Dante's1 SW 3rd Ave Portland, OR 97204 Downtown Portland
(503) 226.6630 - Visit Website - Twitter
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BarFly's Review of Dante's
When Dante’s started a decade back, it seemed downright dangerous. Under intense red lights the flames licked out two feet high over simulated oilcans in the middle of the window-seat tables. Petite foxy-girl servers smiled without eyeteeth, and the Sunday burlesque went unscripted under the MCing of a mentally unbalanced actor whose major credit was a local car commercial.
These days, though, the oilcan flames are quenched—as are the previously ubiquitous indoor cigarettes—even as the original infernal spirit persists at the purely symbolic level. Each Monday Tres Shannon hosts Karaoke from Hell for would-be rockstar singers who universally lose their backing band’s thread at the middle eight, and burlesque shows still live large on the stage. However regulated the bar’s ground floor may now be, both the up- and downstairs retains an anarchic spirit, as does the booking strategy.
Mondays: Ground Zero Lounge w/Clyde Lewis (lively topical debate moderated by talk radio fave, 6-9pm, free!). Sing with a live band! Ever-popular Karaoke From Hell (10pm, $2). Tuesdays: S.I.N. City.
Thursdays: Thrasher Presents Low Dough Shows (9pm, $5).
Sundays: Red hot burly-q Sinferno Cabaret & Sex Industry Night (9pm).
Dante's Happy Hours
|Monday||4pm-8pm $2 domestic bottles and $1.50 slices, 4-8pm|
|Tuesday||4pm-8pm $2 domestic bottles and $1.50 slices, 4-8pm|
|Wednesday||4pm-8pm $2 domestic bottles and $1.50 slices, 4-8pm|
|Thursday||4pm-8pm $2 domestic bottles and $1.50 slices, 4-8pm|
|Friday||4pm-8pm $2 domestic bottles and $1.50 slices, 4-8pm|
|Saturday||No happy hour info available.|
|Sunday||No happy hour info available.|
|Mon 02/20 @ 9:00 pm||John "Elvis" Shroder, Karaoke From Hell|
|Fri 03/10 @ 9:00 pm||Whiskey Myers, The Wans Adv: $15.00 / Door: $18.00|
Getting to Dante's
Reader ReviewsAdd your own review or comment
Went there with a buddy of mine on a Monday night. Neither of us had ever been there before but it sounded cool when we read about it on this site. On Monday's they have a live band that performs and people go up to the stage and sing karaoke songs while the band plays them. The place was full so it's a pretty popular event. We arrived and there was a 2 dollar cover, no big deal. Paid it, went to one of the bars in there and the bartender was cool, remembered my tab after about 4 beers which is always awesome sense it was so loud in there. If you don't feel comfortable around a crowd of pot heads, metal heads dressed in all leather and possibly haven't showered that week, wasted locals, and homosexuals then you won't like this place. None of these things bothered us. Where the problems occurred is when me and my friend signed up for karaoke. The girl behind the desk told us there was a 2 dollar donation per person per song requested. I gave her 10 dollars because I was feeling a combination of buzzed and generous. We sat there to ourselves making idle conversation over the karaoke with others around us and to each other. We spent the whole time..about 3 hours after signing up for our songs watching these few things. 1. Two flamboyant gay males dressed as Richard Simmons grope and dance explicitly with each other in front of the stage to every song until the bouncer finally told them to put their shirts back on after about two hours. 2. The main band member throw out every other or every third piece of paper that people had used to sign up with off the stage.. effectively just throwing out people's money for who knows what reason considering people had paid at least two dollars to sing. 3. Only regulars with nicknames and those that fit in with the general crowd (dressed in clothing of the opposite sex, full leather, or completely blitz/high) get to go sing multiple times. They called last call and neither of us had the opportunity to sing. I paid my tab, went and expressed my disdain to the girl behind the desk with some words and a middle finger, and then we left without further incident. Probably wouldn't have done that had I been sober but whatever. Needless to say we won't be going back after seeing what we saw and after getting screwed outta our money. The bartender was as good as any..nothing crazy. There were two girls that we found attractive in the whole place all night, and the band was talented even though between the lead band man and the girl behind the desk screwed us and didn't give a crap. I believe she told me "I have no control over that" as my middle finger was making it's appearance. I call Bull on that.
