Three+ years into it, Blow Pony is still the standard to beat — barely. What started out as an outlaw night at an outlaw bar has turned into a huge monthly dance party in a warehouse space that attracts practically every homo in the region, and some heteros, too. This means it’s crowded, and the mood swings wildly from hour to hour, depending on which group is ascendent —
- 10-11 p.m. — Older gay men who don’t stay up late. Come out to get some dancing in before their joints stiffen.
- 11-12 a.m — 100 below-30 lesbian hipsters, who think the dance floor is the best place from which to text. Very sharp elbows, too.
- Midnight — A usually pretty dreadful live performance. Lip synching in Blade Runner drag sums it up, pretty much.
- After midnight — Younger gay men, often in packs and very drunk.
Straights are sprinkled throughout, and Blow Pony organizer Airick loathes them, as he will make clear over the sound system, calling them out and driving them out when he spots them on the dance floor.
Airick plays a lot of ’80s music before 11 (which helps explains the older gay men), and the other DJs span the dial from house to Britney to Kanye.
Blow Pony is still fun, but it’s increasingly a mess, and not in a good way…
Every 4th Saturday (may change during Pride month)
320 SE Second Ave.
Crush is lovely. It attracts the restless homos of SE Portland who don’t feel like travelin’ crost river, or braving the enclosed tomb of Starky’s. At Crush, the air is light and the drinks refreshing. Lots of fun event nights, though some are more successful than others. Highlights are the cute crowd and the cool bathrooms.
It can seem cavernous if there are fewer than 20 people, and the food, though not awful, is forgettable. But you don’t go for the food. You go for the mood–low key hip.
1400 SE Morrison
This place got a complete remodel (read “hosing down”) a few years ago when the state’s no smoking law passed. By the time they got they nicotine off the walls, an entire other room was discovered…But no matter the sharp power tools used, they couldn’t dislodge the drunks.
This is the place to go if you don’t care who sees you fall off your barstool or vomit on yourself and the person next to you. The place to go if you are eager for a DUI. Charles Bukowski wouldn’t last 5 minutes here…In other words, the drinks are strong, and the tacit acceptance of alcoholism is evident.
The bartenders are friendly, though, particularly for Portland. Just be prepared to have someone fall on you. People fall a lot in this place…
217 NW 2nd Avenue