The Gotham Tavern in some from or another has been in Eliot Neighborhood for some time. I first discovered it while walking around lower Albina taking pictures to be used for this web site. Until then I was unaware it was there right in our neighborhood. I’m glad I found it.
The Gotham Tavern has gone through several changes through the last few years. Do a search in Google, or on your favorite Portland Restaurant guide site and you will probably find a review. But is that review for the Gotham Tavern today? Probably not. In the recent past it has been a coffee shop, an upper scale establishment complete with reservations recommended, something a little closer to a “dive bar”, a late night hangout, and now the best aspects of all of the above – well except for the coffee shop.
The menu is full of simple, yet high quality, relatively inexpensive meals and appetizers. I won’t review the menu other that to say I like it and have been satisfied during several visits over the last two months. Well, I do have one experience to share… With my meal came a salad and I requested Honey Mustard dressing. Unfortunately they do not have Honey Mustard dressing. To my surprise the server responded with “but I will make some for you”. She did and I was impressed.
The restaurant has a comfortable, rustic, yet modern feel, primarily due to the timber structures inside. Most of the seating has a good view of the Freemont bridge which changes dramatically as the sun sets. In the back there are two “pods” perfect for larger groups. The full bar has plenty of stool seating for those who prefer to hang out close to the one pouring the drinks.
Perhaps my favorite part of Gotham Tavern is the live music on the weekends. Not every seat can see the musicians, regardless there is something nice about hearing live music in the background. The music is a great touch that can be heard out on the street as you approach if the overhead door is open. I like listening to local artists, while enjoying good food and drink.
My experience with Gotham Tavern only extends back to early 2007. In that time it has changed ownership – on June 1st. The changes are nice and it really feels like the Gotham Tavern has found a successful identity. There will probably be some additional tweaks – there always are – but overall it is a great place to hang out.
Gotham Tavern is located in the Gotham Building on the corner of N Albina and N Interstate at 2240 N Interstate. If you live in Eliot Neighborhood it is a nice walk. Or you can take the Yellow Max or bus 33 – get off at Albina/Mississippi. No need for reservations, just stop by.