Caravansary: The Pope House Bourbon Lounge. Portland, Oregon USA
Ahhh...Portland...I love this city. It's not uncommon for me to stumble upon a place or a person in Portland that fits the vibe of the project...or my life for that matter. A group of us were in Portland hanging out with my good friend Miller James, who was on tour with a few cats that became new friends for sure, Brian Jarvis, and Brendan James. After the Portland show, we took a day off and chilled out in the Pearl District. A nice dinner at an amazing restaurant in the "Pearl" followed by a search for a "wee bit o whiskey" to wrap up the night led us to this amazing place. We asked the server at the restaurant about another whiskey bar we'd all heard a lot about. It was a typical "Caravan of Souls" moment when the server hesitated...turned her head to the side ever so slightly and said...ya, "that's a cool place". "But! There's another spot I think you guys would like, given your personalities here tonight..."
COS: Okay...I'm intrigued. So, tell us about it.
"Well, it's a great little spot in an old 'kinda Victorian looking' house. They have a great selection, and the people that work there are chill and knowledgeable. It's always a good crowd, and the food is great too."
COS: Directions, please! And, we'll tell them you sent us.
"I think you'll enjoy it. Stop back by before you head out of town and let me know what you think!"
We started the walk from the Pearl District a block north, then turned left to head West on Northwest Glisan Street. This part of Portland is among my favorite spots in the US. A true "foodie" city, with a great public transportation system, and a ton of cool peeps. I digress...
We walked about a half of a mile and saw a quaint looking "house" with strings of lights on the patios and steps leading to the front door. It was 11pm "ish" on a Monday, so we anticipated a mellow crowd. Walking up the steps, I began to feel the warmth and ambiance of an Aspen Ski Lodge eloquently blended with a posh New York City "hot spot" vibrance.
My first impression...I'm at my kind of place. We were greeted at the door and offered our choice of tables. The guy actually said, "you can sit anywhere that's open, but I'll show you my favorite table if you'd like to sit there, it's open". Add 10 points to the experience!
It was dark and warm and just awesome. It was then I saw the drink list. Oh my god. Hundreds of whiskeys. Hundreds. Where do we begin? So here's the fun part. They do whiskey flights! This is going to be a longer night than originally planned. The cover photo of this post was taken by yours truly, from my iPhone, from our table. It was the one night I left my camera at the hotel to take a breather from shooting photos. Shooting all the shows wore me out and I felt a break was in order. I just didn't think I'd find a place like this!
We ordered a couple flights of whiskey. I felt as though I was in some sort of Vegas movie from the 60's. Dark wood decor, warm lighting, tremendously involved and always helpful staff, and an unbelievable selection of all of my favorite scotches and whiskeys. Well, my favorites plus a hundred I'd never seen. Wow, this place. Take some risks here. Try a few of the obscure whiskeys and don't be afraid to lean on the staff a bit to help in your selections. I think I'd love their job! They're very experienced and passionate. I'm imagining they get to try the list? How else would they be spot on in their descriptions and recommendation?
Thank you Pope House, you had me at hello.
If you're in Portland and want an amazing place to catch up with friends or meet a few more, GO HERE! It's one of my new favorites.
P.S. I was back in Portland for a night after the concert in Seattle, and went back to the Pope House for another whiskey flight...or 3.
I left my camera behind twice. That's how much I like this place! So! The photos are all from the old iPhone. :)