Magic Gardens

217 NW 4th Ave Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 224.8472

Located in: Northwest Portland & near Northeast Portland
strip clubhappy hourpoolvideo pokerlate nightlate foodhipstersdiveliquor
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BarFly's Review of Magic Gardens


Should there be a Vice-chic equation [(rock stars X tits + coke-addled hipsters - top 40 tunes)/ well whiskey price], we'd imagine Magic Gardens would top Portland. The dingy, divey, claustrophobic landmark has not, perhaps, the finest performers (Suicide-Girl heavy for rush hours, natch, with an eclectic array lunch-ward) nor pole nor, should there be a crowd, any comfortable vantage point to view them.

Still, the dancers have better musical taste than you and couldn't be friendlier - though one should always assume both that their boy/girl-friends'll be somewhere's 'round the room and that you'll one day want their autograph.

Want thrust your way deeper into Magic gardens? Buy Viva Las Vegas' memoirs "Magic Gardens" at Powells Seriously, buy it here.

Click here to see bus routes to Magic Gardens.
Reader Reviews of Magic Gardens
Magic Gardens has 3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings and 35 user reviews.
Skin deep

I went to this place with a local dude I met at Mary's just a short while earlier and my initial impression was positive. I have to say that I had no problems with the bouncer or the old lady behind the bar, and both of the girls working that night were so hot I almost wept. Like at Mary's the girls pick their own music and in typical Portland fashion it is eclectic and tasteful and the show is more reminiscent of burlesque than the typical stripper grind. Having said that I think this place is more suitable to local young hipster types.

At some point shortly before I was about to leave the guy I was with made a comment about the song playing to the girl dancing (a red head, I think it was Heather) and what proceeded was a complete unwarranted character assassination. His comment was something like "oh no, your playing The Clash again." It obviously wasn't The Clash, and I don't think you have to be a hipster to tell a Clash song from anything else, but really who the fuck cares, he shouldn't have said anything about the music period but overall it was a fairly harmless comment. Anyway, apparently this was the last straw for this girl, because she laid into him, and me I guess by association, like we were complete scum. She says guys like him are the reason she left Michigan (a commonality they discussed earlier), I guess because she really likes guys that can tell the difference between The Clash and The Cramps and wasnít able to find that particular quality in the men in her hometown. Then she bizarrely says something about me thinking she looks like a 12 year old, essentially referring to me as a pedophile. Iím 40 and Iíll grant maybe a guy my age gawking at young 20 something strippers might be a little creepy to some people, but how you associate this with pedophilia is beyond me and completely insulting. At this point, having had enough of her charms, I get up to leave as a Tom Waits song begins and she proceeds to ignorantly insult my lack of taste in music, saying something like I probably think its Lou Armstrong.

Obviously this is just one dancer here, and she defiantly has some personal issues, but it seems based on some of the other comments that maybe there is a pattern of rude behavior and zero tolerance at this club that is simply absurd. I tipped this girl well and was polite and conciliatory throughout the whole deal and in the end was treated like dirt, I guess Iíve just never experienced this level of bitchiness from a stripper before. I suppose if you just go the Garden to look at the girls and drink your experience would be fine, just keep your fucking mouth shut about the music, and refrain from engaging the girls in small talk. Remember you are scum sucking d-bag and they are artistic goddesses with more musical taste in their little pinkies then you have in your whole repugnant body.

Reviewed Anonymously by Unhipster on September 6, 2011, 11:50 pm
equal rights

My friends and I have been long time patrons of some of Portland's best and worst strip clubs for over 10 years. We bring in a lot of people, give the bar a lot of money and tip well. This weekend, when we attempted to celebrate a friend's upcoming nuptials, we were thwarted by a very disappointing civil rights violation. One of my friends suffered from a massive stroke one year ago. He is only 35 years old. He has regained his major motor skills, but still experiences speech and motor impairment. The bouncer accused him of being intoxicated. When we explained that he had a stroke and had not had a drop of alcohol in the past year, the bouncer said "if he's had a stroke, then he shouldn't be in here". As if my friend isn't reminded daily of how much his life has changed because of a stroke? He really doesn't need some douchebag bouncer to tell him that he doesn't have the right to see naked ladies. It also happens to be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. I know you're job is tough bouncer douchebag, but keep those discriminatory opinions to yourself.

Reviewed Anonymously by Definitely Not Nixon on July 20, 2009, 10:41 am
The Magic

The Magic Gardens is Portland.

In every way, everything that Portland is is represented in this establishment. And having grown up (metaphorically) with the Magic as my neighborhood bar, my long term place o0f employment, and in so many ways my home, I have seen the absolute best and absolute worst it has to offer and can say without doubt, that the Magic IS Portland, and it is a truly wonderful place.

