Step Up Your Nightlife At The Alibi
Multnomah County’s Overlook neighborhood, as I knew was the home to Swan Island – an industrial area with a popular boat launching port. While boating on a bright sunny day has been a favorite leisure activity to me, I decided to give its nightlife a shot. I believe that every neighborhood has different stories to tell at night when the locality lightens up. My alibi was proved to be 100% right as here I found one of the cheapest watering holes in the city –the Alibi Restaurant and Lounge or The Alibi as locals call it. I was first introduced to Oregon’s 2nd oldest Tiki house named The Alibi Tiki Lounge by a friend whom I met over a drink at the Teardrop Lounge. Well, The Alibi and The Alibi Tiki Lounge is the same place, the quaint watering hole with stone and wooden exterior.
A Little Bit Of History
The Alibi Tiki Lounge which you will see at the location had started its journey during the 1800’s as roadhouse bar. It was not until 1947 that the United States Navy veteran named Roy Ell decided to buy the property and convert it to a Hawaiian Tiki Bar by calling it Max’s Alibi. Apparently, Roy was enamored by Southern Pacific charm so much so that the décor was designed accordingly. Perhaps that is why it kept on running smoothly even while the other such eateries could not survive the disco decade.
Besides, Alibi also made sure that visitors do not come only to get drinks, but also shellfish, steaks in a fine-dining setup within family atmosphere. The Portland city community during the early years of Alibi was small and the welcoming ambience was sure to score hearts even through the tumultuous 1970’s.
The legacy was transferred to Larry and Carla White with a promise of keeping everything as it is. However, the addition of onstage Karaoke is definitely a win-win with the foot-tapping playlist consisting thirty thousand songs!
Nightlife Is Lit At The Alibi
The Polynesian art revival with day-glow backlit reliefs of bikini-clad girls, period Tiki décor, bamboo sculptures, totem poles, sculpted lava and patterned lamps hanging from the ceiling create the perfect den for nocturnal visitors. The vintage low-back cushioned chairs, leafy decorations clinging on to the light and shadowy lamps and the cozy private booths show how couples, strangers and friends can find their coveted corners to have drink and food. Even after a number of visits (I am in love with the dreamy ambience!), I am never bored to check out the assortment of surfside knickknacks or watch the colorful fishes wriggle in the saltwater aquarium.
Best Time To Visit
Open from 11.30 AM – 2.30 AM, the Alibi is open throughout the year, but I would recommend visiting during spring to fall except the freezing winter. I once turned up in January and well, let’s not talk about that horrendous cold. If you come in between 9 PM – 2 AM, chances are that you might see me on stage syncing with the Karaoke with utmost confidence (or craziness, some say!)
Eat Like It Is Not Your Date Night!
Yes, you will never have enough of the scrumptious menu –so, eat like your heart (or stomach) desires. From the signature Alibi Wings to Teriyaki Beef Skewers, Salt and Pepper Calamari to House Salad, there are many appetizer choices. The specialties include Pupu Platter, Fish Tacos, Volcano Burger and Kalua Pork. Polynesian Meatballs and Potstickers during Happy Hour on Sunday and from 2 PM -7 PM during Monday to Saturday are my favorite.
Drink With Heart’s Content
You can never go wrong with the classics like Mai Tai and Bloody Mary, but I would suggest, you try the specials like Island Sunrise, Mimosa, Hawaiian Coffee and Shark Attack too. Slushies like Miami Vice, Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada or bowl specialties like Chat-N-Nibble Punch and The Palms Punch are a bit pricey but worth it.
Alibi’s Zombie with Virgin Island Rum, Absinthe, cinnamon and grapefruit is a must try. And if you are not adventurous enough, then there are lots of cocktail choices like Halekulani, El Diablo etc. If you feel like leaving the worries behind and sing oldies out loud, you should try the “Comeoniwannalayya” –a strong drink to celebrate.