I am not going to lie. I really like Holocene. If you like to dance (Friday night, 90's night) and they have an old school photo-booth and occasionally cover bands. There is always a cover so beware...
hip club. i understand portland, so i was in this hip club the other night, dressed right and patiently standing in a long line waiting for a drink. as i was talking to that sweet piece next to me i noticed something that disturbed me greatly... don't get me wrong, the staff were definitely hot and bust it, but there was a clueless rude suburbanite expecting to have his booty kissed just because he was there. not going to happen... also, the crowd was just good looking, not great. luckily i was saved by two things - my favorite bands come here and it has a great scene.
Great Venue! Service with a Scowl!.
Wow, do the people who serve you drinks think they are super cool. I spent a fun night here (fun because of the people I was with) with the bartenders looking down their noses at me and my friends. Nary a smile, a thank you, a kind word. We felt like the uninvited guests. The only cool person was the guy at the door. The rest of them must belong to the super cool secret society. And the drinks they pour are weak and get weaker throughout the night. I did hard time working in a bar, I'm pleasant and I tip very well, (the first tip was $5 for one drink) but attitude like this makes me stop tipping after a while. I wonder if anyone has told them that being cool (actually BEING cool-not just thinking you're it) will get you more and bigger tips.
A note to those bartenders and servers: you're no better than anybody coming into that establishment. Pour my drink (and put some booze in it why don't you), treat me like I'm another human being, and lighten up.
eclectic, interesting. so, i am rarely the coolest guy in the room and on some nights i feel reminded of this fact more than i'd like, but i like the shows, and the drinks are nice and generously poured. always something different, sometimes its way too crowded, and its hard to get a drink let alone walk around sometimes, but i've seen the most eclectic interesting and weird shows there. nothing like it. i feel like i'm beginning to "get" portland, and don't feel so put off by certain things, but i understand how some of the other reviewers have felt uncomfortable. the blonde bartender is always sweet though, and i recommend going on less busier nights.
I have given it more than a few chances.....
Holocene has so much potential, but it has been a disappointment time after time. I always come with a high energy fun attitude and end up leaving early, angry and upset going back to the bars that have respect for their customers, and quality drinks.
The bartenders are rude, mixing weak drinks with and zero personality. Multiple times I have waited in line for 20+ minutes finding at the end a bartender that barely acknowledges you. We were even kicked out once when I confronted my bartender about being next in line. She told me I will get my drink when she tells me, and proceeded to serve others who were behind me. My girlfriend was very upset and asked her to serve us! The bartender went to her manager and he kicked us out stating that they chose who to serve and who they don?t. That was my second drink of the night and I was very upset that they would dare to treat someone who wants to pay them like that.
The music has never been a huge success, the sound has been a bit off, the times I?ve been there.
The space is open and very cool! However, the smoking room seems to leak smoke out and makes for a nauseous feeling for nonsmokers.
Overall, I guess I don?t fit in. We like quality drinks, good music, and respect? you will find non of this at Holocene.
A little too full of themselves....
I had gone online to read some reviews of the place before heading there; most of the reviews were negative reports about rude staff and long lines but I decided to try it anyway. My girlfriend and I were able to get right in- through the doors, anyway. Thankfully the line was inside where it was warm.
There were probably 20 people in front of us. We waited for over an hour, watching about 60 people leave, while the door staff let close to 50 people in who we were told were either "VIP" or "Employees". We witnessed about 30 people leave the line after waiting for much too long, but after an hour we were close to the front of the line.
The guys in front of us were told to leave, after waiting for an hour and a half, because one of them was wearing a button down that wasn't buttoned, with a t-shirt underneath. The kid kicking him out said he "was told that he had no choice" and looked very uncomfortable. The guy buttoned up the shirt, had nice jeans and dress shoes and looked like every other guy in there, and they still kicked him out. After waiting in line for an hour and a half without a word from the staff before then.
After they were kicked out my friend and I were next and we asked how much longer they anticipated the wait to be, and the uncomfortable 18 year old manning the door told us at least an hour. We of course left, along with about 10 others in line. It was obvious that most of the guys working there had no clue what was going on. Good luck Agency. Unless they change their practices, with bad business decisions and poor treatment of patrons, The Agency won't be open for long.
All around good venue. I've been around Portland for a while now, and Holocene is pretty much my favorite small-scale venue in town. The crowd and such are usually dependent on the night and who's playing... sometimes it'll be totally empty and other times so busy you can barely walk through the place. My favorite nights are usually in between... a lot of amazing electronic music artists come through the Holocene and although the dance floor is pretty small I always feel comfortable there. Bar service has never been a problem for me (except with huuuge lines but that's not their fault) and the bartenders definitely know what they're doing. The smoking room is pretty gross... I usually end up going outside for a cigarette but its nice that they still have the option (at least for now). Chill door people and usually pretty reasonable covers. I'm sure I'll be going back to Holocene for quite a while.
I've been here once, and would go back again. The look inside is awesome, with a mixture of grunge and beauty. It's just the kind of place I would design if I had a bar. Just sitting back and watching everyone and everything is fun. The "living room" area is good if you want to have a conversation, and if you want to dance it up head in to the dj room. The night I was there (it was a Friday), started off a little slow, but by the time I left the dance floor was packed and there was about a 5-7 minute wait to get a drink (not unreasonable for how busy they were).
Overall, if you like djs and dancing, and a cool vibe at the same time, it's a great place to go.
Terrible customer service. Terrible customer service, bartenders are very slow and some rude. Drinks are ok, average price. Music wasn't that great either, I suppose it was a theme night cause all they played was indian music. Not enough places to park.
Best Tarts anywhere!.
Tart night at Holocene is a great place to meet single gals looking to dance and have a good time. The drinks are great but the service is slow. Staff is friendly and mixes drinks well, though, so it makes up for speed.
Seating is comfy and the place gets pretty full. No smoking guarentees you won't go home smelling like a stale ashtray.
Muisc is a good mix, so you may get sweaty. DJs spin latin/dance/pop/hiphop, but the transition from one song to the next can be choppy, leaving dancers stranded in mid-motion.
Overall it's a fun place to dance and meet great people.
Like the international channel, but less organized.
...and the international channel seems one click above public access.
I like Holocene, been there quite a few times, but the place often just has its head up its hiney, and the service is pretty crappy, but these days, that's merely par for the course.
One evening, somebody got on the mike, turned the music off, and started talking about the fundraiser they were doing, and didn't shut up for about 10 minutes. People HAD been dancing, but many of them just went elsewhere when it was obvious someone didn't know what a Friday night at a dance club was for.
A different evening, a DJ's time was up and for whatever reason the music was just shut off right in the middle of a song, while people were dancing no less.
On the other hand, the hey-we're-doing-some-art-thing-here vibe and comfy old warehousey building feel make the place great even if your drink is late and the music just got turned off in the middle.
And the no-smoking thing is very nice. Even if it is all just cooped up in a stinky plastic-door corner.
If you don't like art, international music, or maybe having to put a little effort into something, you may be better off at that sports pub back home in Beaverton. The one with Freebird in the jukebox.
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