Bar Guide 2015: When the Magic’s Gone
Strip clubs that double as hangouts, post Magic Garden.
5305 SE Foster Road, 774-4513, devilspoint.net. 11 am-2:30 am daily.
Even people who “don’t go to strip clubs” go to Devils Point. Why? The beautiful spectacle of some of Portland’s most acrobatic and dedicated performers creates a huge crossover with the burlesque crowd, but stripparaoke especially brings in the tourists. Every Sunday, you can pick a song and hop right up on the stage next to a mid-strip dancer, just like you’re the nicest member of the Crüe. (Be nice. Don’t touch.) And you can sing the Crüe.
129 SW Broadway, 227-3023, marysclub.com. 11 am-2:30 am Monday-Saturday, 11:30 am-2:30 am Sunday.
The oldest strip club on the West Coast, Mary’s is a landmark deeply entwined with Portland’s history, a onetime sailor haunt (and still a sailor haunt every Rose Festival) where Courtney Love once graced the stage. Some believe Tom Waits sang about it in “Pasties and a G-String.” Located across from one of the city’s best beer bars and next to one of its oldest craft breweries, Mary’s has its own beer brewed by Cascade Brewing: Mary’s Topless Blonde.
Nicolai Street Clubhouse
2460 NW 24th Ave., 227-5384, nicolaistreet.com. 10 am-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 1 pm-2:30 am Saturday.
Nicolai Street Clubhouse is exactly what its name says it is: a clubhouse for regulars, many of whom come from the trucking, rail and shipping companies that still dominate the last refuge for industry in Portland’s Northwest quadrant—a place with trucker hats, goatees and friendly familiarity.
927 SE Morrison St., 231-1606, sassysbar.com, 10:30 am-2:30 am daily.
There is no strip club in Portland better to visit in the daytime than Sassy’s. The back patio is sunny and pleasant—often home to affable cig-smoking dancers casually shooting the shit—and, especially, the many craft brews are a mere $2.50 until 7:30 pm. Multiple Boneyard taps are featured, making Sassy’s one of the best and cheapest afternoon beer spots in Portland, period.
Kit Kat Club
231 SW Ankeny St., 208-3229. 5 pm-2:30 am daily.
Bitcoin acceptance aside, Kit Kat is the geek-friendliest little strip club in Portland, with Nerdgasm dress-up (and strip-down) nights, dancers who might come out in roller skates or with a snake and a table array set up like it’s dinner theater. This sister club to Sassy’s and Devils Point is also perhaps the most dancer-empowered and lady-dominated spot in town, almost a burlesque hall.
Rose City Strip
3620 SE 35th Place, 239-1004, dv8.cc/page8.html. 3 pm-2:30 am daily.
Featuring one of Portland’s most diverse dancer rosters, Rose City’s layout allows you to choose your own adventure, with leagues of space to spread out, hang on the patio, play pool or pony at one of the stages or simply at the meandering, loose horseshoe of a bar, which often boasts several solid craft taps.
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