29 November 2021
If you are looking for a place with low lights, cheap canned beer, great sandwiches, and a plethora of local bands, the No Fun Bar on Hawthorne is your spot. We entered the bar at 8pm on a Saturday night and it was already almost full. Four or five booths lined the left hand side of the bar. Groups of 20-somethings dominated the scene. Most appeared to be drinking the special: a can of PBR or Rainier with a shot of Old Crow. There were still a few spots at the bar along the right hand side, so we pulled up a stool. The floor space was tight through the middle with no room for dancing near the stage. We ordered a couple of cocktails. They were boozy but drinkable, and seemingly appropriate for the atmosphere.
No Fun Bar was born in 2018, a partnering business to Devil’s Dill Sandwich Shop next door. The bar provides additional space to serve their tasty sandwiches while also creating a venue for local bands. Their sandwich menu includes a house-smoked pulled pork, a red wine-braised beef, a bacon and avocado, and a couple of vegetarian options. We tried the house meatloaf with a chile-garlic BBQ sauce. The sandwich served was a good sized portion; juicy, tender, and filling. No Fun Bar also features a bar menu with fries, tots, pickles, and kale. Only in Portland do we get kale offered as a snack in a dive bar.
The bathroom was also typical Portland dive bar style covered in graffiti, stickers, and posters about upcoming bands. And clean at the very least!
No Fun Bar offers live local music 5 to 7 nights a week. The standard lineup consists of 3 bands per night, but the styles and sounds between the bands may differ greatly. On the night we attended, the first band was described as post rock, the second as new wave, and the third as psychedelic space rock. I was excited to see that Gar Gar, one of my favorite artistic and entertaining punk bands, will be taking the stage in early December. We will have to come back and try the kale, and maybe even the braised beef sandwich!
No Fun Bar is located at 1709 SE Hawthorne Blvd. They are open 7-days a week: Sunday through Tuesday, 5pm-11pm, and Wednesday through Saturday, 2pm-1am. They hold a trivia night every Monday night from 7pm to 9pm, and Karaoke every Wednesday from 8pm to close. Most other nights feature live music and DJs. You can find their music schedule on facebook at: facebook.com/nofunportland. A full food menu is available to consume on the premises from Devil’s Dill Sandwich Shop next door. The kitchen is open until 11pm.