Last Saturday, around 20 residents from the Brooklyn Neighborhood participated in the 2nd annual pub crawl, showcasing our fantastic local business scene. The bars, cider houses, pizza spots, and everything in between shined bright with great service and tasty beverages. Meanwhile, pub crawlers were invited to play bingo and go by goofy nicknames among many other bits of silliness, all in the name of community. By the end when the drinking stopped, a collection of jovial neighbors ambled home with new appreciation for the people around the block.
The first stop was The Place on Powell. The Place is a cider bar, tucked off the busy corridor where it transports guests from the bustling streets to a den of beautiful plants and relaxed vibes. A pleasant breeze slipped through the open garage door as we tried our options from around the world. David’s warm smile and welcoming demeanor kept everyone milling about long after they had finished their drinks because The Place is the type of spot that makes you want to stay a while. While here, Cheryl Crowe started the first activity: bingo, but with a twist. Instead of numbered balls to stamp out the sheet, each box described a trait or life experience that someone in the group was sure to possess. Have an older sister? That’s a box. Been to all 50 states? That’s another box. Resident Leah finished her bingo sheet first and was given a large golden star necklace to show for it.
The next stop was a neighborhood classic, Brooklyn Park Pub. The building is over 100 years old and has worn many hats since then. Now, it’s a relaxed neighborhood hang out with a great patio, even better burgers, and a whiskey selection that could challenge the fussier establishments on the westside of the Willamette. Normally access to the best stuff requires membership, but for a night, it was open to the group. The next activity was referring to everyone by nicknames. Anyone who didn’t have one on entry was given one by the group. Some were classic name spins like Mandy, while others were strange and hilarious such as D-Train or Gooey. Izzie the bartender took excellent care of the group.
Next was wisely a break from drinking with some chewy, cheesy slices from Meta Pizza. Meta is a relatively recent addition, opening in October 2021. But in less than two years, Meta has become a Brooklyn stomping ground for those looking for a well-priced delicious pie. The residents within a few blocks have grown accustomed to the pleasing aroma of pizza six days a week. In the past, I have walked by, smelled pepperoni, and opted against eating the sad salad assembled at home. The specialty slices are a treat. Last Saturday, they were making bbq brisket and potato sausage pizzas. Seconds are a must.
Beer bar Array, our next stop, was hopping on this pleasant Saturday evening. Array offered tasting flights of four beers—three IPAs and another one up to the party member. Array’s selection is first rate and always rotating, and co-owner Dan showed us a collection of surprising brews from local spots that not even the hipsters know about yet. As far as the games and silliness at this stop, the pub crawlers were developing secret handshakes, calling beer “bear” to trip each other up, and quickly forgetting the nicknames from two stops prior. We were quite the crew.
The last stop was 503 Distilling nestled inside the Iron Fireman Building on 17th Street. 503 is known for their distilled spirits and their cocktails in a can, a style that has flourished as of late. On our visit, we were greeted to samples of a member only varietal—the gin and tonic. The classic staple was well-balanced with a subtle sweet finish. Additionally, they are always rotating in new flavors with their pilot cocktails on tap. 503 Distilling is a leading name in their industry, and all it takes is a sip of their flavorful concoctions to understand why. Looking out from its western windows, the early summer sun began to set, and soon we were all off as well. A successful day in the books.
It’s easy to see how events like this can make a neighborhood more than a collection of roads and houses. It’s the people that make it something more, whether that is the person pouring drinks, the flour dusted pizza chefs, or this year’s participants. Each stop on the pub crawl gave the group a new look at a place they may have tried before or had never been in until now. These many great businesses in the neighborhood will become popular hangouts for the group. The next time any partaker runs into each other is now a joy to be had. A formerly unfamiliar face might look recognizable now, and they might know each other only by that goofy nickname they adopted for a few hours in June. Next year’s event can’t come soon enough.