After the birth of her first child in 2001, Baby Boot Camp’s founder and certified trainer and spin and Pilates instructor Kristen Horler wanted a postnatal fitness program that didn't require her to leave her baby at the door. Her solution was to start a suit of programs just for new and expecting parents where mothers could bond with their infants while soaking up the support and camaraderie of their peers. During Strollfit sessions, certified trainers and Radio Flyers equipped with outboard motors lead ladies through innovative routines that incorporate baby-filled strollers into yoga, cardio, and strength training. For long-term fitness, coaches encourage aspiring runners to break through the tape during the 5K training program, and Kristen's own Nutrition Solutions teaches the benefits of healthy-eating habits during a four-week program designed by registered dieticians.
The chefs at Branch Whiskey Bar make everything from scratch—including butchering their own steak, curing their own bacon, and smoking their own poultry—to put their distinctive stamp on traditional dishes. Classic comfort foods take on inventive transformations to result in such unusual plates as Maine lobster dumplings and macaroni 'n' cheese gratin with Oregon black-truffle oil. On their side of the establishment, the bartenders take the same artisanal approach by infusing their bourbon with fresh local fruit and concocting their own whiskey liqueurs. The full bar features an extensive whiskey list with more than 150 whiskeys from around the world available in single glasses, tasting flights, or directly from Sam Elliot’s mustache.
There are plenty of windows throughout Rae’s Lakeview Lounge, but not a single one has views of the lake. That’s because there is no lake. Not anymore, anyway. The shoreline of Guild’s Lake used to run down below where Rae’s stands today, but the flood-prone area was filled in after the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905. Though it’s a bit of a misnomer, the lounge's name aligns with Rae’s goal for the business; though it’s newer, it can make guests feel as though it’s been there their whole lives, much like the doll you woke up to staring at you this morning.
The lounge certainly feels like it has an old soul. Inside the rehabbed 1946 building, there are vintage photos on the walls (including one of Guild’s Lake, of course) that evoke a bygone Portland. At the dark bar top, pendant lights glint off an impressive lineup of liquors; sip on a Rae's manhattan or a blackberry cosmo. The food menu has many classic, homestyle dishes— including house-recipe meatloaf and potpie du jour—but it also integrates some finer dining selections such as Dungeness crab cakes and pork tenderloin. Many entrees pair well with the wines, which includes local barrel wines on tap as well as internationals available by the bottle, half-carafe, or glass.
Oakshire Brewing's master libation-smiths brew small batches of high-quality malts and hops in a 15-barrel, 4,000-square-foot brewhouse. Guests can visit the main brewing facility's tasting room to admire the malt magic created by the diligent staff. Weekday visitors wet their whistles on 4-ounce samplers of three year-round and seasonal selections, and Friday swillers can enjoy plentiful pints of their favorite brews. Gargle the crisp, dry hops of a Northwest–style Watershed IPA and the dark, silky suds of the Overcast Espresso stout. Or dabble in seasonal selections, such as the malty Ill Tempered Gnome Winter ale, a distant cousin of the nonalcoholic beverage sipped by Snow White's Grumpy. The brewery peddles bottles ($4–$5) and cases ($48–$60) of its regular and seasonal beer for those wishing to partake in imbibing in the comfort of their own home, and it equips swig sessions with growlers ($5) and pint glasses ($3). Guests can also advertise ale adherence with a brewery T-shirt ($18) or hat ($12) or by shouting panegyrics about beer in a crowded mall.