1. Slabtown (pictured)
1033 NW 16th Ave, 971-229-1455, slabtownbar.net.
Pay your respects, folks. This is the last dance for Portland’s grubby rock-’n’-roll game bar and music venue. It’s slated to close on the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1.
2. The Big Legrowlski
812 NW Couch St., 206-6481, biglegrowlski.com.
Mostly this is an understated little tap nook on the edge of Chinatown. The Chinatown crowd is not the issue—no rich fucks, no fucking strumpets waltzing around, just a black-and-white rendering of the rug that tied the room together and Bowling Nixon in the restroom.
3. Prettyman’s General
2637 SE Hawthorne Blvd., prettymansgeneral.com.
This dandy little pub and market has all the trappings of contemporary Portland culture: antlers, sheepskin-adorned leather sofas, oil landscapes, Courtney Barnett records, super-fancy tuna salad sandwiches.
4. There Be Monsters
1308 SE Morrison St., 971-319-6983.
The bar is slowly aging into its ragtag neighborhood: The lights are dimmer, the biker crowd mixes in with music fans, and the smoking patio is a beautifully makeshift holding tank barely roped off from the sidewalk. Now for some shuffleboard.
4822 SE Division St., 234-0181.
This dive has a jukebox with a “No Music During the Games” sign stuck to it. It advertises skee ball on the street, and the board is indeed smooth and in solid working order—there’s plenty of room to throw or drunkenly make out against a pinball machine. Yup, this is pretty much the best bar skee-ball experience in town.
Previous Buzz lists:
Oct. 15 1. Prettyman’s General 2. Barlow 3. The Big Legrowlski 4. St. Jack 5. There Be Monsters
Oct. 8 1. BTU Brasserie 2. Prettyman's General 3. Barlow 4. St. Jack 5. Mad Sons
Sept. 17: 1. Prettyman’s General 2. Mi Mero Mole (Chinatown) 3. Paymaster Lounge 4. Mad Sons 5. Higgins Bar
Aug. 6: 1. Scout Beer Garden 2. The Hop & Vine 2. Spin Laundry Lounge 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern
Jul. 30: 1. The Hop & Vine 2. Cooper's Hall 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern