Webster defines “nest” as “a place of rest, retreat or lodging,” and our recent visit to The Nest Lounge affirmed at least part of that definition. It was a warren of nooks and crannies in a charming old house that makes a great neighborhood bar on SE Belmont. It serves as another reminder of the vast array of quirky and fascinating Portland bars awaiting those willing to stray – even if just a little bit from the beaten path.
Our bartender, Alex, was a nice chap, who haled from Minnesota and came to Oregon seven years ago. He told us about the disastrous 2012 fire that resulted in the temporary closure of The Nest on NE Alberta and relocation to what was once the home of the Nine Muses Pub – “…..with cozy hangout rooms throughout, and their signature ping-pong tables on the back patio.”
“For those searching the web, the place we visited is NOT the Nest Lounge “located on the rooftop of LeFenix Hotel in one of the coolest nightlife areas in Bangkok ,” nor is it the bars with the same name in Decatur Illinois, Omaha or Long Island, New York (TheBeerchaser’s birthplace) – “…come on down and enjoy a night out that will offer your senses a bit more than you’re accustomed to – You’ll be ‘Nestling’ before you know it.”
And then there is the Indian Wells Nest in the desert, where, “The Nest has long been a favorite of celebrities, golf and tennis legends and locals alike….It’s no wonder that the Nest is at the top of the “Things to Do in Palm Springs.“ As new owners, Dodi and Kevin Henry state, “At The Nest, life begins at five.” (We assume they are talking about the time of day and not years after birth.)
I was accompanied by my former Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt colleague, Hamilton Emery, now an Associate General Counsel at Cambia Health Solutions in Portland. “Ham” the moniker by which he is known to his friends, received his law degree at Willamette University College of Law. As is the case with Thebeerchaser, he “married up” – in Ham’s case, to Rachael, a Portland physician.
He spends about 60% of his time working on health care reform issues and would not respond to Conan O’Brien’s 2012 comment regarding the Affordable Care Act:
“President Obama says that Congress is very close to getting a new health-care plan, but due to compromises, it ‘won’t include everything that everybody wants……For instance, it covers everything except trips to the doctor or the hospital.”
A Portland Bar Fly review echoes our experience, “This place is AWESOME. They’re super cheap…they have a pool table, arcade game, pinball, ping-pong table, juke box…..
…. also an outdoor – enclosed patio area, projector for movie nights, and some crazy local art. I felt like I was at someone’s lake house. We kept discovering new areas and being more and more impressed.”
Ham had an India Red Ale and I had a Vaporizer, both from Hood River’s Double Mountain Brewery. Their food menu is also limited.
As an aside, it is interesting that Bar Fly lists 198 “nearby bars” –although it should be noted that Bar Fly includes strip clubs and restaurants with bars such as Boogie’s Burger and other questionable venues that Thebeerchaser would never consider for his tour because they are restaurants or other establishments and not a bar per se’
For example, The Star Theater and now closed, Hamburger Mary’s. One can also question the definition of the term “nearby” when the list includes Prost – one of Thebeerchaser’s favorite bars (see post from 11/24/12) – however, on the other side of the Willamette River on North Mississippi Avenue.
Ham and I enjoyed our trip to the nest and as we parted, he told me that in the spirit of the new Affordable Care Act and the New Year, he was willing to propose an innovative concept to management.
Consistent with his nickname, Ham — he thought that motivating people to take their cholesterol medication by wrapping it in bacon could have a positive impact on patient care and health care expenses.
That idea rocks, Ham and this patio at The Nest will rock during the summer months. If you’ve been there before – return to The Nest, and if not hatch a plan to try it out – you don’t have to go to Nebraska or Bangkok to make it happen.