Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern
Gotta admit, I’m a sucker for below street level bars. Something about descending into the depths of a dingy dive bar, it feels like you’re getting away with something naughty. Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern is a fantastic spot. Small, but not claustrophobic. 2 rooms, pool table, shuffleboard, video poker.
A very fun circular seating area near the front, bar on 2 sides and some wobbly wooden tables strewn about. Chalkboard walls and ceiling filled with (temporary) graffiti are the extent of the décor. 12 taps including 3 cheap-o choices (Rainier, PBR and Coors Light). Full bar.
Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern has a full kitchen pumping out some impressive house made items, including full turkey dinner on Tuesdays and prime rib on Thursdays. At a dive bar! The daily food specials are really a steal; we had the $4 chili dog and it was a classic specimen with perfect dog to chili proportions.
All the more impressive since the tiny and mighty bartendress named Roni was also the chef while we were there. She had a full house of probably 40 customers and still managed to make drinks, cook food, handle cash and keep everyone happy while choreographing it all from behind the bar with her radiant smile. She’s a marvel. And so is Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern.
Address: 609 SE Taylor St, Portland – [Google Maps]
Happy Hours: 3-6 pm
Full kitchen: Yes
Jalapeno Poppers: No
Outdoor Seating: A lone rickety bench out front
Distinguishing features: Subterranean
Photos by Steven Shomler
Website Wizardry by Arthur Breur