I don’t know if it was the concrete floors or the loud shouts of “Goal” coming from inside. I don’t know if it was the bike hanging from the warehouse doors or the outdoor table of bearded men and tattooed women enjoying a pint or three. Maybe it was super tall, industrial-like building or the ubiquitous windows allowing me to peer in on the fun. Whatever it was, I knew that I had to step into the Stingray Café.
The Stringray Café, a New York style delicatessen located inside the historic Leftbank Building on Broadway in Downtown Portland, is a sports bar, hangout, eatery and brew-pub all in one. From the finest in micro brews to the best in local regional and national sports, the Stingray Café is a popular hangout serving cheap eats and a good time.
I stepped in and felt naked without any sports gear on. Around me, patrons of all shapes, sizes and demographics were drinking fine beers and eating delicious smelling food. Timbers gear, Portland Trail Blazer jerseys (running the gamut from Bill Walton to CJ McCollum, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Mariners, and Seahawks. This was a sports haven in the heart of the city.
But, don’t get me wrong, it’s not too sportsy and with a variety of menu items and drinks on tap, the Stingray Café can please everyone, and people of all types were here, enjoying the environment and the eats and drinks.
On that day, I sidled up to the bar and joined in the cheering as the Timbers aimed to defend their MLS title. I scoured the limited menu before settling on the Lower East Side (Pastrami on Swiss) and a Goose Island Honkers Ale. As I waited for my food, I watched the soccer match between peeks around the room and out the windows. Portlanders walked, drove and biked by, dart boards, bikes, Portland Sports and New York landmarks lined the walls. This was a cool place and I was so glad to have found it.
My sandwich was divine and my beers washed it down in the best way possible. The Timbers rolled to a convincing victory and I high fived perfect strangers. This was Portland. This was how the city is, was, and should always be. Good food. Good suds. Good buds. Good sports. Good vibes. All around. The Stringray Café has all of that and more and, when my bill came out to less than $15 (before tip) I knew that I could afford to come back and comeback often.
The Stingray Café is located at 240 N Broadway #111 in Portland, Oregon.