The Twilight Room AKA The T Room

The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

The Twilight Room, AKA The T Room

A close associate and U.P. grad highly recommended this stop and we were not disappointed. 

HUGE place, looks like it has been expanded multiple times over the years to accommodate its loyal clientele that appears to be a mix of UP students, garden variety barflies, regular folk and families (kids allowed in certain spaces during limited hours). Lots of dusty tchotchkes, collegiate stuff and 3 pool tables, plus, you guessed it, video poker machines! A big mix of high/low tables, a smattering of sticky barstools and a gorgeous patio (WAY too nice for a dive bar).

Full bar, a few craft taps, lots of cheap drink specials (I partook of the $9 shot of tequila and tall boy Tecate), BUT, wait for it, they have a slushie machine!! Like the 7-eleven variety from your childhood, but made better with booze.

The food menu was pretty extensive for a Dive, predictably leaning heavily toward fried items, but big portions and affordably priced. We enjoyed the scarily large chili dog with crispy tots and a side of jalapeno poppers. That’s some good stomach lining food right there to protect your tummy from the dastardly effects of a big night out.

Quadrant: North Portland

Address: 5242 N Lombard, Portland

Happy Hours: 3-6pm Sunday through Friday

Full kitchen: Yes

Jalapeno Poppers: Yes

Breakfast: No

Outdoor Seating: And how! Beautiful and dog-friendly

Distinguishing features: The patio, good specials, good value

The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven ShomlerThe Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven ShomlerThe Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler The Twilight Room Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

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Mad Hanna

Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

Mad Hanna

From the outside it is a non-descript and a touch scary building in a random neighborhood, but behind the door lies an oasis! I never thought a dive bar could be pretty, but this one kinda is, oddly. Cozy, dark with fun and quirky décor (everything from a sparkly black tiled ceiling to a chandelier over the pool table and naughty embroidered art (my favorite? “Grow a pair!” with an image of a uterus and ovaries). Everywhere you look is something fun and interesting to see. And talk about oases – the backyard is an oasis within an oasis! Not expecting much we exited to the back and found a shady patio with ping pong table, fire pit and plenty of tables and chairs tucked in among the edges. Fantastic spot to while away a summer weekend afternoon.

By definition, dive bars are not known for their creativity when it comes to food and drink, but this one breaks those rules as well. Numerous yummy sounding cocktails, many created using house made infused spirits (I tried the honeydew cucumber gin one; on a hot day, oh yeah!) and are a solid value. We had two of the fancy cocktails for 14 bucks during happy hour; anywhere else that would pay for one comparable drink. They also have J-ello shots, with or without pop rocks a ala mode; pudding shots and 5 craft beers on tap. Menu is limited to a few well-chosen essential drinking foods – grilled cheese with various available add-ins like bacon, avocado as well as nachos.

This place is small, but packs a big punch. In addition to all described above, they also offer live music on the weekends, karaoke and other events. Overall, it feels like a secret hangout spot for the heavily tattooed cool crowd who appear to frequent it. So buy a friend a drink on the public board and give yourself an excuse to come back to share it with them.

Quadrant: Northeast

Address: 6129 NE Fremont, Portland

Happy Hours: 3-6pm daily

Full kitchen: Yes

Jalapeno Poppers: No

Breakfast: No

Outdoor Seating: Yep

Distinguishing features: Live music, quirky décor, fabulous patio

Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven ShomlerMad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

Mad Hanna Portland Dive Bars Photos by Steven Shomler

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The Lay Low Tavern

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

The Lay Low

It was a balmy summer night when we first wandered into the Lay Low. And so glad we did! This place has it all – dark, right size, great music playing, friendly and efficient bartender with a heavy hand. The memory of years of cigarette smoking inside the joint lingers in the air. Retro-rama décor with scattered examples of taxidermy and kitschy old cheap beer swag. Comfy barstools, scattered sticky tables and a good sized patio out back for those interested in damaging their lungs while they pickle their livers. Pinball and poker machines.

10 taps, most of them craft, a couple crap. Full bar with lots of cheap food and drink specials including scotch and water for $1.75 on Wednesdays and another deal for imperial pints and $5 wings on Mondays. We were disappointed that there were no poppers on offer, but they made up for it by offering breakfast on the weekends! The sleeper hit though, by far, were the slushy drink machines. These usually strike me as cheesy, but on the night we visited they were featuring a chi chi and it rocked! It is basically a pina colada made with vodka instead of rum. It was delicious and dangerous. Definitely had flammable breath after that one.

All in all, this place is a solid dive and comfy – feels like you could hang out there happily for hours.

 

 Quadrant: Southeast

Address:  6015 SE Powell, Portland

Happy Hours: 2-6pm daily

 Full kitchen: Yes

Jalapeno Poppers: No

Breakfast: Yes, on the weekends

Outdoor Seating: patio in back

Distinguishing features: Great specials,  perfect specimen of a dive bar

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is meLay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me Lay Low Dive Bar Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler and kc is me

 

 

 

 

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Railside Pub

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub

Is it open? Hard to tell since the only vehicle parked in the lot was a hearse, but we ventured in anyway. What a hidden gem! Perfect size, cozy but not claustrophobic.Clean without the acrid smell of industrial strength disinfectant. Lighter than most dives, but acceptable. Foosball and pool table. A few video poker machines unobtrusively lined up against one wall (what is it with Portlanders and video poker anyway?).

Delightful bartender named Ash who made us feel welcome (will need to check out her Danse Macabre Gallery sometime at Hollywood Vintage).

