Pirate's Cove7417 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR 97213
Phone: (503) 287.8900
Located in: Northeast Portland - Visit Website
BarFly's Review of Pirate's Cove
Back ‘round 1928, seems like most businesses on Sandy Blvd were one bizarrely-oversized object or another - there was the giant milk bottle, the windmill, the high-heeled shoe, and, of course, the Orange Blossom Jug service station which, as the original shopkeepers no doubt envisioned, survives as a pirate-themed strip club.
Yes, pirate-themed, which makes as little sense (aside from ‘booty’ jokes) as the cramped interiors. Three shifts of dancers work the stage and curtained lap dance nook, the bar does stock an extensive array of liquors, but, c’mon, the trés meta thrills of drinking inside of a jug should be their own reward.
|Pirate's Cove's Happy Hours|
|Monday||$3 wells, $4+ daily cocktail specials 3-6pm|
|Tuesday||$3 wells, $4+ daily cocktail specials 3-6pm|
|Wednesday||$3 wells, $4+ daily cocktail specials 3-6pm|
|Thursday||$3 wells, $4+ daily cocktail specials 3-6pm|
|Friday||$3 wells, $4+ daily cocktail specials 3-6pm|
|Saturday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Sunday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
I went there with my boyfriend for Valentines day and had an excellent time. The bar tender was fast and friendly, the girls were dancing sexy, and the DJ let me make a few song requests (unheard of in a lot of strip clubs). I would also like to thank Silver for being so personable and cute (I also really dug her style), and the next time I come in she's definitely going to help me thin out my wallet. I absolutely recommend this place if you dig the more Portland style "dive bar with dancers".
The last reviewer hated being left at the bar before a smoke break, it's now "apparently" policy/ritual for the bartenders to check everybody's drinks before going on a smoke break.
"Apparently", because of the barfly review (so I hear, I'm not staff, I am, however, a regular).
The date of the review makes the review even more amusing, but to explain that, I have to back up a bit.
A girl I had been chatting with online, but never met, had a horrible "I bought dinner, why don't I get a blowjob" date, and was wanting to just wipe the whole evening from her mind. Since I go to the 'Cove regularly, I suggested she meet me there (Yes, blind date in a strip club). We hit it off, stayed outside the club until sunrise. Fast forward a year or so, and I proposed to her via a Post-it note... that I had put under her drink glass... Which she read during a private dance... that *she* had bought for me (winning!). We had a lot of the Cove regulars and staff at the wedding, because it really is kind of a huge family. Oh, and the officiant at the wedding (Vinnie) is a Cove bartender who recently took home the Strippies award for "Best Bartender in Portland". (The Cove won a LOT of Strippies in 2012.) For those of you who don't know the Strippies, it's basically the industry locals and patrons voting on the locals.
Anyways, the day the review about "smoke breaks" was written, 10/10/11, was my one year wedding anniversary. For the occasion, the stage music was stopped, my wife was by the pole in her wedding dress, and we renewed our vows, on stage. I think we might have done some stripping too, but that's not important. It's just that kind of family, where "regulars" are treated like (or better than) people treat their own family.
In short, the Cove gets a lot of "tourists", people hitting the last strip club before the airport, or the last club before Vantucky, or just people in a far NE club expecting a downtown club, but what really makes the place amazing is the regulars, including the dancers/drinkers/staff...
Impromptu BBQ events just "happen", no promo, when people are moving house, it's sometimes an "off site group party" in the family. If somebody in trouble, phones start ringing, and regulars/staff/talent pull together.
ILDR; This club gets better with time. It's harder to "get" if you want to stop in for a drink, once, and nobody knows you. It's fucking amazing if you're a regular boozer.
I walked into pirate's cove on a sunday night with my friends hoping to feel at home like we always do at other clubs such as lucky devil, devils point and acropolis "because we dig the tattoo'd alternative girls. We decided to check out Pirates Cove! The bartender (Donnie??) was very adamant about getting our order and being done with us, not friendly at all. We were in fact sitting at the bar and when our drinks were low we were ready to order but he was nowhere to be found?!?! I assume it to be a regular that informed us the bartender just disappears for a smoke break when HE wants one. I feel that when you go on your break, please do NOTIFY YOUR PATRONS!! that you decided to do leave the bar. We are not all regulars at your club so we don't know your "routine" So we could at least either buy another drink before you decide to leave us to smoke your cancer sticks or we could have at least closed our tab so we weren't sitting there with dry drinks doing NOTHING! The girls were great but the service sucks! This club is not recommended if you are looking to have excellent service from your bartender
What ever happened to the Pirate's Cove? I've been in this place off and on for prob 10 years. Once, ONCE, there was a manager (Jeff, Jason, er, something w/a "J", whatever) there who actually was good. Other then that it's either been some fat bitch who think she's good at something, some strung out ex-dancer, a snotty Lesbian who only serves her friends, or some f'n Hipster who isn't interested in doing anything to improve the place. Too busy playing WOW, I guess... The girls are cool, not really "hot" by standards, but, man, I thought this place was gonna do well once...
