It's been a long wait for Good Bar, no surprise when you're converting a 114-year-old bank into a dimly lit drinking establishment with a functioning restaurant kitchen. But at last, the bar backed by Marination founders Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison opens its doors on Saturday, November 22 at 4pm.
Good Bar is the work of one Josh Kelly, the former chef of all things Marination, now the springy haired gent perpetually visible in Good Bar's open kitchen. So once you get done gawking at the soaring columns, the two massive bank vault doors flanking the liquor bottles, and the horseshoe-shaped, marble-topped bar...the roster of share-friendly plates, cocktails, and uncommon beers might be of interest.
And—at some point it will no longer be necessary to keep repeating this—this isn't a Marination-type establishment. Not in the least. But here's a bit about what you will find at Good Bar.
Eat: Anything dipped in the potato salad aioli. We could talk about the sloppy joe—simmered in tomato sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, and stout long enough to erase any memories of high school cafeteria meat slop. Or the cheese and charcuterie you can order by the ounce. But the surprise hit of the media preview night this week was the little plate of roasted fingerling potatoes. More specifically, the dipping aioli made with every element of potato salad except the actual potatoes.
Drink: The Breakfast Flip. Seriously, somebody order this thing so you can tell me how it tastes—it's made with bourbon, maple syrup, egg, angostura bitters, and corn flake cream. Sounds very Christina Tosi. The rest of the specialty cocktail list is a mix of deeper and lighter spirits. Oh, and the beer: not your typical specimens. The lineup is heavy on the Belgians, as well as less-common American pours from breweries like North Coast and Unita.
Sit: Beneath the light of your very own library lamp. The bar is dotted with lamps from Portland's Schoolhouse Electric, the kind you might find in an old-timey study carrel (or, you know, an old-timey bank). The cushy leather stools along the bar's right side deliver optimal views of the seats on the mezzanine, the paintings by artist Debbie Fass, and Pioneer Square passersby.
Bonus Intel: The restaurant's phone number is 624-BEER. Josh and Nancy Kelly combed through a lot of available phone numbers before they found one that ended in their desired suffix. I knew I liked these people.