Who cares what the place looks like when you're watching a great band perform. I didn't smell urine or feces once while there. An excellent venue to see bands up close and personal. My only complaint is they could use a better ventilation system as it did seem a stuffy in there after a couple hours. To quote a screaming fan from last night's concert, "WIRE KICKS ASS!" and they did! What an outstanding experience! A+ 100%;-)
This place is totally disgusting. It looks like an 18 year old hot topic manager was asked to design a bar: it's black paint coated in grime, sticky floors, filthy bathrooms, and the whole place *stinks* like feces, urine, and those delicious pink urinal cakes we all love. I went to see a band I liked and the 2 opening bands were a really bad fit for the headlining band. it made no sense, so we suffered through 2 bands we would never want to see. the other customers were of the stripper-heeled, skinny jean, perfume doused crowd, not really my type of scene. i will say the bartenders were nice and worked quickly to get their drinks out. it was a skanky joint i will never revisit.
Didn't really like the bar the first few time i saw shows there (many years ago) but it's grown on me. the BTs i know are cool and it's a good place to see a show (esp now the Pan is closed). Best place to grab a slice late at night downtown too
KFH on monday can be fun every once in awhile too
this my favorite stage in Portland to hear live music on. A major band could do some serious damage in there. Good times.
Dante's is the only club in this whole city that feels like a proper dick-in-the-dirt rock club. Being too crowded and half-full of douchebags is part of that, but so is the fact that the freaks are definitely in charge there. I perform at and patronize Dante's with some frequency, and no douchebag has ever successfully laid a hand on me or ruined my experience because the bartenders and bouncers are looking out for their own at all times.
I will agree, however, that they would benefit from hiring a booker so they could attract more national acts and promising locals. My impression is that they basically draw from their personal friends and associates; a list which includes lots of great bands like Revolting Cocks and Gooferman, but which also includes lots of bands that are like the dishwasher's brother and his girlfriend.
hands down the best live show atmosphere in the Rose City.
no matter who is playing i've always had a good time!
I stop in almost every sunday while traveling from portland to gresham. Drinks are stiff, and the staff is friendly. Not to mention the over all vibe of the bar is great. Definitly one of the best bars in portland.
Had not been to Dante's in a while... was able to enjoy a show last week. I love the layout here. In my opinion one of the best places to see bands in Portland. Even more importantly great sound and acoustics.
When I have been here previously for Sinferno I've not been as excited about drink quality/quantity of booze, but had some nice pours on this night.
Sinferno would be a lot more fun if I could go and enjoy myself without worrying about pictures of me ending up on some creepy website. Get rid of the f'ing photographer!
A friend and I, being huge Karaoke fans, came to Dante's for Karaoke from Hell one night and were so excited about it. We were warned that a fair tip will get you into the cue faster...3 hours later, after tipping the Karaoke From Hell Gatekeeper $20, we still hadn't been called up. What gives??? I know there are some Karaoke joints in this town where you have to show a little green to get behind the mic, but 3 hours??? I haven't waited that long to sing even at Chopsticks, sans exorbitant bribe-tip!!! Seemed like "friends of the band" were getting the treatment that night. Never going back.
Man this storm bullshit
cmon guys everyone is all over Storm cause shes got a nice body and shows her tits...big deal. If she was some dude..nobody would give a fuck All those clowns on Supernova..cant write lyrics or songs worth a shit. With all the talent in PDX everyone is all hype over some generic singer who entered a sold out show at that...
oh yeah Dantes rules though!!!
singing with the band was so much fun! Its hard though, you need to really know the songs, i asked for cues though and got them. drinks were expensive but that was expected. what a blast!
