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July 10th, 2013 JOE DONOVAN | Bar Reviews
 

Lightbar: Light at the End of the Tunnel

bar_3936(lightbar)LIGHTBAR - IMAGE: cameronbrowne.com

A few months ago, when clouds layered Portland, we could have used a Lightbar (1401 SE Morrison St., 971-279-2169, lightbarpdx.com). The first Portland bar to offer “therapeutic lighting with a European-style bistro ambiance,” the pub just opened next to gaudy Nostrana, which looks as if it were beamed to Buckman from sunny Orange County. Park your car somewhere on the acre-sized parking lot and walk past the dentist’s office. Behind the trendy salvaged-wood bar are five therapy lights, which are available to borrow and plug into outlets located below each of Lightbar’s spacy, white dining booths. Therapy lights, which produce a light similar to sunlight, are designed to combat the effects of seasonal affective disorder—something Portlanders are at serious risk of contracting about four months from now. The bar is sparse on décor—it’s all about the light, man—but there are mirrors to toss around subtle purple and red tones. The sunny mood is suffused in the staff. One bartender spends a satisfying five minutes crafting my drink and gossiping about fake IDs. I drink the Steinbeck—Jack Daniel’s and applejack, bitters, brown sugar and a slice of apple ($7)—and watch my hand turn from violet to red to blue. Overhead dangles a wooden chandelier outfitted with faux-crystals. Buzzed on happy lights, I try to count the crystals. Sadly, the bar is decidedly light on patrons—on a recent Saturday night it’s just my party. This makes sense. My face is sunburned from authentic sun rays, and I’d prefer a shady patio.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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