By Dave Pendleton
With the dawn of each new year, Portlanders are eager to categorize their watering holes into “best of” lists. These lists often focus on what is newest, or most cutting-edge. Let us not forget that the Pearl District is host to Teardrop Lounge (1015 NW Everett St), the spot that started the Port- land cocktail revolution just seven short years ago. By no means new to the scene, TDL continues to reinvent itself by offering a seasonally changing cocktail menu that is among the most ambitious the city has to offer. Built on bitters, tinctures and the freshest ingredients, TDL pays homage to classic and contemporary cocktails. As spring turns into sum- mer, enjoy a Mint Julep on the sidewalk as time passes by.
PEPE LE MOKO
Just a few steps from the Pearl District, nestled beneath the Ace Hotel, Pepe Le Moko (401 SW 10th Ave) “softly” opened its doors in mid-February. It feels like stepping into a colorful version of Casablanca and is the perfect spot to disappear for whispered conspiracy theories. Dim lighting and dancing shadows contribute to a “speakeasy” vibe. Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s cocktail list is more playful and not limited to prohibition style cocktails. It features an adult-only Long Island Iced Tea that is garnished with a Coca-Cola afterthought.
RIVER PIG SALOON
(DEF: “ONE WHO DRIVES LOGS DOWN A RIVER.”) Over the last several months, the Pearl District has seen a handful of restaurant closures and several new establishments open in their stead. Among these is the expected open- ing of River Pig Saloon (529 NW 13th Ave) this spring. On a street flush with fine dining choices and high end cocktail destinations, this saloon will focus on being a neighbor- hood haunt with reasonably priced libations. Along with approachable eight dollar cocktails, RPS will feature classic cask conditioned beer and a variety of tap handles. Its hard wood floors and rustic feel will fit nicely into the industrial Pearl District area it will inhabit.