Well, perhaps mine is not a fair review, as I have been going to shows at Dante's since the day the little devil bar was born...but I love it. I mean i fucking LOVE IT. Zac is a nice piece of ass to look at behind the bar (but don't bug him, he'll pee on you) and who can fuck with the place that employs Storm in all her six-foot glory? Not you. Dante's kicks ass.
Karaoke From Hell is in my opinion the most fun thing to do any night of the week. Perhaps J is pissed because he/she can't sing? Might help.... Not sure what you mean about being superior, either, the band is very accepting and friendly with all types of people, amazingly so in my opinion, more that I would be.
As far as Dante's goes, it is basically the heart of downtown, check it out.
A lot of fun. Very unique. - I am only talking about Sunday night's show here. I walked by on a Saturday night once and the screeching music could have driven nails into concrete. Not for the mellow or timid. Sundays? Different - excellent show.
I was thinking kind of the opposite.. on weekends the place has been crowded enough lately that the whole room full of tables thing(albeit great on weeknights) really sucks and the separation is forced on you.
The club seems to have succeeded in booking great shows and providing a more “real” rock experience than the doug fir. However, when it's crowded, people coming in later are sorta forced to go directly to the new side bar which ends up 3 or 4 deep with the bartender getting killed. Meanwhile no one is really even at the main bar cuz you would have to fight thru the people standing behind the tables to get to it and then if you did, there are too many stools at that bar so you'd have to go over somebody or get to the wells which is bad etiquette cuz it fucks up the waitresses game.
So there you are in the new side bar area with your two drinks (cuz you waited in that line you might as well double fist it) and your options are A) stand there and watch the show on a tv or B) go right up to the front of the stage.. something hardly any 21 and over portlander is willing to do.
This place is great.. just lose half of those tables on the weekends please! At least some off the back and to the left by the main bar.
If someone has a better act they should book it, or better yet, perform it. Whoops, the lame-o spectators are at a loss now. You don't build a successful or great club by letting it go empty. If the acts are lame it's because both the audience and the performers are just lame, both uninspiring to the other. X-ray cafe and satyricon did not turn people away. That, plus a great scene is how they became great clubs. Maybe the yuppies and frat boys will give it a break, go look for fights at some frat bar, and let the freaks come up with something cool so they can come back later and be poseurs again. And bring their cash of course.
I will say that the new space is too wide open. There is not even a slight partition for the dance area, and the space has lost it's warm and intimate atmosphere. They need to break it up a little and make it interesting again.
I've always like Dante's. I saw my favorite band there... TWICE!! TrashCan Sinatras were perfect for the atmosphere. However, that being said, I must agree with the other posters. Take a few nights off from acts, silly or otherwise, but especially the silly, to save enough funding for better acts... fill up the space with a good dj... although not always the same one. Just get a rep as being a great bar and when you do have a live act show, it'll go over gangbusters. I just totally agree: clean up and book a better line-up or risk becoming another Satyricon...
Delightful Damion and Rachel really know how to take care of their boozehounds. They did a lovely job serving us up at the Stuntdoubler show last night, as we gathered around the table of open flames. Pizza slices are a delectable late-night snack.
Type of peeps you will see there: Chicks: Your occasional black fake fur coat wearin', semi-short dark-haired, somewhat pale skin girl in unattractive skin tight-pants. (Slender legs in those pants yes, but, still unattractive). (Unless, this is your type of chick). Guys: Not much to say there. Nothing spectacular..Average Joe Blows...
Drinks are fairly decent though, worth the money--pretty stiff! Bartendars don't joke around there..
And I'll have to agree with "J"'s post, Dante's has seen better days.. What the hell is up with all the lame acts they've been bringing lately? This has been going on, for MONTHS now. Try more like, past year or so! Dante's please, please, please, update your musical tastes with musicians who feel the need to not act so superior. Double yawn.. *Sigh*
Basically an excuse for some average musicians to act superior. Yawn. I doubt this review will see the light of day- considering the unholy relationship of Dante's and our beloved publisher.
Overall Rating of Dante's
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