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Raising the bar: Southwest drinking spots

I’m a bona fide 20-something, and I also happen to be a resident of Southwest Portland. It may be hard to believe that this highly suburban area, which seems to reserved for the 40-to-60 set could possibly have a legitimate bar scene — but I am here to tell you, it most certainly does.by: CONNECTION PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Dakessian

A few months ago my friend from college and I were planning to meet at a cocktail bar in Northwest, but were thwarted by lack of parking. Being relatively new to the area, she asked me to name a place closer to my house where we could have both a conversation and a drink. I told her to meet me at Sasquatch Brewing Company in Hillsdale. In its cozy, clean, rustic confines we enjoyed delicious hard cider — and the chance to hear ourselves think.

This neighborhood is home to another haunt close to my heart, McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery and Public House. This pub is the birthplace of the Ruby, a beer with strong flavors of raspberries; what’s not to love? It was also the first McMenamins brewery, so while you’re drinking you can feel like you’re a part of history.

The Multnomah neighborhood has a slew of opportunities to imbibe as well. Take, for example, Renner’s Grill. Here you will find cheap cocktails, friendly servers who remember their patrons and a bizarre yet undeniably tasty dish known as a peanut butter burger. Not to mention Jell-O shots.

Of course, sometimes people crave a drink not as the main course, but rather an aperitif. To satisfy that craving in Multnomah, I tend to turn to Acapulco’s Gold. Looking for a blackberry margarita? You got it. Want sangria by the pitcher? No problem. It’s the perfect recipe for conviviality.

Obviously, there are more than just four bars in Southwest Portland (albeit not many). This is merely an overview of the opportunities to eat, drink and be merry in this neck of the woods. True, Southwest is known to be populated largely by full-fledged adults, but I read last year that more and recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents — so I have to assume that an increase in watering holes cannot be far behind.


Drew Dakessian is the lead reporter of The Southwest Community Connection. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .