For example, Foster is very accommodating to OMMP card holders. Foster also does an amazing job of getting cars quickly from outer SE Portland to closer-in neighborhoods, even if with little regard for people living/walking there. Tires and boobs? Foster does that well, too.
What we really do well, though, is get people drunk. From the Pod Bar at 52nd and Foster, all the way to Shimmers at 81st, there are at least 18 places to get a drink. In other words, on average, you’d never have to walk more than two blocks to fill up. On some blocks, all you have to do is turn left or right and you’d be at a different bar. My inner alcoholic loves that.
But not all Foster bars are created equal. And Portland BarFly has a particularly candid, and sometimes unflattering, take on what the Foster bar scene has to offer.
“Creepy little dive inhabited by Foster Blvd.’s undesirables.”
Undesirables? Come on, Foster doesn’t have any of those. Ok, how about a bar held in higher esteem. Well, a sorta-bar:
“It’s a bar only sort of: it’s open till merely 10 pm, brunch is its biggest draw, and the liquor is served from a coffee bar. Really, it’s like a cozy living room for a decidedly un-cozy neighborhood, where old ladies might get dotty on some Bailey’s and coffee in the early afternoon, and the old-school, floor-to-ceiling paneled windows keep the place impossibly bright till sunset…”
Un-cozy neighborhood? Sure, there are some un-cozy features, but Foster’s come a long way. Let’s try one that’s decidedly more bar:
“Never too crowded, there’s almost always a pool table open, drinks are stiff and reasonably priced with bizarre daily specials likely invented that morning, and the patrons – a blend of blue collar types and aging hippies dotted with those laborer bohemians peculiar to the area – couldn’t be friendlier. An honest to god real jukebox spins a connoisseur’s blend of metal, blues and classic rock….
“…And how’s this for unexpected quality booze cushioning: stone-hearth-fired pizza, with homemade dough and sauce. Totally wouldn’t have seen that coming; so glad it’s there.”
Ok, that’s better. Still, a quick generalization of the clientele. Moving on…
“Remember Brown’s? No? Remember Reno’s? No? Well, the Gemini Lounge is taking over that space on Foster, hopefully to greater effect.”
Not Brown’s…not Reno’s? That’s BarFly’s stamp on the place? I’ll go ahead and throw in that it’s not Lizard’s Bar and Grill either. This is a review worth updating. Here’s a start: “rad bar and lounge that can please many tastes.”
What about the universally-liked Slingshot? Even folks from outside the neighborhood like Slingshot.
“Another once-great bar that’s run downhill, fast…..”
Whoa, whoa, whoa…wait. Stop right there. Slingshot…downhill, fast? Alright, BarFly, you just lost some serious credibility.
Let’s leave it to the locals. What do you all think?