This edition of Intern-Approved features Portland’s other favorite house-served liquid: booze! Be it served in a can, pint, or brandy snifter, there is a wide array of watering holes that have taken up residence in Portland’s historic houses. If the walls of these homes could talk, they would have many stories to tell; and after a few drinks, you just might be able to hear some of them. Each of these historic house bars have embraced their character and charm, demonstrating one more creative way to reuse a house.
Here is a rundown of five historic Portland homes that give new meaning to the idea of a ‘homemade drink.’
1) Liberty Glass
Location: 938 N Cook St.
The Liberty Glass is housed in a pink American Foursquare and is every bit as funky as the color. It has upstairs seating with a hidden nook for those that really want their late night privacy. If you happen to make it there on a Wednesday night, you’ll have the delight of listening to the local band Old Barn Preservation Society (an experience that will give you that folksy sound with a preservation twist you didn’t even know you were missing).
The 1910 house itself has been fairly well preserved with historic flooring and plaster walls still intact. Although the building was vacant in the early 2000s, the Liberty Glass opened its historic doors five years ago and has been doing well ever since.
2) Beech Street Parlor
Location: 412 NE Beech St.
Beech Street Parlor is another colorful, albeit less pink, historic American Foursquare. Somewhat unexpected from the exterior, the interior has embraced more of an earlier Victorian look with its accents and wallpaper. The house has a pyramidal roof with a dormer and overhanging eaves with brackets. Beech Street has the cozy feel of a home, but the music of a club with live DJs and performers every night (though, for those that are a bit more relaxed, that party doesn’t start until well after happy hour.)
The house was built in 1906 in the King neighborhood. Inspecting the upstairs, it is evident that much of the flooring is original with ghost evidence of previous rooms that have now been removed. In the photos below, you can see where flooring was added due to some of the walls being taken out. The crown molding is not original, but is still quite beautiful.
3) Raven and Rose
Location: 1331 SW Broadway
Raven and Rose is housed in one of Portland’s oldest structures and is one of the few remaining Stick Style structures in the Northwest. The 1883 building was the carriage house for the storied William Sargent Ladd, who was a Portland banker, politician, and philanthropist. The historic building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places twice due to being relocated for a temporary time in the mid-2000s. It has been restored into a restaurant on the first floor, while the upstairs is a bar.
The bar itself was formerly the carriage house hayloft and living quarters for the coachman and gardener. It has a hybrid classy-rustic feel with leather chairs, billiard tables, a four foot wide fireplace, and custom-made bar. So why not embrace the all-American feel by ordering an Old Fashioned and playing a round of pool?
4) Pope House
Location: 2075 NW Glisan St.
This house was originally constructed in 1890 in the Queen Anne style, but much of it burned down in 1986. Luckily, it was restored in 1989, retaining much of the historic detail. After the reconstruction was completed, the house was converted to commercial use. Previously the building house the Brazen Bean Martini Bar before becoming the Pope House Bourbon Lounge. It is located in the Alphabet National Register District and fits well in the district with its style and size.
The house has many historic names associated with it. Henry Hewett, who was a prominent businessman in Portland for over 40 years, first owned the land the home sits on. After he sold the land in 1887, the property switched hands five times to different owners from all over the world. The current business is known for its wide assortment of bourbons and even has a “bourbon 101” class that will make you an expert on all things… well, bourbon.
5) The Rambler
Location: 4205 N Mississippi Ave.
This house bar recently traded in its hammock swings for a southwestern flare. Previously the Bungalo Bar, just this past month it reopened as The Rambler with southwestern frito pies and handcrafted takes on basic drinks such as daiquiris. They kept much of the attractions of Bungalo Bar such as the upstairs poolroom with (free) pool, outdoor picnic tables, and fireplaces, but incorporated eclectic fixtures that complement the house.
The bar is set in an orange Craftsman one-and-a-half story house built in 1925. It is nestled among other commercial storefronts and homes on the hip and bustling Mississippi Avenue, a district that was designated a “Conservation District” in 1993 to help protect its character. Much of the Craftsman vibe has been retained, from the hardwood floors to the detailing.
So now that we’ve been talking about house bars, we know what you’re thinking! Well… this gives you a new excuse (not that you needed one) to try a great drink in a historic setting. Even if drinking really isn’t your thing, all of these bars have delicious happy hour menus full of yummy nonalcoholic creations to give you all the motivation needed to enjoy the atmosphere of these great historic homes.