The music, as everyone says is brilliant, sarcastic, sincere and eclectic. The girls run the gamut of portlandites, from the occasional skeezy webcam girl, to young doctors and lawyers dancing their way through grad school

And Patty and Everett and Debbie are wonderful people, who it was my pleasure to have in my lives for over a decade. How many people can say that about bar, who are not a washed out or a wreck?

The Magic may not be my first choice for the naked ladies alone, but as a bar, a place to be, The Magic is Portland and Portland is my favorite place in the world.

A.

Reviewed Anonymously by Gherkin on July 17, 2009, 8:20 am
Never again

The first time I went there on a friday afternoon the girls where super friendly, engaging, and super cute. I vowed to go back again.

However, the second time I went there on Friday afternoon June 12. The girls werent very friendly although they were cute. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and proceeded to watch girl 1 on stage tipping every song! The second girl came on, pranced for half a sec and then walked off stage because she said I wasn't tipping. WTF! I had a stack of bills in my hand and pocket that I was totally prepared to spend on you girls.

I guess the girls at magic gardens didn't want to split the $300 cash that I had in my pocket that way.

The girls there were rude and unfriendly. Definitely NOT the Magic Gardens experience I had had in the past.

Reviewed Anonymously by John on June 12, 2009, 12:57 pm
Viva Las Vegas

My first strip club visit ever was the Magic Garden's, back in 1996! Walked in and saw the most intriguing woman named Viva Las Vegas! I still have a soft spot for the place and will always be supporting the arts! I miss you Viva!

Reviewed By BarFly User Richman on April 20, 2008, 3:24 pm
Comfort Levels

Patty is a widely loved lady who presides over a bar in which industry people and others who know how to behave feel welcome and comfortable. Nobody can please all the people all the time, but the Magic seems to me to please those who understand what is expected of them... loyalty, maturity, generosity, and no whining.

Reviewed Anonymously by Greg on February 20, 2008, 1:46 am
30 min on Portland

I was there at the end of September 2007. I was doing a bus trip with a friend. we started in Toronto, Canada. And we ended at San Francisco. So we stopped at Portland at 11pm, only 30 minutes, and there was this guy with us on a bus, forget his name, but he had a fake string tattoo on his back, anyway he bring us there. He knew the place, i was surprise of that club, cheapest beer, nice music, cool people and of course, the girl who was dancing, she was gorgeous and had good shake... i really liked it, its like a scene on grindhouse movies.

After 3 songs, we run back to the Greyhound bus. I remember wearing flip flops, not that easy... Too bad, that we didn't have time to stay longer on the place, even on the city that i don t know what is looks like.

So now i am in Paris, thats where i lived and we don't have the same shit here :( But if someone can tell me where i can find t-shirt of Magic Gardens on the internet, please let me know.

Reviewed Anonymously by Filipe on January 30, 2008, 10:02 am
30 min on Portland

I was there at the end of September 2007. I was doing a bus trip with a friend. we started in Toronto, Canada. And we ended at San Francisco. So we stopped at Portland at 11pm, only 30 minutes, and there was this guy with us on a bus, forget his name, but he had a fake string tattoo on his back, anyway he bring us there. He knew the place, i was surprise of that club, cheapest beer, nice music, cool people and of course, the girl who was dancing, she was gorgeous and had good shake... i really liked it, its like a scene on grindhouse movies.

After 3 songs, we run back to the Greyhound bus. I remember wearing flip flops, not that easy... Too bad, that we didn't have time to stay longer on the place, even on the city that i don t know what is looks like.

So now i am in Paris, thats where i lived and we don't have the same shit here :( But if someone can tell me where i can find t-shirt of Magic Gardens on the internet, please let me know.

Reviewed Anonymously by Filipe on January 30, 2008, 9:54 am
Patty

I'm a regular at Magic, and I agree that Patty can be salty sometimes. Still, she's almost elderly, and I bet you asking if she had a problem with you made her think you were about to become a problem. Out of all the bars I drink at I've been cut off and kicked out by her the most, usually for shooting my mouth off (imagine that). And well I should've been, seeing as others are there to watch naked girls, not tolerate my verbal abuse. But I still think Patty's cool, and there's no reason to give up your fave hangout if she's not your cup of tea. It doesn't sound like you were 86'd so try going on sunday or monday when Angie's working. She's never cut me off so the odds are in your favor. Oh, and that's when Cami's dancing, bonus!

Reviewed By BarFly User Jinx on January 6, 2008, 1:04 pm
Oh Magic..

The first strip club I ever went to in Portland, oh what a soft spot it holds. Patty is sharper than anyone would ever realize. she misses nothing. The old bit, that just gets you to put your guard down. I might be in there once every eight months and she remembers me my wife, and everyone I ever came in with. Oh The Gardens are special, always will be. Hollowed ground I tell you.

