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Happy Hour is for Mamas & Papas too

There are a fair number of us urbanMamas who like to have a glass of wine at the end of nutty days.  We received a recent email from a mama who wants to get out and enjoy deals on drinks and nibbles:

We have a tiny baby, only 5 weeks old, and she's very easy to take places right now (for the most part, with the occasional meltdown of course).  But pre-baby one of our favorite things to do was happy hour.  I am looking for places that we can go just after my husband gets off work at 5 and just get a drink, maybe a cheap happy hour snack.  Honestly, mainly a drink.  We keep hitting up the Laurelwood but I know there must be other places that we can go have a beer or two with no pressure to buy dinner.  On the east side is a plus.  Any ideas?  Thanks!

Where is your favorite happy hour spot in town that allows minors?


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Bernie's Southern Bistro on Alberta has okay booze prices but pretty insane food prices. So if you wanted to eat more than drink, that's a great place.

McMenamins Chapel Pub seems to get a fair number of little ones. Good selection of beer, too.

We always enjoy Miss. Pizza Pub and atleast one parent can slip back to the Atlantis Lounge in the far back while the other parent watches kids + music, eats and drinks beer. It's about as good as it gets when you have the wee ones in tow.

We love Grandma Leeths, you can sit and have a glass of wine or yummy organic snack. They do have a kids area too for older kids. Also, it is on the west side, but not too far off the freeway.

Echo on MLK near sacramento

pause on Interstate north of alberta

the non-smoking side of the Low Brow Lounge downtown 'til 9 NW Hoyt/10th

bye and bye on Alberta/10th

hopefully. . .that's a start.


I was asked to leave the "bar side" of the restaurant at the Kennedy School while carrying my then couple-months-old son. So a bar-bar may ask you to not set foot in the place carrying a babe in arms. I was completely shocked, but I guess to them a minor is a minor.

Yeah, I had the same experience as EBW though it was at Edgefield in Troutdale. We had my one-month old with us, asleep in her carseat, and we sat down at one of the smaller pub-like rooms there. The staff was nice and felt bad, but since it was a no minors area they told us we wouldn't be able to sit there with the baby. We had to move to the larger restaurant area. Lots of places have those prominent signs from OLCC stating if and when minors can be in the space, but we didn't notice one when we sat down.

Hillsdale Pub Mcmenimens, Seasons and Regions

we have a new fave: Hopworks Urban Brewery on Powell and 29th (or so). everything's as local and green as can be, the pizza's really good, and the kid's menu is generally not-quite-as-condescending as the usual fare. there's a play area that's very busy and the beer's good.

i've been kicked out of lots of places with my kids, not realizing that i was in the wrong seating area. and can i just say that, though i don't really *want* to take my children to the vast majority of bars, i find the barring of babies the stupidest thing in the world? what the heck? like the bartender is going to forget the baby hasn't yet been carded and serve him a margarita. it's so insulting. i'd love to take my kids over to the gladstone pub some nights (it's only two blocks away) and get a sandwich, but it's totally, completely, no minors whatsoever.

i prefer the southern way, parents get to choose, let the barnuts fall where they may. i'm sure i'd be equally offended, though, if i saw a baby at the neighborhood dirty bar.


New "family friendly" brewery open on SE Powell

We've been to Hopworks 3 times now--food-just ok, service-just ok, beer-pretty good, price-EXPENSIVE for our family.

I am super irritated because we were just refused at this new place Tanuki tonight. Our baby is 2 months old, much like Sarah Gilbert said, it's not like we were gonna be slipping her drinks, obviously. Their website gives the impression that it's a restaurant, but according to the waitress "after 5" it's a sake bar. Ridiculous.

you can have kids with you...

~ in the north seating area of the concordia ale house, and at those outdoor tables.

~ in the outdoor seating area of the kennedy school restaurant as well as any of the restaurant tables, just not the ones directly across from the bar.

~ outside & inside at vita café.

~ outside & inside at bernie's except for the "bar" section.

~ outside & inside at equinox.

~ o mi! so many places.

this doesn't really count for a happy hour list but i do understand the need for a mama to get her drink on.

Happy hour at Pambiche is nice, and is from something like 3 to 6:30. A pretty good selection of food, yum! Just get there as early as possible to avoid a wait. Kids allowed.

I completely understand the frustration with regard to where minors are or are not allowed, but the people who make those rules are the OLCC, not your local pubfolk. Your local publican could be severely fined and possibly risk losing his license if your sweet babe was in a no minors zone and someone happened to see it.
Silly, yes, but potentially many people stand to lose a lot.

When I first moved to Portland, I was pretty irritated about the no-minors rule being so strictly applied to bar areas. Not that I wanted to slip my kids shots, but I wanted those happy hour deals and steals that were only available in the bar area.

