Portland >Club 21
While everyone rushes for a beer between sets, you may be handed a Rainier out of a cooler, before finishing a game of Buck Hunter.
Well, I don't know who the voluptuous day bar maid is, but I like her. And she pours a good drink and has always been nice to me, so I go back when I'm in the neighborhood. Good joint.
Peelin Back the Past.
Club 21 has recently changed hands and has undergone a god sent of a makeover. Gone are the cheesy Budweiser banners, withered paint and layers of dust. These have been replaced with some rather alluring period lighting and a whole slew of cool breweriana that fits so naturally its hard to imagine the place without it. It all looks sublime. Other welcome changes include Burgers that dont come from a stack in a frozen bag from Sysco. I had one of their Build Your Own Burgers last night (you have a boatload of choice for this, see the menu above) and the quality of the Beef was a huge step up from what was offered here before. Though Id like a say in how long it gets cooked. As a juicy medium rare wouldve spiked the flavor up a couple notches. Still, this burger was better than any Ive had along this stretch of Sandy. A couple of tweaks and that web could be cast even wider. We'll see, as the home made Chili and their Fried Chicken Sandwich will probably be my next targets.
Anyhow, thankfully everything is still pretty much priced like the days of old; $3 wells during Happy Hour, $3.50 the rest of the time. So you dont feel like you personally paid for the remodel (which was one of my fears going in). With the exception of the one located behind the bar, all the TV's are gone. But fear not! They have a projection screen that will be rolled down for those Blazer games as they come along. In the meantime theres always the Pinball to keep you busy. Yes, I think theyve done a knock out job bringing this historic building back to life. It still feels like a dive bar, but now it has some much appreciated style going for it. Other bars in the neighborhood should take note. Living just across the way, I may have finally found my new home away from home.
Grade: Keep em Coming, Thanks (I know its would take buku dollars, but getting that back neon restored would be epic)
club 21 still remains a classic old haunt. despite what the previous person wrote..jaquee is actually quite great. you treat her well, and she will treat you well...smile at her and she'll smile back..be friendly with her and she'll be friendly back. no problems with her what so ever...and jenny, one of the day bartenders is sweet as pie. Anndddddd, cranky annette has finally left the building!
so if you're in the mood for a classic portland dive bar...head to club 21.
Pretty good bar, but avoid the snarky barkeep. I enjoy going here on days when Jackie isn't working (Th?, Fr, Sat). Jackie rarely or never smiles. She doesn't have anything nice to say and acts as if you are imposing on her when asking for a drink. Snarky!!! (Its not just me saying so.) If she isn't happy she should work elsewhere instead of taking it out on the customers. The other bartender, Val is awesome. Such a sweetie. Always has a smile, is friendly and funny, and mixes a tasty drink. Thanks Val for being the saving grace of this divey gem.
Editorial Review by Ivy Manning. It looks like a Bavarian ski lodge on the outside, but it's all hip rock and rollers and stiff drinks inside at this popular northeast hangout.
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