Turns out this little joint makes a whole lot of tasty food, much of it housemade. Ash steered us toward the French dip and so glad she did! Prime rib and grilled onions piled onto a grilled roll with au jus and REAL horseradish on the side (by request). The meat (from Gartner’s just down the street) and au jus are made right there on site and were super tasty. Came with an enormous side of perfectly fried tots for an excellent value. The jalapeno poppers were awesome and again, giant order. We couldn’t even finish them, and that’s rare!

The day we were there they had 3 craft beer taps and one cider tap.

Smallish, well-worn bar. Protected smoking shelter out back.

Quadrant – Northeast

Address – 5301 NE Portland Hwy, Portland

Happy Hours: Monday-Friday 4-6pm

Full kitchen: Yes

Jalapeno Poppers: Yes

Breakfast: No

Outdoor Seating: Covered patio out back

Distinguishing features: Great food

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven ShomlerRailside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler Railside Pub Portland Diver Bars by kc is me and Steven Shomler

 

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The Spare Room

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room

We almost drove right past it, not because it is tiny, but more because it is a weirdly nondescript monstrosity. But inside, it hits all of the right notes!

Dark and dingy with the lingering aroma of bleach in the air. It’s a cavernous space. There’s not one but 2 bar areas; one traditional with a modest sized bar with bar stools and the obligatory poker machines, the other cozier with sofas and chairs in front of a fireplace.

There are booths and tables scattered within a vast area with a stage that appears it may have hosted strippers at some point in the past (though the pole is no longer in evidence). Posters about the place advertise musical acts and karaoke. And tucked off to the side is a room with pool table and full-sized shuffleboard with a small fireplace and seating area.

Full bar, just 3 taps with PBR and bud light occupying 2 of those. The efficient kitchen with titty posters visible through the pass through puts out a full menu including turkey dinner with all the fixins’!

The best part! Breakfast is served all day! Our server proclaimed their bacon is the best in town. We were appropriately reserved in our judgement, but turned out she was not wrong.

They also have $5 breakfast and lunch specials that were a good deal. Hopefully the last supper velvet painting on the wall won’t be prophetic for our meal.

Is it a destination dive bar? No, but it is a solid locals dive with cheap and good eats. Dive bars serving breakfast are rare gems.

Plus, you could bring your kids, if so inclined, as it is technically a bar and a restaurant. Not sure if that is a selling point or not, but there you have it!

Quadrant: Northeast

Address: 4830 NE 42nd Ave Portland

Happy Hours: 

Full kitchen: Yes

Jalapeno Poppers: Yes

Breakfast: Yes, all day everyday

Outdoor Seating: No

Distinguishing features: Breakfast all day everyday, good food specials, kid-friendly?

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven ShomlerThe Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven ShomlerThe Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

 

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler The Spare Room Portland Dive Bars Steven Shomler

 

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What Is A Dive Bar

Portland Dive Bars

What is a Dive Bar?

A dive bar has character.

Usually on the seedy side. It’s gotta be dark, somewhat sticky, smelly and has at least one vinyl seat repaired with duct tape.

You will not want to drink from the glassware without verifying your immunizations are up to date. Service must be surly but never scary.

Kitschy theme or name optional, but often awesome.

A good dive bar makes you feel like you are getting away with something (like sneaking away from work to disappear into a matinee; not that I have firsthand experience with that mind you …)

You feel safely anonymous but also known or maybe recognized as kin. There is no social strata in a good dive bar – we are all one.

Bonus if they serve breakfast!

KC is me

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Inspired By Her

 

Portland Dive Bars

Inspired By Her

Steven Shomler and kcisme AKA Diana Prince had their first ever date at a dive bar…

She loved dive bars and so did Steven.

The idea of this project began rattling around in Steven’s head and exactly 8 days later he bought the domain PortlandDiveBars.com

On the eve of their one-month anniversary, Steven and kcisme had a very meaningful date at yet another Portland dive bar. Right there during that date, which was going very well, Steven decided that he would turn Portland Dive Bars into a real project.  And his partner on this project would be the magnificent woman he was with, who enjoyed dive bars as much as he did.

Fast forward to January 2019 – Steven and kcisme are engaged and they are thoroughly enjoying doing this project together.

Portland Dive bars kcisme Diana Prince

 

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About Portland Dive Bars

Portland Dive Bars by Steven Shomler

About 

Portland Dive Bars is a passion project that celebrates and highlights the great dive bars we have here in Portland, Oregon.

The contributors are local writer “kcisme” AKA Diana Prince, and Portland Author Steven Shomler.

Eventually this project will be a book, until then look for Steven and kcisme to publish articles here about the Portland dive bars they visit!

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Follow Portland Dive Bars

Follow

Portland Dive Bars

You can follow Portland Dive Bars here –

Facebook  — www.facebook.com/Portland-Dive-Bars

Instagram account — www.instagram.com/portlanddivebars

kcisme

You can follow Portland Dive Bars Contributor kcisme here –

Facebook  — www.facebook.com/KC-is-me

Instagram account — www.instagram.com/kc.is.me

Portland Dive bars kcisme Diana Prince

Steven Shomler 

You can follow Portland Dive Bars Contributor Steven Shomler here –

Website  – www.StevenShomler.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/StevenShomler

Instagram – www.instagram.com/stevenshomler

 

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What is a Dive Bar?

Portland Dive Bars

What is a Dive Bar?

 

Coming Soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland Dive Bars

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