bit of their party funds at the establishment) allowed its name to pass in print. Tiny and inconspicuous, it's a casual and unassuming, yet painfully hip and self-aware spot for a date drink in the earlier hours (yeah, they have hard alcohol now), and a raging party at night. A great spot for dance-inducing live and DJ'd music, there's seems to be some kind of chemical emanating off the walls that turns everyone inside into some kind of disco ninja. Hai! MS

Goodfoot
2845 SE Stark, 239-9292

Upstairs Goodfoot has a beautiful, airy, smartly lit pool hall, while downstairs has a dark smoky lounge complete with a dance floor. So pretty much, they've got it all: Beer, liquor, good food, cute clientele, and two separate, unique spaces in which to mingle. KS

Holman's
15 SE 28th, 231-1093

An institution on 28th Ave before 28th Ave became an institution itself, Holman's has achieved its fame based on the artery-choking greasiness of its food, as well as a huge back patio ideal for whiling away summer hours. Other key highlights are the giant wheel you can spin to win your food for free, as well as the hallowed make-your-own Bloody Mary bar on weekends. Choose from an array of spices and pickled veggies to get your alcohol salad for breakfast just the way you like. It's better than Burger King! MS

Holocene
1001 SE Morrison, 239-7639

Ever since the Holocene opened its doors two years ago, it has won over my little heart in just about every category. The booking is consistently impressive, the space is always beautiful, and the drinks are just as delicious as the bar staff. One of my favorite things to do is to go up to the most gorgeous bartender on the planet and say: "Surprise me." I will then get the best drink I've ever tasted, sigh... and feel like all my sexual fantasies just might come true. DL

Horse Brass Pub
4534 SE Belmont, 232-2202

I've always wanted to be a lot of things--smart, happy, handsome, strong--and of course English. Sadly, about the best I can do to get my British vibe on is going to the Anglo-styled Horse Brass. The most important thing about any bar is how comfortable it is, and Horse Brass is definitely that--with low lighting, rich wood accents, and comfortably ensconced groups of tables and chairs, plus girls, liquor, and a killer beer selection. Man, what a great bar. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Hungry Tiger
2800 E Burnside, 231-1234

Becoming something of a further-east sister bar to the rumpus room that is the Sandy Hut, the Tiger can get pretty wacky, crowded, and smoky on the weekends. It is, however, an extremely choice spot to get tipsy in the afternoon--no one judges you, you will not be alone, and the bartenders are characters with seasoned advice. It is here and then that you can make easy claim to one of the pool tables, and put 30 songs of your choice on the juke without cramping anyone else's style. Plus the food is underrated, so soak up the booze with some seaweed soup! MS

Jolly Inn
1937 SE 11th, 234-7869

This dirty little beer bar hosts goofy punk shows and a shit-ton of regulars, but that's all the more reason to hang out there. The bar always seems to be in a state of transition or disrepair, which makes it a good place for practical jokes. Like one of my favorites, "Steer your drunk friend towards the hole in the floor." KS

Jones'
1621 SE Bybee, 239-5796

Not often do I find myself in Sellwood or Westmoreland, or whatever the hell that part of the city is called, but if I do, I'm at Jones'. Their pub food is delicious (check out brunch), their drinks are strong and tasty, and the woody, sun-lit atmosphere makes you want to stay and drink all day. KS

Kelly's Olympian
426 SW Washington, 228-3669

Where there's a will there's a way, as has been proven by Kelly's, which took an aging Irish pub, transplanted employees from a Japanese karaoke/glam rock bar, hung some vintage chrome on the ceiling, and voila! Portland has a new motorcycle bar! Well, not really, but the glam rockers still came. However, Kelly's has been able to win over riders who'd rather see those bikes on the road than suspended over DJs and beer taps by showing MotoGP races (see sang-froidridingclub.com for a schedule). Plus they continue to host regular live music, and possibly the best bargain on a breakfast plate to be found downtown. MS

The Know
2026 NE Alberta

Recently, I moved within walking distance of all that crap on Alberta, and as far as the non-yuppie bar scene goes, the Know is the best you can get. Right now, they only serve beer, which is sort of a bummer, but they allow chimney-like smoking, there's a heavy cute bike person contingent, and the live shows they host are quirky and fun. Plus, they have wi-fi if you're one of those losers who sits in a bar surfing the net. KS

