For 60 years, Wooden Nickel Pub & Eatery has served up hearty eats in a wood-paneled bar with games, live music, and the familiar ambience of a hometown hangout. The pub's cooks smoke, cure, and brine meats in-house, sandwiching them within breads baked on-site. In addition to slow-smoked prime rib, German sausages, and sizzling fried chicken, they simmer pots of jambalaya or shrimp and grits. Diners can find the same savory, homestyle food at a second location in Sublimity.
Getting drinks at The Gallon House isn't just to pass the time; it's an adventure. Bartenders serve craft beer by the pint, flight, and take-home growler, with special beer-tasting nights for sampling new, unique brews. Alongside beer, staff serves cocktails made in classic and unique combinations, some with house-infused vodkas. But working through the drink menu isn't the only form of entertainment. Evenings are filled with karaoke, trivia, and live bands. While guests sip and socialize, they can also enjoy house bar fare. Chefs make unique options such as philly cheesesteak flatbreads, spicy wings, and, on special occasions, all-you-can-eat spaghetti. Minors are welcome in The Gallon House until 9 p.m.
Liberty Spirit Bar & Grill stuffs noisy shout-holes with sauce-slathered sandwiches and succulent steaks. Lunchers reminisce about laundry day while rinsing a philly steak sandwich in cleansing jus sauce ($6.75) or carefully folding a chicken-bacon wrap's tomato-basil tortilla to avoid wrinkles ($6.75). During the bar's regular comedy nights, the protein in a 12-ounce rib-eye steak dinner fuels spectators' belly laughs and rotten-tomato tosses ($14.75), and karaoke warblers wet whistles with a pint of Ranger IPA or one of four other beers on tap before serenading companions with Revolutionary War anthems. Daring drinkers can sample the bar's signature concoction, the Raspberry Kamikaze, a mysterious beverage whose secret recipe is known only to Liberty Spirit bartenders and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
At Northern Lights Theatre Pub, audience members sip riesling and sink forks into chicken breasts as movie families sit down to dinner on the silver screen. Cinema-goers order their meals before sitting down to watch second-run flicks, letting waiters ferry their pulled-pork burritos or Angus burgers right to their seats so they don’t miss a screen couple’s passionate first kiss, tender final embrace, or heartwarming jump from an exploding helicopter. In addition to finger foods, the chefs take their fare up a notch by layering personal pizzas with housemade sauce, sprinkling parmesan cheese and squeezing lemon juice over chicken breasts, and piling pineapple atop their banana splits. Before evening films light up the theaters, Northern Lights’ full-service bar kicks into gear, leading to age restrictions so that moviegoers can freely sip on-tap beers such as Blue Moon and Gilgamesh Mamba or wash down bites with chardonnay and shiraz. In addition to screening blockbuster movies, the theater pub’s three auditoriums occasionally show sports or host live shows such as standup comedy.
The menu at MacGregor's Public House reads like an atlas of the Scottish highlands. The burgers—such as the Pentland with cool tzatziki—are each named for a region of the little nation. Composed of lamb and beef, the juicy patties are hormone- and antibiotic-free and carry inventive toppings such as pan-fried pastrami and Granny Smith coleslaw. Shepherd's pie and fish 'n' chips further the sensation that one has stepped into a public house in the Scottish countryside, and pies made from scratch cool, their golden crusts covered with melting ice cream like a bad magician at third grader’s birthday.
Renowned for its artisan wines and pinot noir varietals, Willamette Valley Vineyards whips taste buds into flavorful frenzies with elegant quaffs that highlight the pure grapes of the region. Like the cycles of the moon and broken sundials, reserve tastings rotate monthly, featuring a different lineup of five distinct libations. Tasters can count on three Single Vineyard Designate pinot noirs in the sippable quintet, one of which is the 2008 Estate pinot noir. Blossoming sommeliers step up to their glasses and test their scent-sensors under the guidance of Willamette Valley's professional drink detectives, aiding their efforts to detect the notes of cherry, dark chocolate, and spice laced throughout their beverage. Following their consumption and discussion of their glasses, participants receive two "It's Willamette, Dammit" t-shirts, and are welcome to keep their Riedel logo stemware, ideal for future tastings or trapping fancy tarantulas.