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Eater Guides: Where to Drink Cocktails Before Noon

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Image of Clyde Common courtesy Avila/EPDX

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Drinking before noon shouldn't be relegated to just weekend brunching, but tragically, most of Portland's best cocktail bars don't swing their doors open until 4 or 5p.m. But to kick off Eater Cocktail Week, dedicated tipplers might as well toast "it's five o'clock somewhere" at one of these spots: Whether a hotspot for lunch meetings or a neighborhood favorite, each offers lengthy cocktail menus to daytime drinkers, even if your time of choice is before noon on a Monday. (Confidential to weekend boozers, fret not — your brunch cocktail map is coming later this week.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Oven and Shaker

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Bar manager Ryan Magarian's inventive cocktail menu pairs with pizza during Oven & Shaker's daily lunch service, which sees drinks emerging from the bar beginning at 11:30a.m. For a lighter morning option, the Coreleone combines grappa, gin, and grapes for a refreshing sip; those going even lighter an opt for a spiked Italian soda, featuring a half-pour of liqueur or vermouth with club soda.

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

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LucLac's bowls of pho sate crowds at lunchtime (starting at 11a.m.), but bartender Adam Ho's lineup of Asian-inspired drinks also come as part of the deal. For a smoky morning pick-me-up, the "Rooster Fight" mixes highland scotch, islay scotch, and a "pineapple chili"; for a filling sip, the "LucLac Lush" features jack fruit, coconut cream, mung bean, and lychee jellies along with its Drambuie.

Produce Row Cafe

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This Central Eastside stalwart gets boozy starting at 11a.m. with seasonal cocktails like the "Beta" (vodka, carrot juice, Cointreau, and prosecco) and the "Jack the Sipper" (a combination of pumpkin beer, vanilla vodka, and cinnamon). And they're not quite cocktails, but the Row's popular beer and whiskey pairings, featuring a pour and a mini-beer, also do the trick.

Beulahland

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It's ostensibly a soccer bar, but this neighborhood spot opens for breakfast at 9a.m. daily, inclusive of its unique cocktail menu. Example: the Ovaltini, which features house-infused vanilla vodka, Grand Mariner, and Ovaltine.

smallwares

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Smallwares’ bar serves an abbreviated version of its Barwares cocktail list during the day (starting at 11a.m. Monday through Friday), with a pick-your-poison approach. The "Whiskey" simply features rye and garam masala syrup, but the brunch-ish "Gin" offers gin, kaffir lime, and marionberry shrub — topped off with Champagne.

Wildwood Restaurant & Bar

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Wildwood's lunch service kicks off at 11:30a.m. Monday through Saturday for drinkers looking for a classic cocktail pre-noon. In addition to Old Fashioned, Pegu Clubs, and French 45s, the spot features a rotating seasonal cocktail menu; those going with a morning-drink theme can order the "Abe's World," featuring bourbon, house coffee liqueur, Grand Mariner, Fernet, and a coffee ice cube.

Picnic House

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Craving absinthe at 11 in the morning? Downtown's Picnic House makes its "Green Faerie" available during lunch hours, featuring Kubler Absinthe and Alandia sugar cube. Lighter drinkers can opt for the "Moulin Rouge," with marionberry-infused vodka, Clear Creek blackberry liqueur, and blueberry simple syrup.

The Observatory

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The Montavilla neighborhood favorite opens daily for lunch at 11a.m., with a 12-item cocktail menu that offers both sweet and spicy flavors. Fans of the former can go with the Lavender Gin Lemon Drop (with creme de violette and a sugared rim, for good measure); spice junkies might enjoy the "Banana Habanero Pain Killer" (with habanero rum, banana puree, coconut, pineapple, and orange juice), or the Thai-inspired Tom Kah (featuring chili-infused vodka, lemongrass-cilantro syrup, and coconut cream).

Nostrana

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Bar manager Douglas Derrick serves the complete cocktail menu during Nostrana's popular lunch service, offering Negronis, whiskey sours, or a bellini (with peach and Prosecco) for those looking for a lighter touch.

Little Bird Bistro

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Expense accounters flock to Little Bird for their power lunches (starting at 11:30a.m.), and just in case the conversation needs to stay professional/civilized, the bistro offers “just a sip” with half-sized vodka or gin martinis at lunch. Or just go balls out and dive into the Manhattan Nouveau (bourbon, Bordeaux, and Benedictine).

Slow Bar

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This late-night favorite actually opens at 11:30a.m. daily for lunch, offering house version of Manhattans and hot toddies in addition to a hell of a morning pick-me-up: The "Tijuana Speed Ball," which features tequila, Kahlua, Bailey's, and cold brew espresso. (There's also a Spanish coffee and Bloody Mary for more traditional morning drinkers.)

Clyde Common

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Weekday lunchers often order up Clyde's signature cocktails (Negronis, the bourbon-y B.M.O.C.) starting at 11:30a.m. For a more sparkling options, visit bar manager Jeffrey Morgenthaler's experiments with carbonation — like a "Bottled Broken Bike," featuring Cynar, white wine, water, and lemon oil.

Fish Sauce

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Barman Tommy Klus consulted on the cocktail menu at this newish Vietnamese restaurant, which means his Kask-favorite "Bootstrap Buck" is available at lunch, starting at 11a.m.

EaT Oyster Bar

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Go the classic/Frenchy route with Eat: An Oyster Bar's menu of classic cocktails, available at 11:30a.m. daily: Vieux Carres, Sazeracs, Hurricanes. Or order up a "C.B.S.," named not for the network but for the house-made cherry bourbon and sour mix.