I love the atmosphere. Very hole-in-the-wall/local bar feel but with a lot of charm. Pretty cool bartender (knew his drinks, and made them well), decent DJ (knew his music). But dang. Were these girls the best they had for a Friday night? Their dancing wasn't bad, but I didn't want them to take their clothes off. Me and my friends walked in and walked right back out after a short while. One was alright, and she seemed nice, but she looked a bit like my daughter. One was so-so and fairly un-remarkable. The other says "curvy" on her profile. More like fatty. I mean, the big tits were nice, but aside from that I could have been happier with a bit less flesh. She was a bit bitchy too when we tried to say "hi", but I suppose that's just the standard stripper attitude these days. I've been here before and it's always hit or miss. I like that it's usually "average Portland girls" or whatever, but tonight was definitely a miss. Like I said, the staff were pretty cool, but the girls? meh.
As a woman I don't go to many strip clubs but this one I will absolutely go back to. I came in with a group of friends and had a blast! The girls were extremely friendly, the bar tender was funny and as the sign said "surly" but in a good way. She seemed to enjoy her job and really gave us a good laugh. Awesome service and wow the drinks were worth the prices. Super cute dancers! I will go again in the near future that's for sure.
There is one DJ that has the PERFECT booming DJ voice... but he looks like he spends his off-nights in his mommy's basement eating Hot Pockets and playing WoW.
Um, I can't say much for the dancers except for that the two times I've been, I haven't even bothered to throw down a dollar because they were just sitting there looking bored. Or maybe really high.
I won't go back, but I'll always remember spitting up my drink at the DJ's voice.
I live a block away from this fine establishment. It is a funny joint. Not gonna get the talent you would at 205 or Acrop. But you're not gonna get the attitude either. This is a great place for a night cap if you live in NE PDX.
The boyfriend and I stopped here for lunch because we were leaving the U-Haul place. While he was devouring his fish 'n chips (great food choice in a dive strip bar, ick) the day shift stripper showed up and he was like, gulp. She literally looked like she could be the bartender's mother. Really, she was that old. So grandma's behind us getting naked while the smell of fish is wafting around, so I decide to go to the bathroom. This time I was the one who gulped. The bathroom is inside the trashed little dressing room and the only thing separating it is a flimsy cutain. No door? Really? Really? How GHETTO can they possibly be? Maybe their vintage stripper would like to sit on my lap and discuss the economy while I do my business! And this was during the daytime, what's it like when it's busy? I recommend avoiding this place if you don't like leaving a bar grossed out, with a bladder infection risk, and smelling of fish.
the first time I entered Pirates Cove, my hubby and I went as a joke. It has since become a regular hangout! The girls are always friendly as are the bar staff. Will definitely stay a favorite!
What fabulous place for sunken treasure and perfectly poured guiness to put on your your way to jolly good time full. The stage is as wonderous as the bouillon of you wildest pirate dreams. Welcome to the ship there's no mutiny here.
I visited this joint (Jug?) on Halloween, and it was nuttin' but fun. Be great if it had a second stage, but no room for it! Small, granted, but the Swashbuckler theme adds enough to make it worth the trip. Enjoyed the Dancers, two of the 4 were hotties. I would definitely go back for some more off-beat Strip Club fun. Nuttin' quite like nice jugs in a Jug !
Went in around 11PM Wednesday night. Obviously nobody is around except for a customer by the stage and another in the video poker area. There were 3 dancers. One dancer stood out and she was pretty; natural blonde, sweet smile, and fuller body. It's a small club at most thousand or so square feet. Given small number of audiences, two of three dancers were very engaging with each of audiences. Despite probably not making much money from late weeknight, none of them pressure me for private dance. Usually in this kind of situation I try to make a compromise; that is, tipping them well for the stage dance if they are engaging/extra personal. There are some TVs and an area for video pokers but no billiards around because of such small area. The drawback for club with one stage is that during the busy weekend, you may not be able to around the stage. But because it’s such small club, there are 5 or so tables along with the bar that were within 10 feet of stage so you can still get a decent view of action (assuming no one is standing in front of you).
