Portland’s Alberta District is the epitome of everything Portlandian, nothing has changed since the nineties and everything is kind of a big deal. As I walked toward my interview at Radio Room I passed no less than four food cart islands and one food cart featured wine and cheese. There was a printing shop urging patrons to “put a sticker on it”, a co-op with several sensitive looking young men sitting outside of it eating tofu salad and enjoying coffee while discussing philosophy and many a gourmet coffee shop. I stopped into a small candy story that had many barrels of treats and small plastic bags to put them in; I grabbed a bag and began to fill it.
“Hi there”, the saleslady says approaching me. “I see you’ve been in before.”
“No”, I said confused.
“Oh my well, my goodness, you just jumped right in there then. Did you have any questions about the candy or our system?
“I figured you just put the candy in the bags and weighed it.”
She looked annoyed that I had reduced the process to such simplicity and proceeded with detailed information about the candy having organic ingredients, being gluten free and in some cases even vegan.
I arrived at Radio Room and was impressed to find a machine that dispensed work by local artists for five dollars. They have a trivia night every Tuesday and a Microbrew Monday. A few of the cocktails are named after famous folks. I decided to try a Tom Waits, which is described as “Old Olverholt Rye whiskey, orange, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and Grand Marnier. Gravelly voice not included.”
Happy hour is from 3:00 PM to 6:00 pm every day. I had a chance to interview Matt the happy hour bartender.
Eliza: What makes happy hour at The Radio Room Unique?
Matt: We have a really nice space we have a killer $5 cheese burger that is the best in the city.
Eliza: What’s your weirdest bar story?
Matt: There was a guy cooking bacon on our open fire outside.
Eliza: If the Alberta district were a drink, what kind of drink would it be?
Matt: It would be a Long Island Ice Tea. It’s got a little bit of everything in it.
Eliza: What is the cheesiest pick up line you have ever heard?
Matt: I bet you a dollar I can kiss you without touching you. Then he kisses her and says I lose, here’s a dollar.
Eliza: How did Radio Room get its name?
Matt The attendant had a ham radio the back room were we have music now used to be a ham radio station.
Published April 15th, 2014