I’ve lived in Beaverton, OR, for nearly seven years, and have spent a fair amount of time looking for a bar I liked. This isn’t exactly high on the absolute priority list, certainly not in the same league as finding a physician or barber (don’t be fooled, ladies, men also like a styling professional they’re comfortable with), but I do like to have a good ‘local’. A place where I can have a reasonably priced beer, order some reasonably priced food, watch the local pro sports teams (Trailblazers, Mariners, Timbers, and Seahawks), and have some social engagement, within a couple miles of where I live, and ideally on a transit line. This doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Except in Beaverton, apparently, it is.
There is a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise that fits the sports and distance requirements, but I’m not a big fan of paying $6 – $8 for a beer, and the menu is limited. And, on the weekends, there’s no place to sit at the bar. There are a number of other establishments that fit the requirements, but they don’t have Comcast, and Comcast has a monopoly on Trailblazers and Mariners games. Comcast is universally reviled, but any bar that doesn’t show Trailblazers basketball or Mariners baseball is a bar in trouble.
The only bar I’ve liked, the Marathon Taverna, is in Portland. It’s 40 minutes away on transit, or 15 minutes away by car, but I’m not a big fan of DWI, either. A ‘dive’ bar, the Marathon has a copper-topped bar, cheap bear, good and cheap food, a number of TV’s, and a reasonably friendly and efficient staff. After you’ve been there a couple of times, the staff knows who you are. It’s great, but it’s not my neighborhood.
Early last week I was looking for a bar showing the Blazers game and coming up empty. I ended up at The Pit Stop in Beaverton. I’d been there a couple of times to eat and they have a decent bar. I was bitching about how hard it was to find a good local bar in Beaverton (like, showing Blazers games) to the guy sitting next to me (disclaimer: he initiated conversation) when he suggested The Peppermill Lounge in Aloha. When he told me the location, I recognized it as a shopping mall I’d been to dozens of times. I’d never seen the lounge, as it’s around the corner from a grocery store I frequent.
So I tried The Peppermill. GOAL! Within two miles of residence: Check. On a bus line: Check. Show the local teams: Check. Reasonably priced food: Check (and the portions are large). Reasonably priced beer: Check (and Guinness on tap). I’ve only been there twice so far, but people are friendly, and I have no complaints about the service. And they have a copper-topped bar. It’s a bar for locals; the bartenders greet most folks by name, a privilege I don’t yet enjoy. But I expect that to change.