With most daily routines returning to near-normal at this point, coming out of the pandemic lockdown has felt like a slow process in Portland, Oregon. Pre-COVID life seems so far away now as we look back at businesses that got creative to stay afloat while others had to make the difficult decision to close indefinitely. The bar scene has evolved—it might have anyway—but some of our favorite places are gone. What could have felt like a familiar record album slowing down for a couple years was actually more like someone lifted the needle and skipped a few songs. Where we landed still has a great vibe, but we will never know what might have been.
There is often a lifecycle of new places and old which made it difficult to keep up with bar reviews. It was never our focus at Summit Sips to feature local (and sometimes distant) drinking establishments. We always cite the people and places we emulate as we try to reproduce great recipes at home with an occasional deep dive to share in-person visits wherever our interest takes us. This year, we are committing to such experiences on a more regular basis with a Bar of the Month series. If you happen to live in Portland or you are planning to visit, you will directly benefit, but we expect to draw inspiration from these moments as we explore 2023. We lined up twelve locations—some are new and others are well-established—and every month, we will select one at random. There is no set schedule or deadlines outside the monthly momentum, but we will group our posts together in a BOTM featured category so you may track our progress. It’s our way of getting out there, helping the local businesses, and hopefully, learning some new techniques and ideas to try at home.
Kicking off the year for January, our first location is Abigail Hall. Here is a link to all BOTM posts in chronological order.