A mid-size, comfortable and reverent music and event venue. The hardwood floors, chandeliers and spacious elegance evoke the lobby of a Western hotel, reborn as a music hall and art nouveau lounge. The atmosphere is part club-house, part secret society. Karaoke, comedy and dancing round out the schedule.
This season, a brand-new bar has materialized alongside the established music venue for a true multisensory evening out. Recently released into the wild on July 10 of this year, Bar Bar's grand opening springboards an outdoor-patio concert series, smoking and non-smoking patios, and a creative cocktail menu. A succinct lineup will be available, with more options added with each massing moonset. Hang a fang on a 3/8 lb. classic burger ($5.50, $6 with cheese) before cooling off with a refreshing cocktail at the new space fashioned by renowned Portland entrepreneurs Alicia J. Rose, Jim Brunberg, Peter Bro (Aalto Lounge, Broder Cafe, Savoy Bistro), Tali Ovadia (The Whole Bowl), and Kevin Cradock.
A cavalcade of strings and horns sings out season’s greetings as eight-piece ensemble The Trail Band weaves an elaborate blanket of sound to protect audiences from the winter chill nipping at the Aladdin Theater’s doors. Formed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, the band cut its teeth on traditional folktunes and Native American melodies before expanding its range to encompass other historical genres unique to America’s Northwest. Old-Fashioned Christmas continues the group's old-timey tradition, commemorating Santa’s 1843 crash landing on Mount Hood with holiday tunes that evoke the parlor orchestras and brass bands of yesteryear. Parents and children clap along as the band stuffs ear stockings with rich vocal harmonies, humorous asides, and the antique timbre of hammer dulcimers, pennywhistles, fiddles, and acoustic synthesizers.
Like the philosophy-based salons and cafes of 19th-century Europe, Funhouse Lounge is a place where locals can revel in local art and entertainment over drinks. On many nights, the stage plays host to local acts showing off skills at karaoke, open-mic comedy, and music. Saturday evenings also welcome local improv groups that take the stage with off-the-cuff comedy scenes. While watching neighbors and friends show off their talents, guests split eccentric appetizers such as Irish nachos made from potato chips, cheese sauce, and sour cream or the Ho Ho trifle. The drink menu is equally as whimsical, with bartenders mixing up carnival-themed drinks such as the Bumper Car with Southern Comfort, amaretto, and sloe gin. The Midway Mojito boasts fresh-squeezed lime and a very slim chance of going home with an oversized stuffed tiger.
When he's not whipping the youth league of the Portland Timbers into shape, Waterfront Fitness's owner Jason Bell heads to the city’s riverside parks to shape up everyday citizens with rigorous athletic drills. He and his team of six trainers convene beneath Portland's sky during all but the coldest months, incinerating calories during one-hour boot camps held every morning and evening. Other group sessions include Box Fit classes, featuring high-speed punching drills and cardiovascular throwdowns beneath the boughs of mighty park trees, which quickly learn to never pick on any of Jason's students. The trainers also provide general and sport-specific personal training for exercisers in search of an intense, highly personalized regimen to build muscle or burn fat.