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Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Goose turns 40
The Tuesday edition of the Portland Tribune has a cover story on Bud Clark and the Goose Hollow Tavern, the local watering hole he's owned for nearly four decades. On Friday, the tavern will host a birthday celebration.
I need to get one of those "still my mayor" stickers.
I've frequented the Goose Hollow since I moved back to Portland after college. I've taken many people down there over the past few years. Some of them instantly get it while others can't understand the appeal. The booths are small, the beer selection is lackluster by PDX standards, there's a creepy photo of a naked baby on the mens room door and the crowd ranges from undergrad to a few steps away from being underground. The Goose Hollow isn't cool, the interior looks like a beach house rec room littered with mementos and, despite the porch, it apparently doesn't warrant a mention in the Mercury's belated summer drinking issue (just released last week. Tbbbbbbbbt!).
But it's the tavern that served as a sanctuary during a time when I was working 70+ hour weeks between a day job and an internship. It's out-of-the-way while still close to everything. All roads lead to the Goose Hollow. It's a place where I don't have to yell to hear myself speak and can quietly kill an hour on a sunny afternoon. The Goose is low-key without being a dive bar, the prices are reasonable and it's hard to feel out of place. If I were more creative, I could come up with a term for the tavern. I think it's a place that deserves its own term.
The Goose Hollow's ability to cater to all age groups continues to amaze. With the exception of, maybe, a McMenamins, I can't think of a place in town where great-grandparents can throw back beers besides people 1/3 their age. On a recent afternoon I sat on the porch near an elderly man chatting with a friend about his dog and a group of PSU students discussing battle scars earned during a previous night's booze/cokefest.
When people from out of town arrive in Portland, where do we wind up? The big, round table at the back of the Goose. The one by the cooler that requires everyone to get up when the staff needs to grab something. Where did I go the night I turned down a rewarding career in DC in order to remain in "the best city in the world"? The Goose. Where did I create a revolutionary/controversial way to enjoy a Guinness and a Corona at the same time? The porch at? Where? The Goose. Where have I spent hours and hours but have yet to see the disco ball spin? The Goose. Where did I go after giving up on Zoobombing after a single run down the West Hills? The Goose. Where have I spent too much money over the past five years? Powell's and...er, uh, that's right, now I remember, the Goose.
Happy birthday, Goose Hollow Tavern. May you live to be a hundred million billion years old and may the best of your yesterdays be the worst of your tomorrows.