Alleyway Cafe and Bar Pac-Man and patio give this alley oomph

Bar of the Week
by: KATIE HARTLEY, Annie Cocchia (from left), Mac Martine and Tony Torano have a beer at the Alleyway Cafe and Bar on a recent Thursday. Once the nicer weather arrives, the bar’s outdoor seating should fill up fast.

The Alleyway Cafe and Bar has everything that is required from a bar to succeed on Northeast Alberta Street: pinball, lots of outdoor seating and a diverse menu with vegan options.

The atmosphere at the Alleyway, formerly the Local Beet, was calm and pleasant on a recent night, but it's easy to see how nice weather could turn the outdoor beer garden into a lively urban jungle.

Inside there is room to get comfortable at the long wooden bar, which blends in nicely with the wood paneling throughout the nonsmoking room.

Plenty of additional seating comes in the way of benches along the back wall, tables in the center of the room, or on the couch and lounge chairs across from the front window - perfect for watching folks walking up and down Alberta.

If you're really lucky you might be able to score a seat at the old-school sit-down Pac-Man video game that sits next to a pair of pinball machines.

Outside, picnic tables line the entire length of the building, half of which sit under the protection of a covered and heated patio. The beer garden, as the bartender referred to it, is perfect for large groups.

With seven rotating taps, the Alleyway offers the choice of a traditional pint for $3.50 or a 22-ounce mug for $1 more. There is a specialty drink menu from the full bar as well as a number of wine options.

Happy hour for food and drinks happens from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day and again from 10 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, and there's free Wi-Fi if you're working while you drink.

A lengthy menu offers plenty of options with pastas, salads, appetizers and a number of different burgers and sandwiches with thick-cut tasty fries. It's basic bar food but better than most, and all of the salads and pastas come with meat and veggie options.

The staff is incredibly friendly, and their mood seems to carry over to the crowd.

If you're looking for a loud, smoke-filled evening, this probably isn't your place. But if you're looking for a nice spot to grab a drink, a bite to eat, and catch up with friends, give the Alleyway a try.

- Daniel Savickas

2415 N.E. Alberta St., 503-287-7760, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday