Good news, Old Portland. Those rumors you’ve been hearing (and possibly spreading) are untrue—namely that the building housing the SE Belmont dive, Hanigan’s Tavern, lovingly known as The Vern, will not be reimagined as some redeveloped multi-story condo building.
According to Warren Boothby and Marcus Archambeault—the duo behind Gold Dust Meridian, the Lay Low, and the Elvis Room to name just a few—the building will be saved along with (thanks to them and the building owner) Hanigan’s, which Boothby says should open up early next year.
“We used to hang out at there a lot 20 years ago, and we want it to feel like home again for those who remember it as a place where you could be super comfortable and that wasn’t pretentious,” Boothby says.
When he and Archambeault take possession of the space in January, they’ll spend the next couple of months doctoring up the place by adding more vintage furniture and ephemera, including bottles from his and Archambeault’s vintage booze collection.
It’s still too early to say what their revamped menu will look like, but Boothby says they’ll try to mirror the menus at their other bars and restaurants by keeping drinks and dishes “quality, local, and affordable.”
The things that won’t change are the pool tables and pinball machines. They’ll stay, as will the long-neglected neon sign that once flashed “VERN” after a decades-old auto accident 86d the “TA” in “TAVERN.”
The things that will change? Boothby says Hanigan’s will soon live under the banner The Vern, and plans are in place to give that old neon Vern sign some new glow again.
When it opens at 2622 SE Belmont, The Vern will likely keep the regular daily hours of 2 pm to 2:30 am.
Stay tuned for future Vern developments.