Reel 'm Inn2430 SE Division St Portland, OR 97202 Southeast Portland
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BarFly's Review of Reel 'm Inn
Appropriately angler-themed, much as ramshackle neighborhood dives attend to decor, with nets and mounted fish, but the bar's known for its ... chicken. The fried chicken, cooked at the bar (an open kitchen, we should say), and Jo-Jo's as big as your head are rightly-prized throughout Southeast and help pull the cool kids from the Clinton nightspots.
There's more tables now, and mixed drinks, but a steadfast gang of older area regulars still plug endless sets of 80's rawk to the online jukebox and spin a starch 'n' booze-fueled cheer.
Getting to Reel 'm Inn
Reader ReviewsAdd your own review or comment
Frankly, I wouldn’t even respond to the ridiculous “review” by “tonycolombo” except for the fact that I refuse to tolerate anti-Semitism, or hate speech of any kind. And I am saddened that Barfly does.
I would normally just shake my head in sadness at all the lies written by “tonycolombo,” such as: 1. That bestboy “asked about the daily special posted at the bar.” This never happened. He never asked about the daily special. 2. That bestboy ordered a beer back. He did not. He ordered a whiskey on ice and a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon. 3. That the bartender explained to him that he had ordered a whiskey with a beer back. She never said that. She told him that he had ordered “the special.” Which was not posted anywhere, and which he never heard of and had never ordered. 4. That bestboy said he had ordered a whisky and a beer back. He never said that because he didn’t order that. (And believe me, I have had enough drinks with bestboy to know that he never orders a beer back. I wish he would because it takes so long for him to drink the pint of beer and, to be completely candid, he doesn’t need the extra calories, as is evidenced by his cute, adorable beer belly). 5. That bestboy “flailed” his arms and legs and jumped up and down. That is absurd. That never happened. 6. That bestboy was escorted out of the bar. He was not. He got up, not even finishing his beer or his whiskey, and said, “Thank you,” as he left. The bartender’s back was to him as he left, and nobody escorted him out. The bartender didn’t even reply as he thanked her and left. 7. That bestboy said he works for “the barfly.” This is simply not true. He did not say that he works for "the barfly." He doesn’t even post on barfly. I am the one who posts occasional reviews of our experiences on “the” barfly. I do not think I work for barfly. Nor do I claim that I work for barfly. I am under no such delusion. Some of my reviews are positive. Some are not. They are, however, always honest. 8. That bestboy was 86ed. He has been in the bar repeatedly since then. He did nothing worthy of 86ing. He was not 86ed. The bartender did not 86 him.
I could let all of that go, however, because it is so clearly nonsense, and so clearly written by someone who is either the bartender or friends with the bartender. I generally believe that it is best to not reply to trolls.
I cannot remain silent, though. Not when there is hate speech involved. It is bad enough that “tonycolombo” fabricated the fictional scene below, and that barfly approved it: “…"best boy" then began to flail his arms, jump up and down and then announced with a Nazi salute "I work for the barfly!" He was then politly 86'd and was asked never to come back as he was escorted to the door with all the patrons at the bar standing and exclaiming "barfly" and giving the newly learned "barfly salute". What an idiot but the humor still exists and his last visit to the Reel will not be forgotten nor the bookmarked entry in the log book.”
But worst than the out and out lies, is the fact that tonycolombo would write this about my good friend, bestboy, who is not only Jewish, but “looks Jewish.” By that I mean, people often assume or guess he is Jewish. To say that bestboy, whose grandmother is a Holocaust Survivor, is so utterly offensive as to be despicable.
Not only that, but the idea of every patron in Reel M Inn standing and giving a Nazi Salute, which tonycolombo has renamed the “barfly salute” is palpably repulsive. Does barfly want their venerable name associated with a salute described as a Nazi Salute?
Not only that, but is this tonycolombo an employee of Reel M Inn? If not, how does he know there is supposedly a “bookmarked entry in the log book”? Is it not a violation of barfly policy to not announce oneself as an employee or owner when writing a review? If he is not an employee, then surely he has no knowledge of the employee log. If the bartender is showing the log to patrons, I question that habit.
