Virginia Cafe820 SW 10th Ave Portland, OR 97205
Located in: Downtown Portland
BarFly's Review of Virginia Cafe
The old gal has moved from her long standing location and is now non smoking. Stay tuned for an updated BarFly review.
Here is the old one
Serving all walks since 1922, the VC is one of the few completely unpretentious "real bars" left in downtown. Conversation abounds among the hodge-podge of regulars lined up at the long bar. Mezzanine seating great for taking over with a small group. A few sidewalk tables. Cool, companionable, staff.
Extensive, if inscrutable specials run something like this: doubles $1 more, $1 off micros 4-7 pm Sun-Wed and Fri. Also, Thurs and Sat: $2 well & $3 call until midnight (except 7-8pm).
Virginia Cafe's Happy Hours
|Monday||double cocktails for $2 more, $2.25-$6 menu, $1 off micros 4-7 pm|
|Tuesday||double cocktails for $2 more, $2.25-$7 menu, $1 off micros 4-7 pm|
|Wednesday||doubles $1 more, $1 off micros 4-7 pm|
|Thursday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Friday||double cocktails for $2 more, $2.25-$7 menu, $1 off micros 4-7 pm|
|Saturday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Sunday||doubles $1 more, $1 off micros 4-7 pm|
Getting to Virginia Cafe
I was a regular at the Old VC, so I decided to check out the new one with a friend of mine. The staff has not changed much, so they still have the great friendly folks from before and I must say the new place is noticably, umm, cleaner. However the new place is tiny and it is non-smoking, and although it has alot of the same furniture, to me it's just not the VC. Still an okay joint, but the VC I knew is dead.
I'm not sure if most of you know the great history of VC's. Now I have only been drinking there since I was 19 going to school at PSU, so someone can pre-date my history with the place. That having been said, the place was great and now its only a shell of what it once was, so I still enjoy going and drinking heavy before a movie or whatever else I have to do downtown. But this was one of the first hardcore happy hours in the city! They had $1 drinks and you weren't limited to the well. Back in those days I didn't know any beer so we drank what ever they would serve us, way up in the upper dark corner. We would have drinking races/games, like who could drink the most Boilermakers in a row (my record was 8).
But that was then and now we have to realize the bar scene in PDX is different and VC has to change as well. I hope the new place doesn't try to be like the old in a new location, because it just doesn't work that way. If they redefine the conversation at the new place so it meets the new law, no smoking and is open to all comers, I will like the new place and just be happy to have an option downtown.
After months of walking past this joint, trying to figure out whether or not it was a snooty bar or a cool place, I finally got the chance to go in..and I fell in love! It's homey and welcoming, the bartenders are great, good drinks and good food..and good stuff on the TV. I was shocked that it's being torn down, but happy that the crew is moving to another location. I will always be a regular, no matter what!
I went to the VC for 35 years and no one knows if I can salvage my tile from the bar floor. There has to be a way!! Help me find one, Paul firstname.lastname@example.org
NO! Just when we found it! The place is old, cool, funky, and best of all, no minors allowed! Why can't it be moved instead????
When I heard the news of the impending razing of the VC, I slouched in my chair and mumbled something incomprehensible, even to myself. But I’m sure it was something like, “fuckers kill everything I love… blah blah blah.” I’m going to miss having a happy hour burger in a booth built for one, drinking whisky and writing bad, meandering poems while smoking tragically and watching snippets b&w movies on the TV. Ahhh VC, where else am I going to rant, rave and rhapsodize after the latest flick at the Fox tower? Christ, I just wanna nice quiet drinking spot I can stumble to and from. They took my beloved Jasmine Tree, my Rose and Raindrop… now this? All my dives, torn down, casually, by rough handed fellows that I would have bought a beer in the very places they turn to rubble. Pity. What’s a dive hound to do?
Bummer to think that this place will soon be gone. It is one of the few "blue collar" places left in the downtown area by the Fox tower. Service was a bit slow, but the beer selection was good and the bar grub was definitely hearty. It was kind of hard to figure out the specials, and it was a bit smokey, but someplace I would definitely visit again.
The service is pretty damn slow and my drinks here have all been pretty weak, but the VC stayed open this Christmas Eve for a few stragglers who needed a drink or two (myself included) so I'll happily go back when I have time for leisurely drinks. Good times...
The VC is totally one of my all-time favorite fall backs. When I can't decide where I feel like hanging out, the VC always goes down real, real smooth. Their bacon cheeseburger is freakin' fantastic, and although it is difficult to figure out when the hell happy hour is, usually if you show up somewhere in the area of 4-7 pm, the server will happily impart the info. Love the atmosphere, except the smoke, but it's worth it.
I love the Virginia Cafe. I used to eat sandwiches there all of the time and they were delicious... Gotta love any old school PDX.
Overall Rating of Virginia Cafe
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