UDATED 11/25/14: Unfortunately, Dean’s Scene has closed.
We were sitting at the bar at Tasty n Sons eating our fried cauliflower with olives and chatting with a cook from Olympic Provisions, when he strongly recommended we go to Dean’s Scene. With all of my hours of “what things to do in Portland, Oregon” research this name escaped me. What? Where? He continued to give us a lengthy explanation of what ‘the scene’ was.
Basically, Dean had a basement. Dean likes beer. Dean makes beer. Dean sells beer. Dean’s Scene turns into the ultimate man cave, a house basement bar with tunes, chicks, smoking and beer.
Though the front door was open when we arrived, we followed another couple up the driveway where a back door either leads you upstairs into their private residence or down into the designated bar/cave.
You will be able to tell you are in the right place by the hundreds of beer coasters planted on the ceilings and walls. Some people collect stamps, Dean collects coasters. Makes sense.
Unlike my recent visit to the sexy Mata Hari speakeasy in Savannah, this is a ‘private club’ based solely on donation, which is how they maneuver their way around the otherwise strict liquor laws. Brilliant. Ten bucks is strongly suggested and worth the carefully crafted beer at this all-you-can-drink bar. And, for the record, there isn’t anything sexy about it. Manly, yes. Sexy, not so much.
Upon arrival and before the drinking ensued we were warned that the basement toilet was broken, but they freely offered up their personal one inside the main portion of their home.
Very hospitable, but I was happy to have peed prior to arrival. There is something weird about using the bathroom in a strangers home.
After we donated some dollars, we picked our drinking glass out of a fully stocked cabinet, which boasted an eclectic collection. I picked the glass with the monkey. For some reason, it seemed fitting.
There were four of Dean’s handcrafted beers featured, plus a soda and two “guest beers” to choose from. The non-alcoholic diet cherry pop was specially made for Misty, his wife, who doesn’t drink.
I tried them all, even though ‘wine girl’ is permanently stamped on my forehead.
…and my extremely sophisticated beer palate said that they were all really good.
Though there was an option to sit on the swanky couch or random high top tables, we opted for the bar where we witnessed a fierce game of dominos being played by Misty and a couple of regular patrons. Why dominos? Because Dean’s other half needed some sort of entertainment if she would be spending most of her evenings stuck in the basement. She is the current reigning domino champion, but as she mentioned, this could change rapidly because competition is vicious.
This competitive display prompted me to add ‘learn dominos’ to my bucket list. If for no other reason than to compete on my next visit to Dean’s Scene.
This place is strangely awesome, one of the quirkiest bars I have ever drank at. Men will be jealous. I know my husband was.
What’s the quirkiest bar you ever drank at? Have you been drinking in Portland‘s famous bar scene?
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