April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

The other side of the Doug Fir Lounge

Some love it. Others think it's another symbol of everything sick, sad and wrong with Portland's metamorphosis from a low-key, comfortable burg to a bulging metropolis. With its Twin Peaks meets Nip/Tuck decor, the Doug Fir Lounge is perhaps an apt metaphor for this city at the dawn of the 21st century. Since it opened in fall of 2004, the bar/hotel/arts complex has been the subject of praise for its creative design and booking and scorned for its expensive menu, the snooty crowds its draws and the competitive tactics it uses to draw high-buzz bands.

My opinion of the place leans more thumbs-down than thumbs-up. A few months after it opened, I suggested that a friend rent two rooms at the Doug Fir's Jupiter Hotel for a bachelor party. The plan had been to hit several bars on Burnside, including the Doug Fir. The rooms would be available for those too drunk to drive home. Our group, which had spent the afternoon and evening playing with firearms in Estacada, was underdressed, in the wrong mindset and entirely out of place among the Doug Fir's smoke-free yupster crowd. One confrontation with the staff later, we fled to Union Jack's and the groom swore off the place forever.

Then last Tuesday morning I found myself on SE Sandy with a few hours to kill and in need of breakfast. I decided to give the Doug Fir a second try. During daylight hours and without a Saturday night crowd clogging the place, I'd be able to get a good look at its log-cabin-in-space decor and score some hashbrowns in the process.

A waitress led me past a row of large, empty booths and placed me at a tiny table within a foot of another surrounded by a group of middle-aged hippies. So far, so bad. I looked over the menu and, as expected, the items were several dollars more than the ones you'd find at your average pancake house. I settled on the "Logger's Breakfast."




At that early hour there was barely anyone in the place. A few hoodie'd hipsters at a corner table cured their hangovers with endless refills of Stumptown Coffee. An older couple was chatting about Symantec with an unemployed tech guru. At the bar, a bald man in an expensive suit was staring at a laptop. Country and western standards trickled in through overhead speakers.

Cramped in next to the hippies, I tried to make enough room to read the Portland Tribune. Had I been placed at one of the vacant booths, this wouldn't have been a problem. The lights over them were extinguished, suggesting they were definitely off limits for the breakfast crowd. Curious...

The meal itself wasn't bad. Standard breakfast fare, somehow less greasy than you might find at an IHOP. The bottomless cup of Stumptown was appreciated but set me back 2 bucks.

I finished up as the hippies, who may very well have been staff members at nearby KBOO, started talking about Bollywood films. Before leaving, I took a look around. The Doug Fir looks great but feels cramped even when its empty. It's no wonder that it fills up quick on weekend nights. While it's a victim of its tiny location, the designers worked wonders. With a gilded moose head, sleek bar and eerie nature murals, the Doug Fir truly does look like a log cabin in space. If it weren't for the size and type of crowd it draws, it would be a great place to snag a nightcap.

If the "playing with firearms in Estacada" bit wasn't a tip off, the Doug Fir is hardly up my alley. I prefer booze-spots where gelling your hair isn't a prerequisite. Still, I'd go back there for breakfast again...if the staff were only willing to open up those booths. I mean, c'mon people, they were going to waste and I needed the extra room.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?