rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Over the weekend I visited two new (for me) bars and an old sci-fi favorite.
Bar of the Gods (AKA BOG): ...is closer to Hades than Mount Olympus. I heard about this bar when it first opened ten years ago and immediately wanted to go. There were just two problems: my 21st birthday was five years away and a fake ID wasn't going to erase my pimples. Years later, I finally made it over there and discovered an overcrowded, pitch-black punk bar with paintings of Greek gods added almost as an afterthought. Would Zeus or Aphrodite put up with cramped quarters and getting occasionally poked with pool ques? Where were the zebra-skin couches? The half-naked, Creaser's Palace-style staff? The nubile sevants to feed me grapes while fanning my head with palm leaves? BOG doesn't have palm tree leaf one but it does have a table-top Mrs. Pac-Man machine. On the Ancient Religious Theme Bar Scale that alone raises it from Ares (bottom level) to Hephaestus (next step up from the bottom level).
The Space Room: BUT A-HA! Now this is more like it. SR is one of the first bars I hit in town once I came of age. It'd been a year since my last visit and they've remolded. The sign out front now has an animated UFO. The old star-filled foyer, which was covered in torn stickers and carved initials, has been covered over with an all new intergalactic mural. Once upon a time, the Space Room was one of the smokiest bars in Portland. Its LA haze has cleared up enough to allow visibility levels of almost twenty feet. It's now possible to see across the room and speculate about other patrons. Like, what's the deal with the poodle hair woman and her puffy shirt*? And is that new carpet on the floor? Woooo...new carpet.
The Ambassador: A well-preserved disco turned karaoke bar? The Ambassador and its mirror-covered walls look like they survived dozens of incarnations. Blood-red curtains hang over a chessboard dance floor, making the place look like Twin Peak's Black Lodge circa 1977. While we were there a 350 pound man tried to pick a fight with three yuppies he collectively outweighed. Later, a truck-stop couple performed "Celebrate" as a group of Bratz danced alongside them. If this bar had a god theme, it would be a Zues.
* Yeah, it's a Seinfeld reference.