When I first became of age in Portland, OR, Citysearch was the place for information about where to go Friday night. I hated Citysearch. It felt fake. It made me believe that the only genuine reviews they had to offer were the over-the-top negative comments. My knowledge of bars in my area and where I worked was limited. Then I found Barflymag.com and my social life was changed forever.
As a naturally sarcastic person, who enjoys a stiff drink, I found that Barfly was tailored to me and the Portland community. You see, Portlanders are not overly optimistic people. We tend to think that if something is perfect then in reality we are actually blind to see its imperfections, thus making us depressed. I think weather or KPTV Fox12 news has something to do with this depression as well.
When you first heard of a “$1 Pabst happy hour”, you immediately thought, “Oh, but it’s probably between 3:30-5:30 pm and you have to order food too and you have too…”. Our pessimistic nature protects us from looking like an out-of-towner*. Barfly was created to provide us inside knowledge about all the bars in Portland including details about happy hour prices. When considering an after work drink, Barfly is a great resource for what really is a good deal in my area.
In addition, Barfly provides extremely accurate reviews. I wasn’t really sure what to expect upon my first trip to the Dixie Tavern until I read Barfly’s review:
“Half-assed Coyote Ugly wannabe swarms with meatheads on the make, while can-tanned girls-gone-mild clamber up on the bar to drop it like it’s lukewarm. When their mechanical bull is out, means of making an ass of oneself are upped exponentially.”
“A so-called “Irish pub” for the frat boy set, McFadden’s strives to be the large and vaguely antiseptic college bar Portland never really had. Weekends are a meat market with no cover before 10 PM and cheap drink specials practically guaranteed to lure underage women with fake IDs into improprieties. The crowd’s made up of suburbanites who’ve clearly dressed themselves carefully for the occasion, but the vibe can be fun nonetheless as DJs spin undeniably-danceable booty music into the wee hours.”
Love it. Hell, one more, Gypsy:
“Ages ago, when Portland’s scenesters could be counted on two hands and space-age retro-futuristic interiors seemed thrillingly new/old, The Gypsy was the nervy pinnacle of a burgeoning northwest cool. And, to some sort of credit, we’re sure – they didn’t bother to change with the times. A separate dining room must, you’d imagine, be occasionally entered while the bar itself attracts the sort of folks aiming to avoid those upon the avenue that may judge stained sweat-shirts or particularly down-market bachelorette parties puking AMF fishbowls upon vintage booths.”
There isn’t a better site in this area to provide you with a true representation of what your experience will be. If you completely hate Barfly, then read the community comments below. They tend to include more colorful language, but generally the positives and negatives are right. So next time, do yourself a favor and check out BarFlymag.com before you end up at The Agency.
*I’ve found that born and raised Portlanders (not Beavertrons, Greshamites, etc.) would rather kill themselves than be thought of as an “out of towner”