Egondaart, that is one of the most persuasive pitches I've ever read/heard to give a place like The Jug another chance. Mind you, I already enjoy patronizing this establishment on occasion, but I really think I'll look at it in another light as a result of your interesting commentary . . . well spoken!
I had a hard time remembering to call it Pirate's Cove for a while. It has always been the Jug for me, and fond memories wouldn't let me let it go. But my last few visits recently have made room for the new name.
The customers and bartenders were friendly, and the dancers were delightful and engaging on stage and off, even after I eschewed the offered $20 private dances. Neither the dancers nor the bartender presented that Us vs. Them attitude that can creep into any commercial enterprise.
Still the same oddball layout inside. Smoke was not an issue in my visits, though lots of people were smoking -- perhaps they've done some work on the ventilation.
The Jug has always been a special place. A rather nasty place, in a good way, of course. In the late 80's (as I recall) it got busted for promoting lewd and lascivious conduct, or some such thing. The only detail I remember reading about the bust (and why bother to remember anything else) was that the complaining officer referred to an "unsolicited act of nasal sex." Ingrate.
I immediately knew which dancer he was complaining about. She was good-natured and equally attentive to everyone on the rack who ponied up a folded buck. She was about 35, cute and rangy, completely shaved when that was an anomaly rather than the norm, and deeply and evenly browned via the new technology of the tanning booth, save for the small spot of white skin in the shape of a star on the left side of her lower belly that she apparently shielded from the glaring tubes. She danced with a combination of provocation, presentation, compassion and education. There was probably some obscure wisdom in the mix as well.
I like to think that the human vibe consistently generated in a place over time lingers on in the molecules of the structure despite changes of management and decor. The bust toned things down a bit, but in no way killed the potential for fun. Over the years as the Jug slid into disrepair then spruced back up, then slid again, then changed hands a few times, got remodel here and there, catered for a while to wannabe mobsters in polyester shirts, and for while to Latino laborers, and for a while to the nouveau erotique, but always retained a bit of that friendly yet nasty, civil yet earthy vibe underneath.
The new management seems to have found that vibe and run with it.
I'm the VP of the business association in the area, so I have to check out all the local establishments every once in a while. Regardless of the (mostly) crappy reviews the place has gotten over the years, I love it.
Although I must say, the first couple times I went in, I wasn’t impressed. Too smokey, nasty chicks, bartenders that could kick my ass (big women), etc…
The main reason I gave it another shot is because I was drunkedly (is that a word?) on my way home one night from Yen Ha (probably my 2nd fav. Bar) and figured I’d go in and wrestle with the bartender to see if I could get another drink. Low and behold it was a new bartender. He didn’t want to wrestle…
To sum it all up, the new manager Jaysen has cleaned the place up quite a bit, hired some better staff, and makes sure the dancers are drug free. So, if you haven’t been there in a while, you better check it out!
Too smokey. Small and cozy, which is nice. Once dancer very friendly. The other seemed uncomfortable dancing which made it awkward. Too crowded at the tiny bar to get a sense of the bartender but seemed friendly. Worth checking out again.
This place is under new mng., give it a shot (or have a few as I did) .the girls are pleasant on floor and at bar, the locals are worth a chat and the bartending is first rate, never felt so attended to in a strip club.........just do it ! padi
Some cute girls but if you get to know them you find out that the club treats them like crap. Everyone hates the management, and it's kind of a miserable experience in there most nights. Lots of cheap customers leaves the girls bitter and angry. I feel bad for them when I go in, and often seem to be the only one tipping. The DJ thinks he works at a hot shit gentlemen's club. I wish he would shut up and just play the music.
This IS the worst strip club in Portland. The drinks are overpriced, the food is awful. The dancers always seem miserable.
This had to be the worst strip club in Portland, The bar is small and dirty. The bartenders spend most of theit time chatting with regulars and ignor the rest of the customers. The dancers look straight out of the rocky horror picture show. They yell at their customers if they are sitting at the bar and not tipping, Come on, can't we just stop for a well deserved beer after work without the drama. I used to go there a couple years ago and it was cool, What happened?
They took my card (visa, mastercard) when I went. It's a scummy and scurvy place...it'll be hard to find any fruity munchies. overall good neighborhood bar.