Hopefully the third time's the charm for the old Ping space. Chefstable's first go-round at turning part of the restaurant into a bar was the too-ambitious Easy Company. So they went the other direction with rowdier Big Trouble last fall. But that didn't work either and it shuttered last month. But now the owners of the popular Tube lounge, Eric Bowler and his wife and business partner, Karen, are giving it a go, and fingers are crossed that their brand of sleek, music-focused nightlife will be the perfect fit.
The newly renovated space is much more urbane, and is outfitted with a serious audiophile music system and DJ booth. After a soft opening over the weekend, the bar's grand opening is tonight, and Bowler (aka DJ Evil One) is on the turntable with house music. The plan is to rotate between house and hip-hop and funk, depending on what's on the agenda at Tube. Expect a strong lineup of world-class DJ's, as the Bowlers have deep connections in the industry.
The bar program is curated by Tim Traylor and Jason Boyok, who spent 10 years at Mint/820, and features local spirits and fresh mixers from The Commissary. Of the eight signature cocktails (all in the $8 to $10 range) four are on tap, including a Moscow Mule with Portland Potato Vodka, a Mojito with Below Deck rum, a Margarita with Espolon reposado tequila, and the Old Town Fashion made with Wild Turkey.
Food comes from Chefstable Catering and includes cola-braised pork shoulder with white beans, herb crust, and pickled red onions; Fortune ginger chicken; vegetable fried rice; a grilled Gruyere, ham and pickle sandwich; and udon noodles with kale and spicy peanut sauce.
Fortune Bar, 329 NW Couch St., Portland