Tonycolombo has written one review- this one on Reel M Inn, and joined barfly the day the review was written. Interesting? I think so.
Shame on tonycolombo for lying. Shame on tonycolombo for his hate speech and for trying to shame a neighborhood resident. Shame on tonycolombo for attempting to make a neighborhood bar sound like a Nazi hangout, where patrons stand united, giving the Nazi salute as a Jewish patron is 86ed for saying “Thank you,” and leaving when he was not given a free beer on a day when all the other patrons were.
I do not believe Reel M Inn would tolerate such hatred.
Gina makes this neighborhood dive a hit! When some people said I had to check out this place on her nights working that she is one of the best & most entertaining bartenders in Portland they were right! Will definately go back again soon!
There are 5 people who work for BarFly, including Jen and myself. Best boy is certainly not on the payroll.
I was there that fatefull day when "best boy" ordered a whiskey with a beer back. Later he asked about the daily special posted at the bar. The adorable bartender explained, "buy one beer and get the second free but only once". Best boy asked for his free beer and was politly told "no, he ordered a whiskey with a beer back he did not order a pounder of beer". "best boy" got all bent out of shape and began the arguement even saying he had "tipped her". The cute adorable bartender explained again to "best boy" he ordered a whiskey with a beer back he did not order a pounder of beer. "best boy" was then asked what he had ordered and he responded "a whisley with a beer back". He understood his mistake but "best boy" then began to flail his arms, jump up and down and then announced with a Nazi salute "I work for the barfly!" He was then politly 86'd and was asked never to come back as he was escorted to the door with all the patrons at the bar standing and exclaiming "barfly" and giving the newly learned "barfly salute". What an idiot but the humor still exists and his last visit to the Reel will not be forgotten nor the bookmarked entry in the log book.
It's a sad day for "tips4service." We have to once again run to Barfly and tattle tale on Reel 'M Inn. Don't know the bartender's name (Gina's name was up on the board, but this was not the great Gina, so let us not sully the great Mama Gina's name).
She was blonde, shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, probably 30s, maybe 40s, average build, tanned. But, our buddy Best Boy sat at the bar and ordered a pint of beer and a shot of whiskey on ice. She said, "You mean on the ROCKS??" as if he was a dork.
She forgot to charge him, and he reminded her, to which she replied she had not forgotten, but was trying to find a baseball station, as if he was a dork.
Best Boy had a rough day already and just wanted to relax at the bar. It sort of bugged him that he had been corrected for saying "ice" and for reminding her to take his cash. But he didn't let it get to him He said "please" and "thank you." He was charged a total of fifty cents less than normal price, ("Happy hour?" he wondered to himself. He paid cash and tipped her 33% gratuity.
Right after that, more people came in, and were all told that it is "Buy a Beer/ Get The Next One Free" Night. Best Boy was not told this when he ordered minutes before.
All those customers were given little plastic bottle caps, which they could later exchange for their free beer. Best Boy was interested. "I got a beer," he thought. "Perhaps I will get a free beer, too!"
Waiting until the bartender was free, he glanced at the "Bartender on Duty" sign, and said, "Excuse me, Gina?" "I'm not GiNA!" she said, as if he was a dork.
"Oh, I'm sorrry," said Best Boy. "I was reading off the sign. I was just wondering why I don't get the free beer plastic bottle cap?"
"You got the special," she said, turning away.
"What special?" asked Best Boy, to her back,
"You got the special," she threw back at him.
"Thank you," said Best Boy, obviously perturbed. He got up from the bar and left. A crappy capper to a crappy day.
Got there at 1:45 last night, and it was packed. The lone bartender called Last Call while we was outside having a smoke so we hustled right in and got in line. By the time we got up to the bar, the barkeep said it was too late to serve us. We hadn't had a drink all night or day, so it wasn't because we were too drunk. By that time it was 1:50 am and we were sad.
As we left, we saw him out front having a smoke. Might that be why he didn't give us our last call?
