Establishments with stunning looks and funky histories for a great night out.

Whether you’re looking for an exciting new bar with themed drinks or for a laid-back theater experience where you can take in beautiful architecture, look no further than Portland. The city has some of the most visually stunning and eclectic experiences waiting for you. From a funky coffee shop located inside a bright red double decker bus a ‘70s themed bar serving top-knotch Mezcal, we’ve gathered eight great adventures for a future night out.

A Bar That Was Once A Brothel

The Sapphire Hotel is exactly what is sounds like— a beautiful hotel lobby boasting velvet green curtains, gold accent lights, and a decorative Japanese flair. The only twist is that this hotel lobby is now one of Portland’s best kept secrets–it’s a bustling bar that once used to be a brothel. Though no longer a brothel or hotel, the original secret brothel staircase still exists at the back of the bar and can be seen on your way to the restroom. 

When enjoying a drink at The Sapphire Hotel, indulge in their “naughty” and “nice” themed cocktail list which boats drinks including the “Lounge Singer Redux,” “Devil’s Lettuce,” “Fake News,” and “Aquarian.”

A Converted Elementary School

The Kennedy School is a 1915 elementary school that has been preserved and converted into a hotel, lounge, soaking pool, and bar pavilion. Along with excellent food and entertainment, this venue boasts a high-end jazz and whiskey bar in a tiny, 100-square-foot detention room called “Detention Bar,” with room enough for only six patrons and one bartender at any given time.

High ceilings, original wooden doors, 1920s-era bathroom stalls, circus-themed eateries, and custom-painted murals covering the halls make going to The Kennedy School like stepping back in time.

A Wallpaper Lover’s Dream

Angel Face is a sophisticated and quaint cocktail bar on the corner of Southeast 28th and Burnside in Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. While the small space offers gorgeous covered and heated patio seating decked out with twinkle lights, the real attraction is its custom wallpaper reminiscent of classic art nouveau interior design.

For anyone seeking a romantic evening out, Angel Face should be your go-to. Their in-the-round bar setting makes ordering drinks like their famous Diamondback Cocktail easy as pie and their fares include classy appetizers like olives and creme brulee.

Step Back Into the ‘70s

Bar Dune is the 1970s psychedelic throwback of your dreams. With stunning red, orange and rust-colored walls taking you into the desert and luscious gold booths offering both comfort and style, Bar Dune knows what it takes to have a good time.

Not only is Bar Dune a Mezcal bar with a sci-fi flare, but its kitchen staff also offers hand crafted retro late-night snacks including bacon-wrapped dates, glazed meatballs, tea sandwiches, and a full pimento cheese board.

A Classic Vintage Theatre

Hollywood Theatre, originally opened in 1926, is one of Portland’s most famous buildings. With its original signage and detailed facade, it is truly one of a kind. Not only has it been screening 50mm films since 2015, but it also hosts film festivals and short-run showings of unique films year-round.

If you’re in the mood for a movie, check out Hollywood Theatre’s high domed ceilings, original red velvet movie chairs, plush carpets, and kitchen serving Baby Doll Pizza and local beer.

An Olde English-Style Pub

Horse Brass Pub is a traditional, old-style English pub. Welcoming minors until 5 p.m., this establishment looks the part with wood-paneled walls, English hunting decor, and upturned brass horseshoes lining each doorway.

Open late and always vibrant with music and English football on the tele, this themed pub provides a unique menu featuring bangers and mash, fish and chips, hand-made rolled pastry, and baked meat pies.

A Coffee Shop in a Double Decker Bus

Tov Coffee might be one of the most unmistakable coffee shops in all of Portland. A bright red double-decker bus that has been gutted and transformed into a coffee bar, it is owned by a Turkish man making Turkish coffee and its name is the Hebrew word for ‘good.’

Tov Coffee is more than a coffee cart, inviting patrons to climb its bus stairs to the second level where they can enjoy their coffee in the open air amid Persian rugs and eclectic colorful Middle Eastern decor.

Confess Your Sins

Church Bar is a vegan bar that offers signature cocktails and a gothic vibe. A giant neon red cross and church pews line the edges of the room while every Sunday night, patrons gather for ‘church service’ to the sounds of a rotating cast of DJs.

In addition to their dark contemporary vibe, people come from far and wide for their large-scale two-tiered digital photo booth which invites you to “confess your sins” for a chance to win free drinks.

About the Author:

Anastasiya Berehulyak