Grüner

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From Monday to Friday, the West End's Alpine spot Gruner serves lunch (and its full cocktail menu) starting at 11:30a.m., featuring drinks like the "Austrian Monk," with Monopolowa Austrian gin, yellow chartreuse, celery, and lemon.

Oven and Shaker

Bar manager Ryan Magarian's inventive cocktail menu pairs with pizza during Oven & Shaker's daily lunch service, which sees drinks emerging from the bar beginning at 11:30a.m. For a lighter morning option, the Coreleone combines grappa, gin, and grapes for a refreshing sip; those going even lighter an opt for a spiked Italian soda, featuring a half-pour of liqueur or vermouth with club soda.

Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

LucLac's bowls of pho sate crowds at lunchtime (starting at 11a.m.), but bartender Adam Ho's lineup of Asian-inspired drinks also come as part of the deal. For a smoky morning pick-me-up, the "Rooster Fight" mixes highland scotch, islay scotch, and a "pineapple chili"; for a filling sip, the "LucLac Lush" features jack fruit, coconut cream, mung bean, and lychee jellies along with its Drambuie.

Produce Row Cafe

This Central Eastside stalwart gets boozy starting at 11a.m. with seasonal cocktails like the "Beta" (vodka, carrot juice, Cointreau, and prosecco) and the "Jack the Sipper" (a combination of pumpkin beer, vanilla vodka, and cinnamon). And they're not quite cocktails, but the Row's popular beer and whiskey pairings, featuring a pour and a mini-beer, also do the trick.

Beulahland

It's ostensibly a soccer bar, but this neighborhood spot opens for breakfast at 9a.m. daily, inclusive of its unique cocktail menu. Example: the Ovaltini, which features house-infused vanilla vodka, Grand Mariner, and Ovaltine.

smallwares

Smallwares’ bar serves an abbreviated version of its Barwares cocktail list during the day (starting at 11a.m. Monday through Friday), with a pick-your-poison approach. The "Whiskey" simply features rye and garam masala syrup, but the brunch-ish "Gin" offers gin, kaffir lime, and marionberry shrub — topped off with Champagne.

Wildwood Restaurant & Bar

Wildwood's lunch service kicks off at 11:30a.m. Monday through Saturday for drinkers looking for a classic cocktail pre-noon. In addition to Old Fashioned, Pegu Clubs, and French 45s, the spot features a rotating seasonal cocktail menu; those going with a morning-drink theme can order the "Abe's World," featuring bourbon, house coffee liqueur, Grand Mariner, Fernet, and a coffee ice cube.

Picnic House

Craving absinthe at 11 in the morning? Downtown's Picnic House makes its "Green Faerie" available during lunch hours, featuring Kubler Absinthe and Alandia sugar cube. Lighter drinkers can opt for the "Moulin Rouge," with marionberry-infused vodka, Clear Creek blackberry liqueur, and blueberry simple syrup.

The Observatory

The Montavilla neighborhood favorite opens daily for lunch at 11a.m., with a 12-item cocktail menu that offers both sweet and spicy flavors. Fans of the former can go with the Lavender Gin Lemon Drop (with creme de violette and a sugared rim, for good measure); spice junkies might enjoy the "Banana Habanero Pain Killer" (with habanero rum, banana puree, coconut, pineapple, and orange juice), or the Thai-inspired Tom Kah (featuring chili-infused vodka, lemongrass-cilantro syrup, and coconut cream).

Nostrana

Bar manager Douglas Derrick serves the complete cocktail menu during Nostrana's popular lunch service, offering Negronis, whiskey sours, or a bellini (with peach and Prosecco) for those looking for a lighter touch.

Little Bird Bistro

Expense accounters flock to Little Bird for their power lunches (starting at 11:30a.m.), and just in case the conversation needs to stay professional/civilized, the bistro offers “just a sip” with half-sized vodka or gin martinis at lunch. Or just go balls out and dive into the Manhattan Nouveau (bourbon, Bordeaux, and Benedictine).

Slow Bar

This late-night favorite actually opens at 11:30a.m. daily for lunch, offering house version of Manhattans and hot toddies in addition to a hell of a morning pick-me-up: The "Tijuana Speed Ball," which features tequila, Kahlua, Bailey's, and cold brew espresso. (There's also a Spanish coffee and Bloody Mary for more traditional morning drinkers.)

Clyde Common

Weekday lunchers often order up Clyde's signature cocktails (Negronis, the bourbon-y B.M.O.C.) starting at 11:30a.m. For a more sparkling options, visit bar manager Jeffrey Morgenthaler's experiments with carbonation — like a "Bottled Broken Bike," featuring Cynar, white wine, water, and lemon oil.

Fish Sauce

Barman Tommy Klus consulted on the cocktail menu at this newish Vietnamese restaurant, which means his Kask-favorite "Bootstrap Buck" is available at lunch, starting at 11a.m.

EaT Oyster Bar

Go the classic/Frenchy route with Eat: An Oyster Bar's menu of classic cocktails, available at 11:30a.m. daily: Vieux Carres, Sazeracs, Hurricanes. Or order up a "C.B.S.," named not for the network but for the house-made cherry bourbon and sour mix.

Grüner

From Monday to Friday, the West End's Alpine spot Gruner serves lunch (and its full cocktail menu) starting at 11:30a.m., featuring drinks like the "Austrian Monk," with Monopolowa Austrian gin, yellow chartreuse, celery, and lemon.

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