13 Hot Happy Hours

Over the past few months, Portland has continued to sprout new restaurants, and according to my hasty calculations, it would cost approximately $2 billion to satisfactorily investigate them all, which could explain what happened to JP Morgan Chase. How does one stay up-to-the-minute without dissolving their Roth-IRA to afford it? Do some low-risk culinary exploring at these new and newish hotspot happy hours.


parishbarThe Parish

Walking into this week’s preview party for EaT: An Oyster Bar‘s Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell‘s new Pearl District Venture, The Parish, it was all eyes on the long, curving bar behind the vintage Southern church pulpit that initially greets you–where bartender Nick Keane deftly mixed Gin Fizzes and Hurricanes and a trio of shuckers tried their best to keep the row of ice trays full of fat, briny oysters on the half shell. “This is the best preview ever,” someone murmured reverently, Kumamotos in both hands. Yes, The Parish is kind of like that. And on opening day, which is this Tuesday, May 22, they’ll hit the ground running with lunch, dinner, brunch, and a daily afternoon happy hour that includes oysters both raw and baked, grilled wild Louisiana shrimp with pimento sauce, wedge salads, grilled chicken hearts, and a “comeback sauce”-slathered burger made with Laurelhurst Market beef, plus a late night happy hour on Friday and Saturday nights that will encourage night owls to stay awhile with oyster specials as low as 50 cents each.

Daily 4-6pm, Fri-Sat 10pm-midnight * 231 NW 11th Ave. * Website



According to the hostess at chef Chris Israel‘s brand-new urban taqueria/cantina, “the bar is essentially happy hour all the time,” which sounds like my kinda bar and my kinda happy hour. From 4pm to midnight every day (until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays), bar-dwellers can take advantage of $3 beer specials, $3 tequila shots, and $3 tacos–a chalkboard on the wall lists a half dozen or so daily taco specials. Olé!

Daily 4pm-midnight (’til 2am Fri-Sat) * 1205 SW Washington St. * Website



Riffle may not have a technical happy hour, but chefs Ken and Jennifer Norris offer two alternatives–first, the all-night ‘Bites’ menu, which has seven drinking snacks from rosemary and cayenne nuts to peppered hush puppies with maple butter to fresh crab and crispy pancetta sourdough profiteroles, all priced between $4-$7, and the post-10:3opm ‘Late Night’ menu, which runs the gamut from a $4 crispy poached egg with caviar and $6 Manchego and bacon grilled cheese sandwich to the ‘yes-that’s-really-a-7′ $17 Riffle Burger. Bar manager Dave Shenaut‘s craft cocktails will set you back $9-$12; be sure to ask about the chainsaw-cut ice cubes.

Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight * 333 NW 13th Ave. * Website


Carpaccio Trattoria

The preliminary reports on Carpaccio Trattoria (which obviously didn’t share Mario Batali’s affinity for the two-syllable moniker) are quite positive, with the burrata alone prompting more than its share of effusive prose. Carpaccio also wins the prize for best new restaurant website, because a) it exists, b) it’s efficiently and informatively laid out, and d) it includes one of my favorite Ernest Hemingway quotes. The happy hour’s a winner as well–it generously spans from 4-8pm, it’s every day (except Tuesday, when the restaurant is closed), and it serves up $5 house wine, $3-$4 beer specials, $4 well drinks, and 14 Italian favorites like the calamari with spicy tomato sauce, clams in Prosecco and lemon, baked polenta with gorgonzola sauce, and classic chicken marsala, all priced under $6.

Wed-Mon 4-8pm * 3500 NE Martin Luther King Blvd. * Website



Chef Johanna Wares‘ spacious new Beaumont bar, which backs up to her new and quickly-favorited Smallwares restaurant, isn’t technically offering a happy hour, but rather what the menu calls the “5-for-5,” five small plates like seasonal pickles, fried chicken lollipops with Sriracha mayo and a panko-crusted 6-minute egg with spicy Chinese mustard for $5 or less, all night, every night. And they are open from 4pm to 2am, which makes for quite a few happy hours, if you think about it.

Nightly 4pm-2am * 4605 NE Fremont St. * Website



From 5 to 7pm nightly, former Bluehour and Balvo chef Kenny Giambalvo‘s casual new Italian cafe offers discounted wine and beer specials, and in European fashion, your drink comes accompanied by a complimentary snack–on a recent visit, my glass of Chehalem chardonnay was served with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms beneath a slice of provolone on Morso bread, along with a dab of cannellini bean salad. And for those of you mourning the former tenant, Morso serves up several flavors of Mio gelatos.

