Portland >Tony Starlight's
Great ambience; great shows.
I discovered Tony's about a year ago, and it has become my favorite Portland night spot. Unlike other places with TV screens blaring from every corner, Tony's is peaceful, intimate and relaxed. (Until Tony takes the stage - then the fun begins.) My favorite show so far is the Neil Diamond Tribute, with Tony's regular show coming in a close second. I have never had a bad time at Tony's, and have been introduced to some of the best performers and groups that can be seen anywhere. When I walk through the door, it's like leaving the modern world behind, and walking into a 1940's night spot.
The waitstaff is wonderful, and the food is excellent, with the menu changing frequently to keep it interesting. You can get everything from a small salad to a huge steak, all reasonably priced.
I'm so happy to have found this place!
Happiest Place in Portland.
We discovered Tony's in October 2008 and enjoy it so much that we now enjoy at least one show a week there. As a big fan of classic films, jazz, standards, Sinatra, etc, Tony's feels like it was designed just for me. There are no televisions or game machines at Tony's, instead there is always a great show, fun people, and good food.
The staff is amazing, they are always friendly and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. The bartender makes the best Perfect Manhattan around, the wait staff is always happy to make sure your order is just right. Substitutions and special orders are not a problem. The food is always great, I especially recommend the tomato soup. It's so good we have started getting some to take home and enjoy the next day. The menu ranges from seafood, pasta, steaks, salads, sandwiches and burgers. In fact, Tony's is the two-time winner of the Hollywood Burger Battle, 2007 and 2008.
Tony's show is a must see! Its always super funny and includes corny jokes, costume changes, special guests, birthday wishes, and more. You can really tell Tony is having fun putting on the show and is very entertaining. The show can include anything and everything...going from a Sinatra ballad one minute to Solid Gold parodies the next. We always have a few funny lines from the show that we repeat and laugh about days later. You can watch Tony turn into Sintara, Dean Martin, a confused hippie, Neil Diamond, and many others. There is even a catchy theme song Tony sings at the end of the first set. On stage and off, Tony is very personable and always makes you glad you came.
But, it's not just Tony, you can see all kinds of amazing acts. Bo and Barbara Ayars,the Shanghai Woolies, Midnight Serenaders, Signatures, Deanna and the Downbeats, Bureau of Standards Big Band, and many others. There is even a monthly vintage clothing fashion show and big band karaoke.
Greatest show in town! (perhaps on earth?) :).
My girlfriend and I discovered Tony Starlight's in October 2008, and have been back almost every week since then! The food is great, the bartender is amazingly skilled, the wait staff is extremely friendly, and the entertainment simply cannot be beaten anywhere in town.
Many people I talk to who have heard of it, but never been, seem to think Tony Starlight does a lounge lizard act; this could not be further from the truth. Tony himself does many incredible impressions, such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, and Sonny Bono, just to name a few. :) We have seen tribute nights, dedicated to individual performers from the preceding list (and more), as well as a mix of impressions, parodies, and original songs in the "Tony Starlight Show", which we have seen many times. It is always changing and never gets old! And Tony's special holiday shows, and the New Year's Eve party, were to die for; we can't wait until next December!
But Tony is just the tip of an amazing iceberg; the schedule is packed with many talented singers and bands, such as the Bureau of Standards Big Band (incredible how many performers they squeeze into the space!), the Shanghai Woolies, Deanna and the Downbeats, Signatures, Linda Lee Michelet, Lisa Forkish, Ayars Times Two (Bo and Barbara Ayars), The Midnight Serenaders, and many more we haven't seen yet and are immensely looking forward to.
Things you should be aware of:
You absolutely want to make reservations, or you may not even be able to get a seat at the bar; it gets that packed!
Neil Diamond shows are *especially* popular, make *those* reservations super-early!
Very large groups may have to be divided (they do the best they can with the space available)
We have (obviously) become big fans and friends of the club and its staff, so I admit to a strong bias. :) A friend called us the "Tony Starlight's Booster Club" (which we later found out actually sort of unofficially exists).
Very cool atmosphere, management needs to learn customer service.
A friend and I went to to another friend's birthday party on Saturday night at Tony Starlight's. We arrived at 7:30, entered the place and sat down with the people who were already there. We both ordered wine when everyone else ordered drinks and received them on time. Everything was ok on our end, until we decided to leave early because we were tired. I went up to the bar to settle up our tab ( one glass was 7.5, one glass was 8.5, so it was 16.00 total). When I asked for our total, I was told it was $ 20.00 total. I accepted that to include the tip, and handed over a twenty. The lady with long brown hair then told me that that was not including the cover charge which was ten dollars each. She then told me it was forty for the whole night for the two of us. I told her that we did not know of any cover charge, and if we had we would not have gone to that lounge. She said it was posted by the door, so I accepted it, asked my friend for another twenty, and gave her the money. I then asked her how it was forty if our drinks were only 16 dollars. She said that included the tip. I told her very clearly (after my friend encouraged me) that I would not include a tip if I was getting ripped off for a cover charge that I knew nothing about. I also told her that she should let the rest of the party know about that since I doubted they knew. As we walked out, my friend and I noticed that the sign by the door said $ 10 minimum food or drink purchase - not a cover charge.
I was impressed with the lounge, impressed with the singer, and was thinking of going back there another time with my husband and friends, but the customer service was horrible. I was polite and very civil, but that woman who said she was a manager was very rude, unyeilding and just plain out poorly trained. People who run businesses like that deserve what they get.
