Portland >Lutz Tavern
I really like the "new" Lutz. You cant help but feel youre standing in a place with some history behind it. Theyve done a great job of emphasizing the original streamlined layout by stripping away anything that remotely belongs to the 21st century (digital jukebox and a single HDTV are the only exceptions). The bar is at least 20 stools long, maybe more. The pale blue formica counter top looks original, red leather booths too. Sparsely placed throughout are '60's and '70's breweriana. Some of the stuff is from brands long defunct and I think that speaks to the genre of the place youre sitting in; an era revived.
Anyhow, enough on that. Let get to practicalities; Booze. Liquor selection is pretty standard, with a small crush on Bourbon (Black Maple Hill?! Hello!). Pleasantly, I noticed a complete absence of bottles of the 'spring break' variety. By this I mean; no Peachtree, no Apple Pucker, no Buttershots. In fact; there are no Schnapps of any kind. Though they obviously didnt want an all out war, because I did spy a bottle of Jagermeister back there. So they did throw the kids at least one bone. The Lutz definitely does not seem interested in being a college sports bar (there are all ready a couple of those across the street). It seems to be a neighborhood place with emphasis on conversation and cocktails. Not that there are any shortages on the Beer front. 8 on tap, with the only swill being the aforementioned Hamms. No Budweiser of any kind means room for other brews, and I like it. 5 different $2 Tallboys (rumor has it that the famous can press opener thing-a-majiggy has a brother that will be appearing on the bar sometime soon) and a nice variety of bottles means that only a clown couldnt be happy here. The Cocktails I had were all plenty strong and my 'reprise from Whiskey' Beer was crisp and cool. No complaints on that end. Service was very good. Especially for an opening night, Nicole (our bartender) is obviously a vet of some other good fight, and kept us happy throughout.
I decided to come back last night with my wife for dinner. Place was much more mellow this time around. Different bartender, same strong drinks. I figured the Lutz Burger ($7) would be the way to go. My 'Lettuce and Cheese only, Sauce on the side' made it up through the chain of command just fine. All in all; a better than most bar burger. Obviously no frozen meat from a box is used here. Im guessing this guy was a 1/3 pounder. Stout Bun and a plethora of Cheese and shredded Lettuce. Fistfull of Shoestring Fries didnt leave me feeling like I ate a pound of deep fried artery killers, which was a kind deception on their part. Mrs. McStyles had the Knuckle Sandwich, which is clever code for what is commonly referred to as a Club. I kind of Guffawed at the $9 price tag, but once it came out and I realized that it was really 2 meals in one, I simmered down. It tasted like good times were comin. The Sourdough (from Portland French Bakery, I came to learn) and house smoked Meats left nothing to question, except how we were going to finish the damn thing. Onion Rings might be house made, might not be. Whatever they are, they were mighty fine.
So yes, as I said earlier, I really dig The Lutz. It comes across as a place where adults can come to converse without playing second fiddle to 'the game'. Yet, it doesnt look down on the simple bar room pleasures like a game of pool or pinball either. The entire bar is lit pretty dimly and I think that fosters a tranquil vibe over the proceedings, even when the jukebox is screaming headlong into the night. I didnt mention the patio out back because I dont smoke, but there you go; it there if you so desire. Yes, The Lutz is a treasure certainly worth checking out; as traditions are sometimes meant to be reborn.
GREAT SERVICE. Great customer service! Cheap beer! There is a bartender by the name of Robyn and she is fantastic! not to bad on the eyes either. Not really any food, but some snacks. All in all a great place to meet friends and find new ones!
Editorial Review by Citysearch Editors. Local dive eschews schmoozing, cell phones and pretension in favor of inexpensive beer, pool and conversation.
Ex DMV Bartenders. The bartenders are trained to be rude so sit at a booth. Cheap beer and the atmosphere are the only good things about this tavern.
Bartenders from HELL!!. Pabst for a buck, how can you go wrong...Oh yes you can. Watch out for the Bartenders. They can be a little unfriendly. Customer Service is not in there vocabulary.
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