Reviewed Anonymously by Ezra on September 8, 2007, 8:51 pm
BT and the bouncer

For y'all who like to jump to hasty judgements I must say: -you are all wrong (except for Yamada). The old lady and the "Mongolian-Terror" are one awesome duo! Hands down. You just have to go by the good old golden rule is all. Oh, and it helps if you tip seeing they are most likely not on a 401-k plan nor have a dental plan...

Reviewed Anonymously by SwedishRoyalty on August 12, 2007, 6:51 pm
DJs & Bouncers?

The girls DJ their own music at Magic and the Bouncers are generally cool here (though Eddie got fired/quit)

Reviewed By BarFly User Yamada on August 9, 2007, 2:17 pm
DJs and Bouncers

The DJs and bouncers at strip joints are (for the most part) big giant doody-heads!

Reviewed Anonymously by Klown on August 8, 2007, 4:39 pm
Still great, but

Magic is still a great option for downtown strippaz, but I was none too pleased with the way my girlfriend was harassed by the bouncer last Saturday. We walked in with about a dozen of us (she was the only female), and as everyone crowded at the bar to order drinks (I went to the pisser), she sat down at a table with one or two other guys (already had their drinks). Less than 3 minutes after we walk in the bouncer is giving her shit about the one drink minimum: "You've got to order a drink, and you'd better do it now." She's not a loud or extroverted person, and this mongoloid fucktard almost ruined her (and my) night. I may give the garden a miss the next few times I'm downtown and yearning for strippers.

Reviewed By BarFly User Totalnerd on August 6, 2007, 12:45 pm
bartenders

The best reason to go to Magic Garden is the cute blonde day bartender. Better looking than most of the dancers, and good friendly service too.

Reviewed Anonymously by Robert on May 23, 2007, 8:24 am
Not worth it

Went here on a saturday night around 9pm, place was empty, only two girls rotating on stage so after an hour you wanted to see more trim. Both were hotties, but needed more selection. This place is very small and only has one stage. It felt more of a local hangout than the touristy boys night out kinda place. My advise, head two blocks further to the Cabaret, the entertainment and service is much better. The old lady who serves drinks was nice to us, I dont know what your all complaining about. You either don't know how to TIP or you look like you should be on the streets outside napping in a cove. She was a little on the slow side, agreed on that point. Solution - Order doubles

Helpful advise - Tip the old lady a five spot on your first round and you won't have any problems with her the rest of your visit. She might even give you priority service.

Bouncers seemed nice, didn't have any problems. Lots of bums in the outside surrounding areas. It's that part of town. All three of us tried the burger which was mentioned twice on BarFly but it wasen't that great.

Reviewed Anonymously by David on April 22, 2007, 5:44 pm
Zoe

Zoe is still there. Check the website to see when she'll be working. www.myspace.com/magicgardensgirls

Reviewed Anonymously by craig on April 2, 2007, 8:39 am
Does Zoe still dance there?

I love the Garden. It feels comfortable (if occasionally a bit too smoky for my tastes), and despite other reviews, the older woman behind the bar has been nothing but wonderful to me. The music is top-notch; I've picked up more than a few CDs based on stuff I've heard there for the first time. And the dancers are just beautiful ... I haven't been in a long while - I remember a girl named Zoe who was hands-down the most friendly and engaging dancer I've ever had a chance to chat with. Anyone know if she still dances there?

Reviewed Anonymously by tenminutesalone on April 1, 2007, 12:57 am
I know what you mean

For those of you who want to avoid Patty (the ancient bartender), she works Wednesday through Saturday from 6:30 to close. So go in on one of the other nights, or any day before 6:30pm.

Reviewed Anonymously by Mike on March 22, 2007, 10:50 am
hmmm

I have no idea why so many dislike that old BT. she always super nice to me, remembers my name and usually has my PBR waiting for me before i get a chance to order. And if you really are trying to avoid her, she off some nights (sorry, can't remember the schedule)

Reviewed By BarFly User Yamada on March 19, 2007, 5:15 pm
Magic Gardens

Best music in a dance club, hands down. The girls at night (Thursday-Saturday) dance verrrrrrrrrry slow, are beautiful, natural and have the right mix of I don't give a damn and I really like dancing to this music and looking at myself in the mirror. No pole. No bad hip hob or obnoxious metal. No carnival style DJ telling you to 'give it up, boyeeeee'. It's like a neighborhood bar with hot naked hot babes and killer music.

The old bartender has got to go. She hates most of her customers and could give a crap about serving you a drink. It's like she's doing you a huge friggin' favor. She's the reason I don't go there more often.

Reviewed Anonymously by dupre on March 16, 2007, 10:42 pm
My favorite club

The best strip club in Portland. Great place to stop in after work, as it's usually pretty mellow then and the day time girls are friendlier than the stand-off-ish late night girls. Hotter too, IMO. The night girls' dark, strung-out, skeletal look doesn't really do it for me. In the daytime you'll usually see more variety, various shapes and sizes, blondes and brunettes, more girl-next-door types.