Best Entertainment in Portland. was at Tony's the night that all these birthday folks are writing about. Our food and drinks were excellent and served promptly as were the people next to us and all around. I remember this birthday party group because there were clearly the rudest collection of boors ever assembled. They never shut up during Tony's show and their drunken blathering was a distraction that prevented us from fully enjoying the entertainment. I hope they never return. Once they finally left, the good vibe of Tony's returned. We have been to Tony's many times and it is the best place ever. Do yourself a favor and dismiss the rants from the self centered birthday mob and check out Tony's for yourself. They are open on Wednesday's now for families. Best for kids 12 and up I would think. Oh, and our food was wonderful. The ribs are too die for! Spicy and falling off the bone.
Best Place to Get Charged for Drinks You Never Ordered.
I went here on a Saturday night for a friend's 30th birthday. What a horrendous evening! There was a very large group of us, but we do big groups all the time. We always call in advance and make sure they can accomodate us.
Let's see, I started out ordering a vodka/sprite. Wave after wave of drinks came to our table from the bar (some we ordered, many we did not, though they all ended up on our bill at the end of the night). The waitress finally brought me some vodka lemonade fluffy drink that I did not order, but at this point I was willing to take whatever they would bring me since I had ordered my drink practically an hour ago.
I decided to go easy on the kitchen and order a tomato soup appetizer and then mac and cheese for dinner. Unfortunately, my soup never did make it to the table. I canceled it when the waitress delivered my mac and cheese, though somehow the soup remained on the bill anyway.
We were billed for many things that night - beer no one ordered, wine no one ordered, drinks that had been paid for by party members who settled up and left earlier in the evening. It seems our table was the catch-all for whatever the bar made that night.
While the entertainment was lovely, I cannot say the same for the service, the hospitality, the kitchen...*nothing* was worth what we went through trying to settle the bill. At one point, a worker suggested to my friend "let's take this outside." Seriously?
At this point, we're ready to take our friend out for a "do-over" birthday at a better establishment that will treat her and her friends appropriately.
If you decide to go here, do so with the lowest expectations possible. If you don't care what you drink (despite what you order), and if you don't really care what temperature they cook your steak to (despite what you order), and if you don't care about paying for whatever they decide to bill you for, well...you get the picture.
WORST DINING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE..
1. Arrived for 7:30 reservation. No drinks served until 8:30.
2. 4 people in the party forced to sit at different table.
3. Some drinks never arrived or were completely wrong and were never fixed.
4. Salads were delivered at 9:30- 2 hours after arrival. The soups that were ordered never came.
5. Two people left and when they went to cash out we discovered we were all being charged a $10 cover each, TOTAL $180, that we were never apprised of at the time of making the reservation, at the door, on the signage or at seating.
6. 2 more friends leave and in the two hours they were at Tony's one was never served a drink. Neither were served food.
7. The food FINALLY comes around 2 hours after we arrived. The steaks are cooked inappropriately, one order was wrong all together and some food didn't show up until 15-20 minutes later after others were finished eating.
8. We asked for divided checks up-front and they refused so we received a bill around 10:15 that was all together that we had to divide up and there were drinks and cover charges on the bill that were already paid for earlier in the night.
9. My favorite part of the night, was when Tony's wife actually offered to "take it outside". I went to the bar after 30 minutes of waiting for the check and asked if we could just have the check because they were just ruining my friends birthday. She asked me to be quiet. I assure you I was not yelling and was speaking at a tone to be heard over the music. I said I wasn't yelling and that we just wanted our check. At that point she moved towards me, got in my face, raised HER voice and said "Do you want to take this outside? Then you can yell at me all you want." Anyway, I asked her who was yelling now and she responded "I am because I am the manager and your table is horrible and unreasonable!"
REALLY? She was so obviously in my face that a male friend of mine saw us from across the room and came over to confront her.
Terrible Service! Terrible Food!.
My friends and I dressed up to have an enjoyable night out for a friend's birthday. We thought we'd done everything right by making a reservation ahead of time to prepare the staff and management, but we were quickly proven wrong. Here is a quick rundown of just some of the issues:
1. Part of the party had to sit at a seperate table
2. We had to keep reminding the staff of drink orders that were missed
3. It took 2 hours to get our food
4. Half of the party recieved their food anywhere from 15-30 minutes after the rest of the party
5. A portion of the orders were incorrect
6. $180 was added to the bill for a cover charge, despite no prior communication or signage that there was a $10 cover charge
7. The birthday girl tried to discuss the misunderstanding with management and was told in front of her mother "that she was raised poorly"
8. Management refused to split the tab
9. 4 members of the party paid for their drinks prior to leaving early; however, the drinks showed up on the bill at the end of the night (thank goodness someone caught this, otherwise we would have paid twice)
10. Management's statement to a friend to resolve the issue was to "take it outside"
I was extremely disappointed, because everything could have been easily resolved; instead management took another route. Potential customers BEWARE OF SERVICE. And prepare to pay for Denny's quality food for triple the price.
For a good time go to Tony's!. I had the pleasure of experiencing Tony Starlight's for a friend's birthday. It was a fantastic time! Tony's vocal styling is impressive. The combination of comedy set to jazz is so much fun my cheeks hurt from smiling.There was a mixed crowd and everyone seemed to be having a blast. The music is really elevating. The dinner was well prepared and the drinks were right on. Great talent, service and ambiance. It's got class!
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