Gina is a goddess of the finest degree. But, some of the other barkeeps leave a lot to be desired. S..l..o..w.. service is often the norm (when Gina's not on duty). Being ignored in favor of conversations with their friends sitting at the counter is another frequent occurrence (when Gina's not on duty). And what's with the Closing an hour or more before posted closing time (when Gina's not on duty)? This problem is a Portland epidemic. Bar owners, do you want your customers to learn "Let's not go there, they'll be closed.. it's almost 1 AM"????? Cause it's happening, baby. And servers, you are so flicking lucky to have a job. Why you gotta cut out early?
And would it hurt you to swing by the video crack and see if anyone is thirsty? You'd get higher tips, I swear. (Gina always does).
It's great that Gina is back after a nearly three year absence. The bar is not quite what it used to be. The chicken and jojos are still great as always, but other things have changed.
It used to be a great pool bar, and a lot of solid pool players frequented the place. No longer...the pool is 75 cents, a rip-off, and the new layout has a big video crack machine placed in a way that interferes with shooting from an entire side of the table, making pool not worth the time for any real players.
One of the great things about the old bar is that the regular crowd was very mixed, age-wise. There were regulars in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties, and it was a really great mix of types and views rarely found anywhere.
Now the old-timers are all gone for the most part, and the bar has been discovered by the kewl kids, and they have ruined it to some extent. It's not much different than any southeast bar full of hipsters and reedies.
Having said that, the bar still retains a great deal of its charm, although it will never be the place it was.
Things change, though...that's life. Still great chicken.
Aloha Mr. Hand, the Reel M Inn is a cool place to go to catch a quick cold one or a tasty munch of Jojos(fat potatoe wedge) or chicken. The food is a good price and the weekday special menu is a sweet deal. The beer tastes good coming out the tap(compared to Scoreboard), and the bar staff are cool, down to earth folk. Cheers to the REEL.
she is back and the best thing ever .. the bar is ok but on her nights friday and saturday she makes it hers !! heck yeah its fun !!
i used to live in this neighborhood so i was a regular here, Clinton St, La Cruda and at the Night Light and this place was a decent bar. Wilson's review is pretty spot on, the personality plus bartenders (Jess, Noel etc) have left. the chicken & jojos *were* good but if the bartender is new/bad the food could turn out the way Mr Heston reported
Walking into this bar was like stepping into some weird amalgamation of what an old neighborhood bar would look like if built for a movie set...all the neon and fake wood paneling and ill fitting decor. I thought I was on a set of a poorly staged 80's music video...and I do not believe for one second that they are "renowned" for their fried chicken and jojo's. Even though they put it on their signage as a selling point! Taking a chicken breast and deep frying it until it is a hard dark brown lump (tasteless too, unless you consider grease a flavor) does not make for good eating. I may have been a little stoned when I visited the Reel'm Inn but the food genuinely freaked me out, it was scary...Eraserhead scary... I was convinced it was human flesh. It had no flavor and odd texture. The potatoes were dry, hard, and brown. I think the name of the bar is apt..reel the sucker fish customers in to make a couple bucks off them. This bar is so bizarro fake and only fun if you like being somewhere so badly contrived that it puts everything else in life on very firm footing. Never have I seen a bar with such a lack of self-awareness. It is an amazing place. Don't eat the food. It is evil! It is a TV version of a bar populated by people who don't live in this reality. Enjoy the madness.
Totally chill spot, laid back, super nice bartenders, even the occasional funny old time SE Portland'er meandering around. Suggest trying the deep fried Chicken and Jo's!
Chicken and jojo's can't be beat . .. Bummer about Noel and Gina (gone) and increased prices on the chicken, but still a great deal. Classic Portland dive bar. Great place to see a few air guitars when listening to the expansive butt rock selection.
Gina isn't there anymore and neither are Noel, Maizy and some of the other "Personality-plus" bartenders. Barfly needs to hit this place again. New manager has gotten hard liquor by filling every square inch with tables and chairs (for food service). The regulars come in shifts - you'll see the same people after work everyday, and you'll see the same late night people everytime. Everyone should try the chicken and jojos at least once. A place for the non-young in the neighborhood of Clinton St. Tavern, Nightlight, and Red & Black Cafe.
Overall Rating of Reel 'm Inn
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