Photo by Leah Nash
Over the course of the summer I fell in love with Green Dragon
, the large, friendly pub at 928 SE 9th Avenue with 19 rapidly rotating taps of great beers from all over. What began as a chilly and intimidatingly beer-nerdy cave in 2007 has evolved into a busy and accessible center of Portland's beer culture.
Well, today I find out that the Dragon is being purchased by Rogue Ales
. Angelo De Ieso II broke the news this morning on his blog, Brewpublic
, with an alarmed post about the absorption on a beloved pub by what he described as a homogeneous pub empire. Commenters echoed his sentiments.
But Rogue publicist Brett Joyce, who confirmed that the Newport-based company is buying the Green Dragon
, pending OLCC approval, assured me that there's no reason to worry. "Changing the Green Dragon would be a crime against antiquity,"
he said. "Green Dragon has a great reputation in Portland. We have a high respect for that, and we do not intend to change it." Joyce added that, assuming Rogue's takeover of the bar is accepted by the Commission (which is probable), the bar will continue to offer many guest taps and host visiting brewers. Green Dragon, he said, will "become part of the Rogue DNA," but retain the identity that has made it so popular.
I have a much more positive opinion of the ownership change than the gang at Brewpublic. While I'm not particularly fond of Rogue's Public House on Northwest Flanders Street, the primary problem with the place is its neighborhood. Rogue's other properties, like the Astoria Public House and Eugene City Brewery, are much more to my liking. Furthermore, Green Dragon's greatest weakness has always been the so-so food, and Rogue has been known to serve chocolate-drizzled bacon
(though it doesn't appear on the current menu). Yeah, there's a $15 Kobe burger, but there's also normal burger for $7.75—barely more than the current offerings at Green Dragon. Rogue's owners are uncannily smart businessmen, and they know a good thing when they see it. In short, let's wait and see.