Sad news for vegans, mason jar cocktail fanciers, and anybody in the Sunnyside neighborhood just jonesing for a jerk tofu bowl come March: Hip neighborhood bar Sweet Hereafter announced yesterday that February will be its last month open.

"We had a wonderful 13 year run, but the last few years have been extremely difficult," read an announcement on the bar's social media. "We lost one of our founders, navigated Covid, and weathered many other challenges."

The second venture of the group of friends who opened the Alberta neighborhood Bye and Bye in 2007, Sweet Hereafter hit the scene in the summer of 2011 like a popular younger sibling. Sometimes it was hard to find a table at the Bye and Bye—at Sweet Hereafter it was hard to find standing room. This was especially true during the traditional first date meet-up hours of 7-9 pm when spiffed-up hopefuls would circulate, asking "hey, are you Erin?" among other such names.

Whether it was the uncomplicated, hardy vegan menu, or the  courage brought on by a mason-jar-sized cocktail (the Sweet Serenade is much more ginger beer and soda than it is vodka, but it still looked like you were drinking a lot), a great many romances were launched within the Hereafter's cozy, candlelit walls.

The bar was one of a few businesses that replaced Dixie Mattress Co., a Belmont storefront that proudly displayed the Confederate battle flag, but which the Oregonian noted, in 2010, never seemed to be open.

The friends behind Sweet Hereafter would go on to form Lightning Bar Collective, and in various configurations of involvement, establish plenty of other bars and businesses, among them Thunderbird on Southeast Foster and the Princess Bride-themed Victoria on North Albina.

Sweet Hereafter's closing post suggests that the crowds we sidled through have dropped off in recent years. Bar friends and lovers looking to revisit their sparking off spot can still visit through the bar's final day of February 29.

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