The Paymaster Lounge in NW Portland used to be neighborhood bar. I lived close, very close in fact. My old apartment was kitty-corner to the place and I could see it from my window. I started out disliking the place as their patio was not great for sleeping, but that changed when I finally visited the place.
I went with a lighter beer today, more so in the color, as the Bavik Pilsner checks in at 5.2% ABV. It’s from the De Brabandere brewery in Harelbeke, Belgium, and is a solid beer. As I made my way to the bottom of the glass, it didn’t necessarily get better as it went. This wasn’t a complete abomination, but I think I could only handle one or two.
One of the best kept secrets in this part of the city used to be the Happy Burger at Paymaster, but that’s a whole other rant. The burger itself is still great, with very quality ingredients. It comes with more fries than anyone should receive with a Happy Hour deal.
It’s a bit like Marathon’s burger, which I already reviewed here (shameless plug). It’s simple, but quality, however, this one is much better. If you choose to not be a cheapskate like me, you can get up to a triple, and one day when I’m feeling like a FF2x4 I’ll get the triple.
Very rarely do I get into a “Portland has changed!” rant, but this will be as close as it gets. And yes, I realize the hypocrisy of it. However, this place used to be local, and not the “Mayor got naked here,” but more the people actually lived around here and cared local. You could have real conversations, and learn shit about the neighborhood.
Now I just see people from the Pearl District coming in or worse yet, tourists. They’re so damn easy to spot: constantly looking around, asking if they can bring their dogs in. But there’s a good reason for it, this is a great place.
The food is good, and not overpriced like every other place around here. It’s also got an amazing patio, which is covered with heaters and a pool table nonetheless, so rain or shine it’s a party. Trust me, many of my sleepless summer nights can attest to that.
It is a great bar, which is why it continues to make lists and become a must stop for people in this part of the city. It has some amazing beer signs and posters in it, which got me excited that they actually had Old Style, unfortunately they don’t.
It’s a great bar though and I know why it’s getting more popular by the week.