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Portland sports bars - that are minor and kid friendly.

I wrote in the past about the difficulty of finding good sports bars that allow people under 21. Here is an update to that...

This year we have had some better luck, and have more information to share.

In Portland, there are a few sports bars which allow kids or people under 21, and here is what we think of them.

"OnDeck" in the Pearl reversed their "no minors" policy. But they still suck. Their menu is not all that great, they don't have the most or best TVs or TV placement. Their staff seems to be unmotivated, and in fact it just seems like the whole thing is run by people who don't care about the business at all. I cannot recommend OnDeck at all, even though they have one of the coolest locations in the city. They have no kids menus at all, and they wont even work with you (like make a small version of something on the menu). The service sucks. So over all there is no real reason to go there unless you happen to live right nearby.

Much like the other sports bars, "The City" has a lousy website. But they are a pretty good place. They are right downtown, central to almost everything. They allow kids and minors, the staff have been pretty friendly the several times we went there. Their TVs have an interesting configuration, and depending on what you are watching they can be difficult. For example, if they have some TVs showing a game on local channels, and other TVs showing the same game on satellite - you will have TVs that are a few seconds out of sync which makes for difficult viewing. But that only happens every now and then. They also have Wii and XBox systems set up on some TVs. The place fills up early, but it is a pleasant experience. I recommend "The City" for downtown Portland sports watching.

There is a new arrival in downtown Portland. Sure, "Buffalo Wild Wings" is a huge national chain with no soul and hundreds of identical locations. Sure their menu is adequate - but nothing to write home about. Sure their website is annoyingly 100% Flash - which I hate. And as of this point - they have only been opened for about two weeks and their staff is fairly confused (I expect that to change as they get more experience). But you know what? It is an OK place. It is kid friendly, has a decent kid menu. They have TONS of high definition TVs and it is easy to see any game from any location. The staff while error prone, was friendly and did well. So if you don't mind giving some dough to an out-of-town chain with almost no unique traits - "Buffalo Wild Wings" is a good choice. They are centrally located, right near the Pioneer Place mall, the MAX line and just about everything else downtown. My only real nit-pick about this place is that they nickel and dime you - they like to charge for EVERYTHING. Want a side of ranch? extra. Want a different kind of sauce? extra. Want anything? pretty much they will charge extra.

I save the best for last:

And as I mentioned in my previous post, there is our neighborhood standby - "Skybox" in Sellwood. These people are awesome. They work well with kids, this year they upgraded all their TVs to high def, and they have lots of them. I highly recommend these folks. But they are not 100% perfect... They have a strange TV channel management policy. The manager or owner (I am not sure which) choses which games to put on before hand - and will not change no matter what. No matter who is in the restaurant or where they are sitting, he will not change a darn thing. Two weeks ago he had a game on the big screen (main screen) and with sound that there was not a single person in the restaurant watching. But there were at least 5 people watching a game that he only had on a couple TVs in hard to view places. And even though everyone in the restaurant agreed he should change the channels - he refused to listen. Another down point is it is kinda small, it fills up quick. If you don't get there before a big game you might be out of luck. And my final tiny tiny nitpick? They have no real dessert menu. They really really could use a good milkshake on the menu. But I am just telling you these in the interest of full disclosure - it really is a great place. Please go support these folks - they are local, and they are a good bunch of people!

Comments

pankleb said…
I like your use of "unmotivated." That, along with "couldn't possibly give a damn" and "don't care at all," are better descriptions for the On Deck staff than I came up with.

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