While there are some Portland bars which have more types of draft and bottled beers and ciders than you could drink during a seven-year college education (approximately four for matriculating and the other three for drinking…) The Lost and Found Bar is not one of these.
Similarly, there are many taverns and pubs with expansive seating, game rooms, big-screen television viewing areas and lavish furnishings. The picture above and immediately below are evidence that the intent of owners Amai Hart and Leah Erickson is not to dazzle you with extravagant and opulent surroundings when you patronize their establishment. But stay tuned as to why you should check out the Lost and Found!
One might suggest that Portland’s version of this bar be considered “The Little Engine that Could,” compared to its counterparts of the same name in cities such as Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago and Oakland and even Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
It is a small and recent addition (May 2013) to the Portland bar scene and is attracting a loyal following – it’s is a charming neighborhood bistro in the Overlook Neighborhood in North Portland just off Killingsworth. There’s a great list of original specialty cocktails – all with fresh ingredients and served in Mason jars. Four of the ten reasonably priced between $7 to $8 are:
The Ron Burgundy Buffalo – Trace bourbon, mint, lemon, orange, and bitters
The Sweet Dee – Monopolowa vodka, blueberries, lemon, and iced tea
The Bill Murricane – Myers and Bacardi rum, pineapple, cranberry, and orange
The Bernie Lomax – Bacardi rum, blueberries, lime, and mint
The menu is pretty limited, but adequate for pub faire with a Mexican focus – i.e. tacos, several types of quesadillas, frito pie and nachos. There are only four draft beers, but their rotating taps of Northwest beers were great.
During my three visits, we had
* My favorite — And, since one of my visits was on a Tall Boy Tuesday, I had a Miller High Life TB for $1. (The same price as the daily Oregonian and a lot more substance…….)
And for a change of pace, why not try a Boozicle – something the Good Humor Man from your childhood wouldn’t carry. As one patron stated: “It was a delicate mixture of vodka and juice. Well made. Some sort of Guava concoction.”
And while the retractable garage doors as the entrance are a bit austere, the interior has some nice custom art work and two old-fashioned pin ball machines which enhance the ambiance.
For example, there are a number of small suitcase lamps with various designs hung on the wall from Upper Case Studios..
As described in one of Thebeerchaser’s favorite references, The Willamette Week Bar Guide (2014):
“The bunker-brick walls are painted the colors of ocean and sky, and sport cheery lamps made of suitcases, with shapes cut out for deer, bears and inadvisable airplane procedures. Other lampshades are made of cymbals.
A brightly painted, 3-foot-wide cross section of a tree stump—hanging precariously over the broad selection of booze—turns out to be Styrofoam. The bar’s lovely art is made by UpperCase Studios’ Mich Conklin, who started her business shortly after making the art for her daughter’s bar.”
Also photos of rock bands from Todd Walberg – ” (he) will go to shows, take electric, high energy photos of bands and give the music world free range of them. He’s taken photos for practically every up-and-coming musical act in the area.”) Rip City Review – “The Ten Coolest People in Portland Music.” (8/10/13)
So while the Lost and Found is not a unique venue from the standpoint of drink or food menu, furnishings or otherwise, why is it recommended? Very simple:
It is another example of one of the many establishments founded by young, eager entrepreneurs who invest their capital for a labor of love – also having no experience in the restaurant or bar industry. In this case, Amai Hart and Lea Erickson who bought the establishment which was previously the Palace of Industry – a vintage store that served wine and beer.
They completely remodeled the interior and immersed themselves in developing a neighborhood gathering place with a caring and friendly staff – we can attest to that.
Amai’s background was of interest to me since she is also a full-time legal assistant – still working at a Portland employment law firm for about seven years – after graduating from St. Mary’s Academy and the U of O – the wonderful female-only high school in downtown Portland with a sterling academic program.
I was pleased to be joined by a good friend, Sharon VanSickle-Robbins, herself a successful entrepreneur in multiple endeavors and one of Portland’s most dedicated civic/charitable activists including past President of the City Club of Portland.
She also accompanied me to the Twilight Room – in 2011 on only the fifth of what is now 66 taverns reviewed on Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland bars, taverns and pubs.
So visit the Lost and Found – the expansive patio as described by one neighborhood regular on Yelp offers all the motivation needed:
(To view the map with all the bars reviewed by Thebeerchaser, click on the “View Larger Map” link at the bottom of the map below)