The Yukon Tavern

I found an old 2003 insert to Willamette Week entitled, “Drinkers’ Bible – A Sinful Guide to Portland’s Best Bars.”  One of the reviewer’s complaints about many of the establishments was the amount of cigarette smoke:

“Smoke tends to linger here.”

“High potential for hellish smoke levels.”

Before bars became smoke-free by Oregon law, the Yukon would have garnered one of these comments.  There were a bunch of people drinking in chairs out front – all with “coffin nails”.  The Yukon in the Sellwood neighborhood would fit the definition of a dive bar although it had some charm.

Notable characteristics:

  • A number of artsy nude pictures hanging on the wall – one next to a poster that stated, “Keep Portland Beered.”
  • A grill that featured such menu items as:
  1. Chicken-fried steak                  $5.50
  2. Biscuits and gravy                    $3.50
  3. Chicken Gizzards                     $2.75  (special of the day..)
  • A large (six foot x 4 foot) framed US Map hanging in the pool room with a sign below it that said, “Shuffle-board $3 per hour.”
  • A bear head with a dummy human leg in its mouth with a sign that said, “Bartender Complaint Department.”

The Yukon had about twenty different beers on tap and I was able to get a PBR draft for $1.50 during Happy Hour.  Although tempted to take advantage of the “Well-drink of the Day – A hardy cognac” for fifty cents a shot, I passed on it.

I sat at the end of the twelve-seat bar, which was totally occupied and most of those drinking were watching the Little League World Series  on the big screen TV.  It also reminded thebeerchaser that having televisions in pubs is also a good idea.  As stated in the book Lies and Excuses:

“As long as you’re watching TV, you’re not drinking alone.”

The Yukon Tavern     5819 SE Milwaukie Avenue

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