Nightly 5-7pm * 25 NW 11th Ave. * Website



Now that Aviary chefs Jasper Shen, Kat Whitehead, and Sarah Pliner have re-established their NE Alberta Street nest and tricked it out with a chic little bar, it’s only natural that they would offer an accompanying happy hour. On weeknights, stop in between 5 and 7pm for Kusshi oysters, Brussels sprout nachos (no really, they’re good), unique and decadent Hot Pocket-esque chicken liver toasts, and a $5 glass of house wine or $3 pint. Linger over the cribbage board or chess set ’til closing on “Classy Mondays“–all night long, you can get a tasty slaw dog and Old German for a mere $5.

Mon-Fri 5-7pm * 1733 NE Alberta St. * Website



Slappycakes’ brand-new neighbor is bringing miso, maguro and maki to the previously sushi-bereft SE Belmont Avenue, transforming the small space formerly occupied by Chocolab into a large airy dining room where you can watch the line of chefs deftly craft traditional sushi favorites while the back kitchen turns out sophisticated dishes like a shaved daikon salad with arugula and ponzu vinaigrette, Kurobuta pork shoulder with Kabocha squash puree, and soy mirin-glazed roasted beet-wrapped Beet It roll. Happy hour is a sporatic affair–offered only on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday–but it allows you to dip your toe into the extensive menu with a $5 cocktail of the day, dollar miso, three-for-two nigiri, and buy two specialty rolls, get a maki roll free.

Wed & Sun 4-6pm, Mon 4-10pm * 4246 SE Belmont St. * Website


modernmanwhiskeybarThe Modern Man’s Whiskey Room

The only thing nicer than a shave and a haircut is a shave and a Scotch. So thank goodness old-timey NE Alberta barbershop The Modern Man opened their upstairs Whiskey Room in early May. Currently, their happy hour structure remains in flux but will likely be from 3-6pm daily, and offer routine beer and well drink specials, and perhaps food specials as well–the hearty menu includes a Ploughman’s Lunch, sausage dog, Reuben, spicy wings, daily crockpot meal, and the ability to create your own sandwich. So maybe the only thing nicer than a shave and a haircut is a shave, a Scotch and a sandwich.

Daily 3-6pm * 5018 NE 22nd Ave. * Website


ovenandshakersignOven & Shaker

For a while now, chef Cathy Whims‘ Nostrana has been drawing in after dark pizza eaters like margherita-loving moths to an oven-fired flame, but if you can’t squeeze in during the narrow 9pm-close window, you’re reduced to flattening your face against the front window and sobbing as you watch $6 pies and $5 Campari and sodas being lifted to the lips of the lucky few lining the bar. Now, there’s hope after 10pm, the hour at which Nostrana’s Pearl District sister pizzeria, Oven & Shaker, turns down the lights, turns up The Pixies, and commences their nightly happy hour, which runs until midnight.

Daily 2-4:30pm, Nightly 10pm-midnight * 1134 NW Everett St. * Website



Last month, chef Trent Pierce‘s hip ‘n hopping SE Division ramen and small plates hotspot debuted a late weeknight happy hour that, among its other virtues, features $2 pork belly and chicken confit steam buns, $5 tonkatsu ramen, and $8 abura soba ramen–their delectable brothless tangle of chili oil-slicked ramen noodles cradling thick slices of pork belly, kimchi, pickled carrot and a fried egg. So the next time you have a troublesome late night noodle urge, you know where to confront it in style.

Sun-Thu 9-11pm * 3113 SE Division St. * Website



Okay, so this sleek SE club’s weekly European-style happy hour is by no means new, but I revisited it last week after a long haitus and was reminded just how dismayingly fantastic it really is. (The dismaying part being that it isn’t every single day.) Sip $5 glasses of cava and masterfully-mixed $5 house cocktails like the Hanaoiance–a slushy mix of white rum, lemon, cucumber and lemongrass accented with thin spikes of fiery fresh ginger, while trying your dignified best not to pig out on the complimentary appetizers by chef Jeremy Larter–last week was a colorful lineup of chilled asparagus bathed in salsa verde, pickled beet and feta spears, dainty egg salad, dill and smoked salmon tea sandwiches, white bean fritters and exquisite rhubarb and cream cheese tartlets. It gives TGIF a whole new meaning.

5-8pm, every Friday * 1001 SE Morrison St. * Website



Suzette Creperie isn’t new either, but owner/chef Jehnee Rains recently relocated to SE Belmont and she’s brought a fantastic happy hour with her, so that qualifies it both mentionable and immediately visitable. At the midweek afternoon and late night happy hours, marvel at the value offered by cups of Rains’ deep, rich, Gruyére-drenched French onion soup, simple house salad, and five generously-portioned crepes–all just $3 each, which leaves you more pocket money for $5 Lavender Lemon Marguerites.

Tue-Fri 4-6pm, Tue-Thu 9-10pm, Fri 11pm-12am * 3342 SE Belmont Ave. * Website