Posted May 2, 2014

Red Star Tavern Renovation Shines Brightly

Eat + Drink


Your cocktail stars align in Portland.

How do you make Red Star Tavern shine even more brightly? By adding more specials, more fun and of course more seats to make room for the festivities at this Portland, OR, hot spot.

Part of the downtown firmament, steps from Pioneer Square, the former Red Star Tavern and Roast House has streamlined its name to Red Star Tavern, reflecting the new direction of Chef Kyle Rourke’s modern American menu with a Northwest twist. The neighborhood bar also wanted to give even more locals and visitors the star treatment, so we added 40 extra seats. Those will quickly be filled by people who:

A) Are dying to see if the new cocktail Dr. Fleming’s Mistake really is a mistake. Answer: Dr. Fleming was wrong. With smoky tea vodka, lemon, honey and fresh ginger, this is decidedly an excellent choice.

B) Find themselves wondering: “Just how dirty is the new Dirty Birds happy-hour menu item?” Answer: Not dirty at all, but those drumsticks are kind of spicy with a chili caramel glaze.

C) Love the fine craftsmanship of the new communal table, a 14-seat, natural beauty made from a vertical cross-section of a walnut tree.

Check it out for yourself and celebrate the new-and-improved Red Star at Kickoff Week, where each day brings something to smile about. From 4 to 8 p.m., enjoy a $3 happy hour menu, $5 cocktail specials, and $3 beer, wine and well drinks.

But wait, there’s more. Here’s what you can expect each day:

Monday, May 5: Cinco de Red Star

We may be north of the border, but we can still celebrate Mexico with the best of them. Drop in for Tequila cocktails and a neo-Mexican menu that will make you want to hop a plane south stat (or just come back and visit us again).

Tuesday, May 6: Tableside Cocktails

Instead of going to the drinks, let the drinks come to you. Premier cocktails on tap will be served up tableside for your taste buds’ pleasure. Gather three friends or come really thirsty, because these bad boys are designed for four. And if you find a red star under your seat, you win a prize!

Would you travel the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with this man? You might win a chance.

Would you travel the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with this man? Bartender Brandon Lockman will take a lucky winner.

Wednesday, May 7: Hit the Bourbon Trail

Just in case tasting bourbon from Kentucky’s eight original distilleries isn’t enough of an incentive (and, uh, it should be — this stuff is delicious), someone’s going to win a free trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with head bartender Brandon Lockman. We can’t guarantee what will happen, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be the best-tasting vacation of your life.

Thursday, May 8: Farm-to-Table Fete

Here in the land of Portlandia, farm-fresh food really matters. (Want to know where that carrot came from, and if it had a happy life? Feel free to ask.) Tonight, enjoy a vegetarian menu and veggie cocktails. You may not love eating cucumbers, but drinking them with some gin is a whole other story.

Friday, May 9: Blend Your Own Bordeaux

There are a lot of fabulous red wines out there (including many from Oregon!), but no one’s ever created a wine just for your palate — until now. The winemaking power is in your hands as you blend your own Red Star red vino. Not to mention that the best budding vintner will win a prize for his or her blend. Tickets are $25 and available right here.

Saturday, May 10: Noble Experiment

For Saturday’s private party, you’ll have to put in a little work — that is, find the secret entrance to our speakeasy. Once you do, you’ll be rewarded with Prohibition-style cocktails, bites and tunes from swinging jazz singer Johnny Martin. So wear your best glad rags and get ready for an evening that’ll celebrate great spirits, great food and one bad idea: Prohibition. Tickets are $30 and available here.


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  1. James Cobalt says:

    new and improved is right, that communal table is beautiful, a real sight