Interurban, the big-city, late-night cocktail bar and saloon on N Mississippi, turns four this Friday, and just like every year, it will celebrate by giving firemen free drinks. Back on November 27, 2011, an electrical fire broke out during the soft opening, but "even in the face of tragedy, you make the best of it," says Dan Hart, the man behind Interurban, Prost, and Stammtisch. As he sat in the street and watched his brand new drinking establishment burn, Hart turned his thoughts to this: We should just open as soon as possible and hold a liquor sale.
Despite having had firemen chop through the kitchen wall and significant damage to the upstairs, Interurban opened four days later, and it's been open every day since, serving cocktails by Jeff Seymour and a growing, almost bistro-like menu, now by Jonny Henry. To give thanks, it always offers members of Portland Fire & Rescue a free drink on November 27, or for those on-duty or with shifts later in the day, it offers free food in place of a brew. Members of the fire department have even been heard to show up with a firetruck in-tow.
The recently updated menu includes items like the smoked trout BLT on bread baked to order, an original take on coq au vin, and elk tartare, and non-firefighters can get $1 jello shots.
This year's anniversary corresponds with a full remodel of the upstairs, completed entirely by Hart and his team. As the photos show, the marble-topped tables are gone, replaced by sleek wooden booths and tables that mirror the aesthetic of the downstairs bar area and dining room. Interurban also added more lighting and a lighter shade of paint to brighten the room.
And do you want to look awesome the next time you visit? Whether trying to impress a date or just a spirits geek looking for something rare to drink, ask for the Reserved Spirits List. It's a new leather-bound menu of rare spirits, and it's only offered by request. It even includes short biographies of each distillery and a brief explanation of what makes the pour special.