Langano Lounge
1435 SE Hawthorne, 230-8990

You might miss this lo-pro hole in the wall hiding under Jarra's, especially since it just popped up. Simply decorated (with vintage pews for booth seats, no less), it has a conspiratorial tone to it, like the character of the clientele has yet to be established. They have a full bar, and food from upstairs, which is quite a step up from the fryer. Plus, for all you 21st Century self-preservationist pussies, the front is non-smoking, but there's a quite cozy smoking den, through which you will have to pass us on the way to the can. MS

Low Brow Lounge
1036 NW Hoyt, 226-0200

The Low Brow holds me under a powerful sway. Sure, part of it is because it's like two blocks from my apartment--it's a quick walk there, and an easy stumble back--but I think I'd end up going there a couple of times a week even if I didn't live so close. For one thing, everybody's nice, which goes a long way when you're drinking, either with friends or alone. And: It's really dark in there--which lends the place a great sense of anonymity--but it also has enough cool stuff (the great rotating art displays, Star Trek-y backlit wall of Jägermeister bottles, the black velvet portrait of Elvis crying, the slowly revolving plastic bottle of Miller High Life) to keep it from ever becoming aesthetically boring. EH Lutz 4639 SE Woodstock, 774-0353 Back in the day, the Lutz was a cozy, neighborhood old-man bar--then it was run over for many years by obnoxious, often drugged Reed College students making a direct beeline from the campus library. For some reason the current crop has abandoned it for the shinier lights of the Delta (and Putters?), regardless of the fact that actual Reed College graduates (that would be "Old Reed" kids) still bartend at the Lutz. Apparently, Reed students are no longer in the market for cheap cans of Pabst and pinball, and all the dorm toilets have been outfitted with gold plating. Fine! MS

Mary's
129 SW Broadway, 227-3023

Oh, sweet Mary's. A true hallmark of this town, Mary's is famous for being not only the oldest strip club in this port of depravity, but one of the friendliest. It's also family-owned (by a nice family who likes each other), which is fairly morally progressive. Small and appended to a cheap and delicious taqueria (El Grillo), it's also a hit with visiting celebs and touring bands. It should be on anyone's list of things to hit on a quick and dirty tour de Portland. MS

Marathon
1735 W Burnside, 224-1341

Marathon makes up for its lackluster ambiance by being one of the cheapest spots to score a stiff drink and food. I should know because I used to live right behind it and sustained myself through one of my brokest hours on their vodka well drinks and veggie gyros. Huge and littered with TVs and pool tables, it's great for large groups, as long as you don't mind leaving your club clothes at home. In fact, maybe you should have a rule of only wearing sweatpants to this joint. I could have sworn I saw this dude come out of there with a huge dump running down his jeans. MS

Matador
1967 W Burnside, 222-5822

As I get older, the Matador and I grow further and further apart. Complaints: 1) Will they please change the piece of duct tape that's been holding the women's toilet seat together for the last 10 years? 2) Could they please, please start pouring beer in actual glasses instead of plastic cups that look like glasses? I have spilled beer all over my shirt numerous times after misjudging the weight of my beverage. Also, 3) More hotties need to go there and stop spending all their time at the Towne Lounge. Complaints aside, the Matador is always a dank, smoky classic that treats you just like a dysfunctional family. KS

Muu-Muus
612 NW 21st, 223-8169

Somehow, despite it's location on 21st, Muu-Muus manages not to succumb to complete yuppiness. No, I would not go to Muu-Muus on a weekend night, but after a Tuesday night movie at Cinema 21 you can't get a better order of garlic green beans and whiskey ginger. KS

My Father's Place
523 SE Grand, 235-5494

Strong drinks. Check. Mass amounts of cigarette smoke. Check. Comfy booths. Check. Excessive amounts of mingling. Check. At least five people you've met before. Check. Water easily accessible when you become too drunk. Check. Pool tables. Check. A Makers neat with a beer back for $4. Check. Alrighty then. KS

New Old Lompoc
1616 NW 23rd, 225-1855

Lompoc has one the largest, most wonderfully secluded drinking patios in the city, and lots of raucous clientele of all ages to fill it up. Plus, Jerry the owner is one of the nicest guys ever, so if you're thinking about going to McMenamins, head over to the Lompoc instead and give him your dollar. KS

Night Light
2100 SE Clinton, 731-6500

One of several new hot spots coming out of Clinton Street, the Night Light has one of the best happy hours in the area (3-7 pm), when the eclectic menu of cheap eats double-teams with $1 glasses of wine and $2 well drinks. I also recommend their comfortable seating; the booths alone are spacious and plush enough to make you stay around for another drink. EJ

