I was in Portland for work and my boyfriend came along for the ride. My job is absurdly demanding, so I was tired by the end of day one and desperately in need of a cocktail. Our hotel was pretty much in the middle of everything, just between downtown and the Pearl district, so we had *tons* of options.
My dude lived in Portland for considerably longer than I did, and more recently, so I relied on him to give me the scoop. We walked into what should be called the McMenamins district – the Crystal Hotel, Ballroom, Ringlers, etc. – when he remembered this awesome underground bar attached to Ringlers Annex – the Cellar Bar. It was closed when we got there, so we had a drink and a snack upstairs at Ringlers Annex Bar. It was enjoyable, and the food and wine was great, but it wasn’t particularly whimsical.
Once the Cellar opened up, we wandered on down. I have to say, the descent feels a little illicit or something – like you know a secret that the world hasn’t discovered. I suppose they intended it to be that way. Once inside, my inner child was pleased to find that this place feels sort of otherworldly – like a vaguely circus-themed cave. The drinks were great, the place was quiet, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a late afternoon.