Bill suggested the Landmark Saloon to me, so away I went. I come in and notice there’s a space for band and there’s signs of I get why there is a band about to play, but…I’m not sure this place is big enough for anything with an amplifier. It’s a house that’s been converted into commercial space and while it’s cozy, I wonder if a band wouldn’t just take over.
Drinking HUB‘s Survival Stout, as recommended by a bald man with a reddish goatee who is typing on a smartphone and would like me to leave him be.
I manage to strike up a nice conversation about beer with a nearby fellow who dreams of visiting England, Belgium and Germany and making a tour of their breweries. He seems especially fond of the idea of trying the various forms of German lagers and I can’t blame him; they really do some of the best ever. He recommends some stuff from Deschutes and we talk about mixing beers-lambics and porters, specifically-in order to create some of the best drinks ever. Then he’s off for a smoke.
The conversion of this house into a pub feels a little weird, extra doorways in the front, rooms with clearly different feels in habited by furniture to help suit-a red velvet loveseat in the furthest room, wood barstools in front seating me at a bar that is right out of open country sensibilities-the wood in front is still textured with knots and wooden imperfections, the middle room has a decorative rug hanging on the wall that looks like it is probably done in the mesa indian style. Horseshoes hang here and there, no real rhyme or reason to them that I can tell.
But it’s also very comfortable. In a rare moment, I can’t quite imagine what this place might be like if it was really busy. I can’t pick up what the vibe is: the presence of what appears to be a country bar in the middle of the alt-punk universe baffles me. But the song that’s playing over the speakers has a slide guitar and fiddle and that’s kinda great. There’s a grilled PB&J sandwich offered on the menu. Something weird is definitely going on.
I don’t hate it, I just wonder what the hell it’s doing here. Then again, maybe the neighborhood needs it. The universe is, thankfully, made up of more interesting things than the Decemberists and Portlandia-but only if there’s a contrast to the Decemberists and Portlandia.