Willy Week Reviews Bar Maven and FoPo Tavern. What Say You?

The free weeklies are giving Foster some love this week.

Or at least noticing us. That’s something, right?

As we mentioned yesterday, S.M.A.R.T. Collective got a well-deserved nod in the Portland Mercury. Next up? The Willy Week tackles Foster’s youngest bars: Bar Maven and FoPo Tavern.

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Ok, Bar Maven’s not exactly new. But they are still young, and probably align more with FoPo Tavern than they do, say, Starday Tavern. So it makes sense they got paired.

In the end, Bar Maven made the better impression. And for good reason: food’s good and varied, beer options diverse, vibe is laid back, and—something the WW didn’t mention—they typically have Blazers games on the TV.

Here’s what Willy had to say about the two bars:

         “Given most passersby are flying at 40 mph, it takes some time for a new bar to build a crowd in Foster-Powell. At least that’s the word at Bar Maven (6219 SE Foster Road, 384-2079,barmaven-pdx.com), which has been open 18 months but only recently rounded into one of the neighborhood’s best bars. Maven’s sleek black exterior looks a little bro-y, but the inside is a faded rainbow of reclaimed wood to deaden speakers playing “Tighten Up” with all the clarity of a subwoofer rattling from the trunk of an ’87 Cutty Supreme. On a recent Saturday, the crowd was mostly late 20-somethings, drawn more to an eccentric tap list of pineapple cider and Barley Brown’s hefeweizen than the newfangled digital shuffleboard table or cocktails ($6.50 gets you cucumber and Bombay, $7 buys a cocktail with brandy and a grove of pulpy, muddled citrus). Maven’s pubby food menu has a Mediterranean twist, including a gyro burger ($11) that’s a delightfully sloppy mess of beef, bacon and sliced gyro meat. Coincidentally, just down the street there’s another new FoPo bar doing Middle Eastern food. That’s the newer, less-polished and so-far empty FoPo Tavern (5902 SE Foster Road, 771-2377). FoPo also has burgers and gyros, cooked by the solo bartender after she blends a ginger ale stand-in from 7 Up, Coke and bitters. It’s easier to hear the music—Ed Sheeran, the Weeknd—and the house-fried potato chips are tasty, but for now, the party’s down at Maven. “

So what say you? Is FoPo Tavern simply Dusty’s with a new name? Have they won you over? Who cares?

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3 Responses to Willy Week Reviews Bar Maven and FoPo Tavern. What Say You?

  1. MattSE60th says:

    I want to like FoPo Tavern because it’s basically across the street from my house, but Dusty’s was too… or maybe it was not enough… something. It just never grabbed me. And so Far FoPo Tavern’s new sign hasn’t been enough to get me in the door. I should probably go have a look-see though. I really do like Bar Maven though.

  2. Natalie says:

    WW missed out on trying the awesome cauliflower at Bar Maven! It’s delicious!

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