Reviewed Anonymously by John on February 16, 2007, 3:28 pm
70+ bartender

i love that woman!

Reviewed By BarFly User Yamada on December 1, 2006, 12:35 pm
WOW

Besides feeling like I was in my parent's smokey basement, I would say it was overall a humorous experience. The only bartendar on the Saturday night I went there was a 70+ year-old woman who took centuries to serve me my drink. The strippers looked like they had just rolled out from under the box out on the street. These "all natural" stippers could have taken a little more time practicing personal hygiene and picked some better tunes to watch them groove to.

Reviewed Anonymously by halla on September 25, 2006, 12:15 pm
I love this place

I was friends with a girl that danced here back in 1988, and I have loved it ever since...

Reviewed Anonymously by Chad on June 15, 2006, 12:22 am
it's tragic

there aren't more places like this. friendly, eclectic dancers, fantastic ambience, the best staff in town, and the small size make this place the perfect home away from home. perfect after-work hangout if you want to wait for downtown traffic to die down.

Reviewed Anonymously by nick carmine on April 22, 2006, 11:01 am
not bad at all

I don't mind hanging out here for awhile when its not hella busy. The strippers are reasonably attractive but not very talented dancers.

Reviewed Anonymously by mel on April 7, 2006, 9:07 am
Love Love Loved it

Im a chick that loves chicks and wowee wow wow! Though the girls are all too thin for my taste ( come on....even a doggie likes a little meat on his bones) I will say this; they were really cute and sexxxxy. They paid extra attention to me and were hella sweet. I was afraid that the guys would trip out on another chick being in there watching and tipping but nobody paid me much mind. In fact, I ended up playing pool with another solo female. Felt like a strange movie in there, the low ceilings, the redish lighting and the girls right in your face if you sit anywhere near the tiny little stage. Even that mean little pickle faced barmaid had her own charm.

Reviewed Anonymously by Grrl_4_Grrl on February 17, 2006, 12:06 am
Slow Dancing to Great Music

The dancers dance slow. They all wear platform shoes and they're languid. The music they play is not the usual strip club music. You'll hear everything from Joy Division to Bluegrass to Drive By Truckers to Syd Barrett. It's nuts. Most of the girls are thin, some are tall (though it could be the shoes) and they're all pretty much sexy. The best of them is Kami who is a dark haired double for Cameron Diaz. The place can get filled with assholes who think they're God's gift to something or other, but for the most part it's like a neighborhood bar that happens to have a bunch of pretty naked girls moving real slow to a slew of really good music.

Reviewed Anonymously by Frankie on February 1, 2006, 1:37 am
It's like a movie set

I have to agree on the burger, it really does kick ass. Most of the women are pretty hot, (although the one getting on stage as I left looked big enough to whoop me.) I love the hipster tatoo types naked. The atmosphere is claustraphobic, dingy and fun. With red lights, video games and pool, I wish the arcades of my youth were as cool.

Reviewed Anonymously by Chris on December 8, 2005, 4:48 pm
Pretty nifty

I visited several times late last year and found the place quite pleasant. The tobacco smoke level was tolerable (and I'm unusually sensitive), the dancers were uniformly sexy, the bartender is one of the cutest in town, and the hamburger is just plain friggin' delicious (worth coming in for even without the naked babes). This place is worth checking out for just about anyone.

Reviewed Anonymously by Bob G on August 30, 2005, 10:49 am
Perfect for what you're there for

Friendly staff, and friendly dancers. A propper dive with a hot naked chick in the middle. Try it!

Reviewed Anonymously by V.M.T. on August 13, 2005, 12:46 pm
Dear me, I love this place

If you can stomach the neighborhood, which can be on the sketchy side, you're in for a treat. The dancers are beautiful and friendly, and the atmosphere is absolutely wonderful. It's a smallish club, and it looks like it could be straight out of some long lost noir film. I cannot recommend the place highly enough.

Reviewed Anonymously by Mr. Thumbs Up on August 3, 2005, 10:49 pm
ups & downs

The Upside: Hot hipster girls dancing to great music, no clearchannel playlist here . The Downside: It smells, the sidewalk out front is littered with crackheads and the meanest old lady I've ever met behind the bar.

Reviewed Anonymously by steve on June 23, 2005, 1:43 pm
What makes the Garden great

The people who work there. The music. The red glow. The fact that wannabe laptop geeks with all their fake shit don't go there. One of the few left.

Reviewed Anonymously by Diablo on February 26, 2005, 10:49 pm
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Overall Rating of Magic Gardens

Absolute boozer heaven
Pretty freakin' nice
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