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03-16-2011, 03:06 PM
Top Ten: Saint Patrick's Day Pubs

Whether or not you want to hit up a full-blown St. Patrick’s Day party, ‘tis the season to get a little taste of life across the pond. From classy to dive, these local pubs feature rich wood, strong booze, and if you’re lucky, an accent or two.


Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub
Kells is Portland’s most notorious Irish pub (they also have locations in Seattle and San Francisco), a stately façade on SW Second Avenue. The restaurant is light and bright from chandeliers, serving hearty portions of refined Irish favorites, while the darker narrow bar features live music and the downstairs smoking room houses cigars and foosball.

Thirsty Lion Pub
This is the newest of the bunch, more British-inspired than truly authentic, but the multi-room space, live music, televised sports (more American than Euro) and various parties guarantee it’s a good time on one of downtown’s most densely packed bar rows.

Paddy’s Bar & Grill
Probably the most polished Irish pub in town, Paddy’s is famous for its floor-to-ceiling Wall of booze, featuring 600 bottles from around the world accessed only with a rolling library ladder. Shiny wood booths and windows on the downtown action make this a great after-dinner drink spot.


Horse Brass Pub
This spacious English pub celebrates Oregon craft brews just as much as its imported lagers. Since 1976, the Horse Brass has been a legendary gathering spot for beer lovers, with over 50 varieties on tap, including cask conditioned and draught cider. They’ve even got a sister pub, the Princess of Wales, in London, and show English Premier League Soccer on the big screen every weekend.


Alberta Street Public House
Known more as a hub of live music, ranging from bluegrass to zydeco, this spot is divided into two: a dark, wooden pub side and a more open stage area perfect for sing-alongs and dancing. But it’s still Irish through and through, with strong single malts and fresh, but traditional pub grub.

Biddy McGraw’s Irish Pub
As old-school Irish as they come, Biddy McGraw’s, which moved from Hawthorne to Northeast in recent years, takes its brews seriously, claiming to be home of the “perfect pour” of Guinness. Live music almost every night, pub trivia Tuesdays and serious drinkers make this one of the most raucous pubs in town.

County Cork Public House
The Ploughman’s Platter and Shepard’s Pie are probably the most obvious Irish bit at this family-friendly bar, which takes a more subtle approach to the pub theme. Still, they’ve got a heavy wooden bar, darts and live folk music to attract groups in the Fremont area.

Moon and Sixpence
Slightly hidden off Sandy Blvd, the Moon and Sixpence is cozy and dim as any good neighborhood pub should be. Live bands feel like impromptu jam sessions among regulars, British tabloids keep you up to date on the Royals, and actual Brits may even chat you up over a hand-pumped cask ale.

Rose & Thistle Pub
This distinctly Scottish watering hole serves up haggis, scotch eggs and fish ‘n chips, plus an impressive array of scotch and whiskey, in a friendly spot tucked away on NE Broadway. Great outdoor beer garden and darts keep it lively in the Scottish tradition.


Dublin Pub
On the outskirts of town, visiting this bar can feel like you’ve truly traveled outside of Portland, complete with green booths and Murphy’s, Beamish, Smithwick’s and New Castle brews. But local live music and down-to-earth games keep it PDX style.