New To Me: Cadigan’s

Cadigan’s Corner Bar used to be the Queen of Hearts, a biker bar that had a great deal of personality. With dark corners, the motorcycle motif everywhere on the walls, the Queen was a touch above skeezy in the best sort of way. You could come here and know you weren’t in your element but there wasn’t any real threat to you, so long as you were a decent human.

Then it changed and the last time I was there, all that personality had been stripped away. Generic beer signs, a pitiful beer selection; the best thing about the place was the cabinet behind the bar that kept the alcohol in it. Made of wood, beautifully designed and clearly old, it was a centerpiece in a room that had nothing to compliment it.

But it’s raining like hell this week and Cadigan’s is probably the closest pub for me to walk to, so I’m headed back for a Ninkasi Total Domination IPA. The beer is good, because they do good work. I’m not breaking new knowledge over your head with this one.

I’m pleased to way it’s got some personality now, with guitars and pictures of guitar gods on the walls. There’s a theme, an idea here to explore! The beer selection has improved too; it’s what I would expect from a Portland bar that wasn’t catering to beer freaks; Widmer, Ninkasi, Deschutes, Portland, the big dogs, essentially. The atmosphere is a bit too busy though, with three TVs competing with band performing on stage.

The band is far more interesting, fronted by a mohawked woman singing a lively blues, with a sax man wailing away. They would be better if the guitarist and sax player realized that they didn’t both have to solo in every song but such is life. Also: the world did not need a danceable version of “Another Brick In The Wall pt II“. It just didn’t.

Still, I like Cadigan’s a lot better now. The dance floor is small but it’s there and that means that occasionally the sweetie and I can go dancing without having to make a long trek from the house. Some days you have to take the sweetie dancing and at least in my case, it helps if I can have a couple beers and not worry about driving because I feel awkward about my dance skills. You know how it is.

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