I love happy hour. I am a big user of http://www.unthirsty.com or http://www.barflymag.com but it doesn't tell you if minors will be allowed into the bar area where the happy hour is.

Some recent successes with the kids: Voleur (Old Town), Andina or Bluehour (Pearl - where a $5 cocktail or $2 plate of fries is a "deal"), Bridgeport Brewery ($2.75 hh pints but kiddie food is $5 a plate!), Carlyle (NW PDX), Echo (NE MLK). I heard Equinox (N Miss) has a happy hour.

Although it certainly can be frustrating to not be allowed in the no minors area with babies/small children, we do need to think about the restaurant owners who seriously risk losing their licenses if they "bend" this rule at all. A minor is a minor, as we all know, and things could get out of hand if people started pushing this. Our neighborhood pub has calmly explained this to us and we don't upset. We still go when we can and have a beverage/appetizer in the minors allowed area and enjoy ourselves.

Concordia ale has a righteous beer selection and kids are allowed on one side! Pause on Interstate has Great service, a nice patio and tasty tasty burgers, kids allowed throughout!

It's not the bar's fault - it's the OLCC - If a server/bartender allowed you in with your child (even a baby) they risk heavy penalties. Yes, it's a dumb law but the OLCC is a dumb organization - sometimes a girl just wants to buy Vodka for Bloody Mary Sunday Brunch and most of the liquor stores are not allowed to be open. Poo Poo.

There are a lot of great suggestions and I would like to add one. The Tin Shed on Alberta has great cocktails at a good happy hour price (I forget the exact price) plus beer and wine. They also have good food with a discounted selection during happy hour. There is an "outside" area that is a lot like a tent with heaters and then an outdoor garden area. They are very kid friendly and when we were there last week we sat in the tent area and the kids ran around the garden area. Mac and cheese with broccoli is on the happy hour menu and is a kid pleaser. They bring kid drinks in reusable cups with straws and will even split a Shirley Temple into two for your kids.

The whole OLCC aspect is an excellent point. I don't mean to disparage bar owners who don't want to get in trouble with the law. They have every right to request that we don't bring minors in. To clarify, my issue with Tanuki was that it doesn't even actually have it's license yet. So it was the chef's personal decision not to let us in that night. I totally respect his/her decision that it's eventually going to basically be a sake bar and not to let kids in then, I just thought it was silly not to let us in now. I was more sad than anything, honestly. The menu looked so good :(
But that's the whole point of the question I guess. Places that you can bring the wee ones to, without spending the entire time worrying that you are offending the owner or other patrons. Good suggestions all around. I'd like to add Sip and Kranz to the list - their booze selection is very minimal, but they do have beer and wine, and awesome outdoor seating, and of course they are totally kid friendly. And they have happy hour.

Didn't see this listed yet -- Blue Monk on Belmont. They have great happy hour specials for food and drink, it isn't overrun with after-work people, and the service is good.

A shout out to Kyle from http://www.barflymag.com, he recently emailed us:

"One comment lamented the lack of "kid friendly" search options on BarFly's happy hour finder. So, I spent the morning adding "kid friendly", "non smoking" and "patio" options, which I suspect might be of use to some of yo' mamas.

Our list is by no means complete as we are far more bar focused than restaurant focused, but hey, users are users."

Very cool!

Hi, I am the owner of Tanuki (just a disclosure).

I wanted to let you know the reasoning of my choice not to allow children in the couple weeks leading up to getting my OLCC license since it seemed to upset you.

The OLCC does not give prior notice as to when your license will be issued- one day you don't have it, next day you do. No warning. Because my license could be coming any day I thought it best to be consistent instead of having people being used to being allowed to bring their kids in one day and the next day not.

You can't please everyone but I did what I thought best- not letting people get the impression that Tanuki was kid friendly and then suddenly changing it on them.

We're big fans of the Bye & Bye (big outdoor patio area, allows kids until 9pm or so) and the Mashtun Brewpub.

I've been researching the same thing. I have a 6 month old, and me and my boyfriend have always enjoyed happy hour. Try yelp.com or pdxlive.com you can search kid friendly/happy hour places and even in your neighborhood. We like Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl, it is kid friendly and has happy hour 4-6 mon through fri.

Wine Unwind in the Pearl on 11th right over the Broadway Bridge allows kids and has wonderful, affordable wines by the glass and beers. Ask them to bring the toy box out of the back room. They also have paninis and light snacks.

Upstairs at the Laurelwood off of NW 23rd. It has a small play area just for kids which also announces to non-kid friendly patrons, you might be looking for downstairs seating.

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