Happy Hour: Bar Bar

19 05 2012

Housed in what used to be a Baptist church, Mississippi Studios is one of the premier music venues in Portland. Long known for its choice acoustics and knack for booking similarly thought of music acts, Mississippi Studios has also managed to garner some renown for its drinkery, Bar Bar.

Like an alcohol slinging conjoined twin, Bar Bar sits connected at the hip next to Mississippi Studios. As you might expect, the musical influence spills over from next door. The staff at Bar Bar is a tight-knit bunch with close ties to the local music scene.

As a drinking spot, Bar Bar features a couple of its own headliners. For starters, their burgers are easily some of the tastiest in North Portland. And if that weren’t enough, you can take that burger and a stiff drink out onto one of the finest, most expansive patios this side of the Willamette. If you live in Portland, you know that outdoor seating means almost nothing for 9 months of the year, but for the other three it means almost everything. Bar Bar’s patio is epic.

Burgers and patios are great. They’ll perhaps get you through the door, but you’re not staying unless the drinks are up to snuff. A couple of weeks ago Kassidy and I made our way down to Bar Bar where we were met by Publicity Coordinator, Stephanie, and Tender of Bar, Arian. Both ladies were very easy to talk to, and I hope they don’t mind my saying, rather easy on the eyes as well. I’ll admit I don’t tire of attractive barkeeps.

While Kass and I chatted up Stephanie, Arian went about the business of assembling a series of memorable/memory erasing bevies. Among them was the Upside Down Margarita. Featuring one of the agave plant’s gifts to humanity, el Jimador Tequila Reposado, and a bounty of muddled citrus, this drink was a tall delicious glass of get you there.

Another star was the Basil Sweetness. Comprised of basil, grape, ginger ale, and 42 Below vodka, this was one of my favorite drinks of the last month. There was nothing overly cute or fancy about it, just a fine drink that’s definitely more than the sum of its parts.

And since all this “research” was for the fall edition of Northwest Travel Magazine, Arian finished us off with a Hot Toddy. Orange juice, whiskey, honey, and hot water garnished with a cinnamon stick and an orange wedge. Kassidy is by no means a whiskey gal, but she tried to bogart this particular toddy, which tells you something about it.

Many thanks to the fine staff at Bar Bar; in particular, Stephanie and Arian. If I ever tire of really good drinks and conversation, I’ll stop coming.

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