Paddy's
65 SW Yamhill, 224-5626

This bar brags that they have the largest liquor selection in the Northwest (lots of scotches and whiskeys) and I'm not arguing with them. Insanely high booths make this a good place for an afternoon meeting or a late night make-out. Even though this bar is downtown and hosts lots of business folk and club hopping types, it still manages to keep a low-key neighborhood feel. KS

Porky's
835 N Lombard, 283-9734

Although Lombard seems like the North Pole to anyone living south of Burnside, get over it. No, the average sleepy afternoon at Porky's isn't going to change your life (friendly staff, pretty stiff drinks, mellow), Porky's throws tons of shows and the longstanding "Booty" queer night, which draws out all the gayest party people. Plus, they have jello shots, should you be so inclined, and vegan ones to boot. MS

Pub at the End of the Universe
4107 SE 28th, 238-9355

Hands down the most labyrinthine bar I've been to in Portland. Hanging out there feels like being in a haunted house thick with cigarette smoke and pool sharks. The drinks are cheap and the space is huge, which makes it the perfect solution to a big group of thirsty friends. Did I mention you can smoke there? You can hardly smoke anywhere anymore, and you can REALLY smoke at the PATEOTU. EJ

Rose & Raindrop
532 SE Grand, 238-6996

I think I've described this place 30 times, and there's still no other way to do it: It's like an early-century hotel bar. Intimate tables with cushy rolling chairs are a commodity, but a spot at the bar will guarantee you get your whiskey quick. The food at the Rose and Raindrop is a little overpriced, but if you take your friend who works at Nike, you can show 'em some culture, and make 'em pay. KS

Sabala's
4811 SE Hawthorne, 238-1646

What was the Mt. Tabor is now Sabala's, and hosts dirty rock shows, metal, rockabilly, and at least one annual Clutch show. Clutch rules. Anyway, they've also set up the lovely Sideshow Lounge where they show movies with beer and crap like that. If you haven't put Sabala's on your radar yet (understandable--they are far down Hawthorne), do it now, because they've been presenting all sorts of wacky activities you don't want to miss. Examples: jello wrestling, Bloody Mary movie Saturdays, and most recently, a chili cook off. Chili rules. KS

Sandy Hut (aka "The Slut"),
1430 NE Sandy, 235-7972

I've had a long sordid history with the Sandy Hut, but one I am not too quick to terminate. If you're on the prowl for dudes, this is the spot. My friend Susan and I used to go there weekly and never leave without at least one phone number or half-drunk boy in tow. Also, I met my last two boyfriends there--but that's borderline pathetic. If you haven't been to the Slut before, the singles bar portrait I've painted will seem insane once you step through the door, but trust me, when it comes to booze and sex, I know what I'm talking about. KS

Sassy's
927 SE Morrison, 231-1606

Short of traveling to the giant stripper houses in suburbs like Beaverton and Milwaukie, Sassy's is just about the only "normal" strip joint in town. Normal being a little less typically Portland (e.g. punked-out chicks with body art, hipster strip-wear, etc.) and more classic perfect 10s (implants). Still, it shares the coziness of a local joint, as well as the OLCC's unintentionally hilarious signs about drunkenness emblazoned above the bar. MS

Shanghai Tunnel
211 SW Ankeny, 220-4001

Great food, tons of smoke, and a nice cocktail don't go together better than at the Shanghai Tunnel. You're always bound to run into someone in this cave-like underground tunnel, but due to the extremely low lighting, you're not required to talk to them. KS

Shanghai Steakery
16 NW Broadway, 228-9325

Honestly, most of you probably are not ready for the Steakery, pronounced by one of my friends as the "Shanghai Sketchery." The Steakery is sort of a gay bar, but apart from the odd drag queen or pair of male-clad Daisy Dukes, it's hard to tell. An awesome place to completely waste away the entire day, the Steakery's happy hour runs for an astonishingly lengthy amount of time, and includes rock bottom prices on wells that are bigger than your face. An eclectic music selection inspires the odd mid-afternoon dance party, and there's a pool table for the precious minutes when you have motor control. MS

Slabtown
1033 NW 16th, 223-0099

As far as rocker hangouts go, Slabtown is relatively mellow and clean, with bright, vintagey dcor and food that definitely doesn't fall into that "last resort" category. They do a fair amount of live music, ranging from drugged out and doomy to bluegrass and folky. Its general cheeriness makes it a nice place for shows that might otherwise be a little overwhelming, and it's a perfectly pleasant spot for just hangin' during the off hours as well. MS

