The Laurelthirst Public House – A Classy and Comfortable Neighborhood Bar

The Beerchaser’s Spouse Enters Laurelthirst

The Laurelthirst is a neat and old neighborhood-type bar with an added attraction – great live music in the evening – and there’s usually either minimal or no cover charge! Entering the bar is like a walk back in time – in fact there is almost a slight scent of old second-hand smoke that lingers like a relative who over-stays his visit.   ”It’s  somewhere between a historical hippy dive and a cozy live venue, this place oozes earthi-ness and kitschy humor.”

There is dark wood, a lot of antique memorabilia hanging from the walls – an old rideable tractor toy, a vintage tricycle and a pitchfork with a sign saying “Be Good or Be Gone.”

Memorabilia Adds to the Ambiance

Our bartender was a very nice lady named Angela, who has worked at the pub for ten years and is finishing her graduate degree at Portland State.

 Angela – let us sample six of the seventeen beers on tap before we decided on Hub Crosstown Pale Ale – an organic and local beer that was superb

Angela – An Educated and Friendly Bartender

As described on the brewery’s website: “This beer bridges east and west with a lane dedicated to riders who aren’t afraid to get dirty. Three kinds of organic caramel malts and a 24 pound whirlpool hop bomb keep things interesting while the wheels go round and round. Cheers to narrow knobbies, kazoos, and more cowbell!”

I also had a very good Engleberg Pilsner from Upright Brewing Company in Portland.

Hub Crosstown Pale Ale

According to Angela, their evening clientele is very mixed and interesting. One can see earthy-types of all ages, professors, students and neighborhood yuppies.

There is a small room separated from the bar by a neat corridor with two pool tables and video machines.

Adding to the nice environment were a number of sketches and paintings from various local artists adorning the wall – exhibited on a rotating basis (Janet Julian, a musician who has played at Laurelthirst, was the featured artist when we were there).

Also a wall with sketches and photos of regulars who are now drinking their beer in heavenly bliss and eternal suds… Their Happy Hour is each weekday from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. (not for those who are deceased)

The “Hurst” (purportedly the preferred moniker for those in the know…) has also drawn rave reviews for its breakfasts

Distinguishing Characteristics

Besides the unique and homey environment, the music also differentiates Laurelthirst from many neighborhood bars.  A very small stage in the main bar area hosts the bands which range from bluegrass to jazz.            

The Stage — A Variety of Good Music

When there are quality groups, the area can become very crowded with observers and dancers — but that adds to the charm.

Good local and NW groups perform daily and on weekends.  For example, in one recent week, the groups featured at the pub included:

  • The Jimmy Boyer Band 
  • Portland Country Underground                                
  •  Michael Hurley and the Croakers                       
  •  Woodbrain                                                       
  • Tree Frogs   
  • The Lewi Longmire Band 
  •  Freak Mountain Ramblers
Memories of Bands from the Past

Whether it is to hear a good band, sample a NW microbrew or have a good breakfast, the Laurelthirst is a neighborhood treasure in NE Portland.

Laurelthirst Public House                 2958 NE Glisan St.