Willamette Week asked me to shoot not one, but two covers for their 2013 Bar Guide issue, and several billion bars around town (ok, I exaggerate...). Needless to say, it was a blurry week. Victory Bar was the place to beat this year, christened Bar of the Year. I dig Victory, and their laid back, easy drinking feel, but runner up, Hale Pele has a special place in my heart (and the cover). Maybe it is the thunder, rain and smoke that randoms emits from the walls, or that fact that it is located in a strip mall next to a nail salon. However, if you are looking for a place to take your Dad (if your Dad had his Kerouac phase) then I recommend runner up #2, the Blue Diamond, where folks from age 22 to 72 can be found shaking what their momma gave 'em.
Other bars to add to your list of places to get tastefully drunk at are: Barwares, Moonshine, Bar Dobre (booze and kielbasa!), Free House, The Tannery, The Rookery, Sauvage and Velo (get your bike fixed while drinking beer, brilliant). It is an amazing thing, this town's propensity to birth bars like Kate Gosselin.