Slow Bar
533 SE Grand, 230-7767

Slow Bar, hands down, has the best bar food in the city. I often hit them for lunch because it's totally not crowded, there's always a big booth for me and my buddies, and I can down an incredible Bloody Mary to curb the hangover suffering. At night, the crowd is part tough guy, part slutty chicks (me included), and part hipster, which equals a good destination spot, even on the weekend. KS

Space Room
4800 SE Hawthorne, 235-8303

The Space Room only allows you to order two of their fishbowl-size Long Beach cocktails, and for good reason. They taste like friggin' Kool-Aid, and after only two you'll find yourself squatting on the side of the highway slobbering and pissing. No, the drinks don't make you piss on the highway, it was just one of those personal incidents I'm remembering. Learn from me and drink responsibly. KS

Spare Room
4830 NE 42nd, 287-5800

I'm not sure if the Spare Room is named as such because it used to be a bowling alley or what, but it certainly feels about the size of one. Sectioned off into several lairs, including a huge dining area, a little bar, and a pool room, the place is vast, giving you free range to move about without constant surveillance from anyone. MS

Speakeasy
609 1/2 SE Taylor, 234-8991

I've always dreamed of having a bar in my apartment building, and when I've dreamed it, it's been the Speakeasy. The vibe is as mellow as the name sounds, and they close early, but for an after-work vodka tonic and shuffleboard game, this is the spot. KS

Suki's
2401 SW 4th, 226-1121

Probably under most citizens' radar, Suki's is a surprisingly large bar connected to a Travel Lodge. Its dark leather booths and red walls make it almost as intriguing as other hotel-bar favorites like the Mallory, but with more sunlight. Equipped with a pool table, a dance floor, and a karaoke machine, it's a good alternative to cheesy sports bars like the Cheerful Tortoise, should you find yourself in the neighborhood. MS

Tonic
3100 NE Sandy, 238-0543

Until recent months, the Tonic has only been a place for weird shows, DJ nights, and Mercury events. It's quite a cavernous space, and gets props for spacing the bar far enough from the music that you can talk or rock depending on your preference. Now, though, they're serving lunch on their sunny patio--and although I'm not sure how good it is, it's worth a try. At the very least you can skip the burger and enjoy a hearty liquid lunch in the sun. KS

Towne Lounge
714 SW 20th Pl, 241-8696

From the people who brought you longstanding hotspot the Matador comes this little tucked away joint. Opened amid insta-buzz from the hard drinking hipster crowd, its low profile location made it an immediate hit for all the lower-income see-and-be-seen whores. With big-ass booths and a smoky atmosphere, it's comfortable without being particularly pretentious, and the booking for live music is definitely above par for a venue of its size. MS

Triple Nickel
3646 SE Belmont, 234-7215

I'll never forgive the clients of the Triple Nickel for waking me up at four in the morning with a drunken chorus of "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog." I think that pretty much tells you what it's like there. On the plus side, you can really smoke there, and there's always, always a crowd of people, so you can smoke and not be lonely to boot. EJ

Tube
18 NW 3rd, 241-8823

The Tube should change its name to Tube Steak, with all the hotties that come in and out of there--from your dirt-chic messengers to your velvet-blazered art dorks. For some reason this seems particularly prevalent on Sunday nights, so ladies mark your day planners. And, even if you're not lust-driven, the Tube is good for funky atmosphere with surprisingly cheap deals, fantastic vegan food (some of the healthiest dished across any bar in town), and you never feel like a loser when you're there alone because you can always watch the closed-captioned movies playing on the row of TVs lining the bar. MS

The Vern
2626 SE Belmont, 233-7851

One night, a truck smashed the shit out of the "TAVERN" sign hanging above the door to "Hannigan's Tavern," demolishing the "TA" and leaving just "VERN." A dive gem for years, the Vern went through a dark period of horrible remodeling... but... good news! The Vern is again seedily habitable for those seeking a cold, cheap beer. A true tavern, the absence of booze is refreshing in a town overrun with fancy cocktails, and a new offering of surprisingly good burgers and the best juke around justify me saying--the Vern is back! PV

Yur's
717 NW 16th, 224-0160

My latest favorite bar, Yur's is located right off the 405 in Northwest, and is a place you'd never go into if you didn't know better. A row of comfortable booths and a long bar make it a great place to meet friends or drink alone, and pool tables in the back will keep your boyfriend entertained while you gossip with the girls. Be warned: This is a world class dive, but one that stocks cute indierockers, students, and even professionals. Professional drinkers, that is. KS

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