A 1999 story from The Oregonian, stated, “Lutz Tavern has more than 50 years of history soaked into its dark wood…….a tavern that’s been part of the community for decades.”
Ten years later, The Willamette Week 2009 Drink Guide echoed these sentiments by stating, “A retreat for those turned off by the poshness of the Pearl and the affected low-rent vibe of Hawthorne and Belmont area drinking establishments, Woodstock’s (neighborhood) Lutz Tavern is a dive bar free of pretension and political correctness…..
When the Yuppie Zombies descend on Portland, the city’s blue collar workers will hole up inside and drink to the apocalypse with Miller High Life.”
abruptly in 2010, Lutz, which originally opened around 1943, closed to the lament of Reed College students and the working-class group of regulars.
Lutz Tavern rose again on 11/11/11 – this time with a new kitchen and patio and serving liquor in addition to the traditional PBR and four other tall-boys including Ranier ($2 and $1.50 during Happy Hour – daily from 4 to 6 and 11 until 2 AM) and Hamms on tap along with seven excellent micro-brews and eleven bottled beers.
At one time, the Lutz received a commendation from Blitz Weinhard for the amount of Blitz it poured.
Thebeerchaser and long-time friend and telecommunications guru, Walt Duddington, visited the Lutz on a Tuesday night and it is a great neighborhood bar – distinguished by its patrons and a very long bar with a light blue formica top, dark red booths and a vintage phone booth with an ATM inside!
Our bartender, Billy Jo, was great as was Shaun the cook, who opined that the best thing about the Lutz was “its multi-cultural regulars” who range in age from 21 to 65.
I loved the old beer signs – most notably that from Schlitz – my favorite beer in college (Schlitz Dry to be specific) and the picture of Jackie Gleason at the end of the bar.
It was also refreshing to note that the plasma-screen TV was off – people were playing pool, pinball or just talking in the bar and on the spacious deck rather than watching …. soccer??
The food was really good – we both had an excellent Lutz Burger with an incredibly big serving of shoe-string fries. (we declined the peanut butter that Billy Jo said is a popular topping with some regulars). Perhaps we should have had the Pulled Pork Sandwich which draws rave reviews (“the bun was six sizes too small for the amount of pork”). If we had not had the beer, however, we would have opted for the $3 milkshake – “make it boozy and add a well shot for $3…”)
Distinguishing Characteristics – Paradoxically, the Lutz fills this category by having no real distinguishing characteristics other than a lingering sense of history that fortunately did not die in 2011. It’s worth a visit and say “hello” to Billy Jo and Shaun.