Address: 235 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Vibe: Theatrically Gothic Horror
Cost: $15+ (definitely not the cheapest)
Transit: Near the max and bus lines, downtown street parking
Cuisine: Extravagant cocktails and upscale American bar food
Family friendly: Not really
Raven’s Manor is one of those places you take your friends to for two reasons. They like an exciting bar experience or they consider themselves to be born from darkness. As cliche as it sounds that’s the atmosphere that you’ll find in this theatrical bar. From dining to seating, even your host and servers will look as though they have walked out of a classic horror movie. It’s not as cheap as most bars but it’s well worth the expense.
Getting seated is a little of a wait without reservation. But since people love these kinds of dives it’s definitely something to consider if you want to take someone on a date. There’s many different seating options from nearly closed-off booths to lounge-style chairs and love seats. All of which are designed to be reminiscent of classic horror or thriller movies such as, Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Frankenstein.
The menu is definitely one of my favorite things about the aesthetic of the place. Imagine sitting on the train in the last act of Bram Stoker’s Dracula drinking a bubbly, glowing cocktail with a pentagram-blessed burger with headstone-shaped bread for an artichoke dip. And that’s just some of what they offer. There’s many more ghastly options all in the name of ghouls and chemistry from jello syringes to brain pieces.
This venue also offers an interactive experience, where you must sign a warrant and make a reservation a month or so ahead of time that is well worth the wait. Your hostess has you pick cocktails to create and dress in a lab coat and locked in a room to discover clues to the lab deep below. (Of course it’s not super deep and honestly, I’m just using fancy to describe an escape room.) I recommend a group of 8 or 9 that could unless you don’t mind getting stuck with strangers. Once in the lab, you separate out into your parties and begin your experiments, which is a make-your-own cocktail using tools like burners, strainers and dry ice.
Now, hopefully, you aren’t too lot before you start playing with tools in a dungeon but if you think your party can handle their liquids I say go for it! This bar has definitely become one of my favorite places downtown to sit and chat with a few of my nerdiest friends.