Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day, but that means something different here: Compared to other cities, Portland’s voting day rituals are generally mellower. With Oregon’s long history of mail-in voting, the folks who haven’t shipped off their ballots generally just pop by one of the city’s drop-off sites on Election Day, without the headaches or long lines of other state’s polling sites.
But this is not a normal year, and this is not a normal election. Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency in advance of the election, anticipating potential political violence. Oregon is one of the highest-risk states for increased militia activity related to the election, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project; in a recent report, the group says that “militia violence will likely continue and potentially escalate” in this state.
It’s also not a normal year when it comes to election traditions, especially festivities: bars and restaurants aren’t exactly throwing raucous parties. Some, however, are using the day to fundraise for organizations, hosting socially distanced viewings on their patios, or offering specials related to the day. Below, explore the potential options when it comes to food and drink on election night. More than anything, however, this writer encourages readers to stay safe and vote, for the sake of the entire industry that fuels this site.
This map of Multnomah County ballot drops now has takeout options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and booze to take home.
This event venue will turn its space into an election-themed pop-up shop from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., selling shirts, mugs, tote bags, and sweaters that all read “Fuck That Guy” (we can put together who that is, right?). The group is donating a portion of the proceeds to the Oregon NARAL chapter. Throughout the day, however, the space will also have wine from Cooper’s Hall for day-drinking, Pinolo gelato, Deadstock Coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Black Lives Matter t-shirts by Hobbs the Artist, and free plants for BIPOC customers courtesy of Equitable Giving Circle. The Nightwood Society is located at 2218 NE Broadway Street.
This Mississippi wine bar will be hosting an election night viewing from 5 p.m. until the bar closes, projected on the outdoor covered, heated patio. The bar will be serving wine — mulled included — throughout the night. Folks can make reservations here; the bar is located at 3920 N Mississippi Avenue.
Lovely Rita will be hosting election night trivia starting at 6:30 p.m., with election results playing silently on the bar TV. Happy hour will run all night, with dishes like curry squash Hot Pockets. Plus, the bar will serve a mezcal cocktail called A More Perfect Union, donating all of the cocktail’s proceeds to the Independent Restaurant Alliance of Oregon. Lovely Rita is located within the Hoxton hotel at 15 NW 4th Avenue.
Tough Luck will be playing election coverage on the bar’s heated patios, serving cheese fries and generous pours of bourbon. The bar offers contactless ordering, as well, and has strict COVID-19-related safety protocols. Tough Luck is located at 1771 NE Dekum Street.
This karaoke standby will set all of its TVs to the election results, serving Ketel One & Bulleit on special from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Suki’s recently started serving Korean fare, so those who get hungry can choose from things like bibimbap and bulgogi burgers. Suki’s is located at 2401 SW 4th Avenue.
This Southeast Portland queer bar is going to be hosting an election night viewing party, starting at 5 p.m. Crush is located at 1400 SE Morrison Street.
St. Jack is offering 20 percent off on all pickup orders through its website today with the promo code ELECTIONDAY — that includes classic dishes like its hardcore chicken liver mousse, as well as wine and beer. St. Jack is located at 1610 NW 23rd Avenue.
Bipartisan Cafe will be taking $1 off the price of a slice of pie today. “It’s been a tough year. It’s been a disastrous four years,” the social media announcement reads. “You deserve some pie.” Bipartisan is located at 7901 SE Stark Street.
Holler is offering two Election Day specials today: Customers who come in with proof that they voted (an “I Voted” sticker, photo, etc.) can get $3 off of the restaurant’s fried chicken sandwich, which comes with a fried chicken thigh, ranch, jalapeño jelly, and bread and butter pickles. Those unwilling to leave the house can order the Full Meal Deal (a full fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread, hot sauce, pickles, pint of ice cream) via Caviar or Doordash with $3 off. Both specials are available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Holler is located at 7119 SE Milwaukie Avenue.
Downtown Texan-Oregon restaurant Bullard has an election night special available for pre-order on Tock, specializing in all the carbs: focaccia pizza and chocolate cake, with a salad for good measure. People can add on things like wine, as well. Order for pickup here; the restaurant is located within the Woodlark hotel at 813 SW Alder Street.
This vegan Mexican cart on Alberta, with its jackfruit tinga tacos and almond queso fresco quesadillas, is offering 10 percent off to customers who show staff their virtual or physical “I Voted” stickers. The cart is located at 2223 NE Alberta Street.
On election day, 10 Barrel Brewing will be selling pints of its Apocalypse IPA for $2.02(0 — get it?). This promo is running at all 10 Barrel pubs, but the Portland location is at 1411 NW Flanders Street.
B Side Tavern has decided to close today, so employees can “exercise their right to
vote pace back and forth and yell into the ether,” according to a cardboard sign on their door.
This new Mexican restaurant and dessert bar decided to close early today, after lunch service. Owner Angel Medina is hopeful the restaurant will reopen tomorrow morning.
The restaurant within the Canopy Hotel has decided to close today for all service, and has yet to decide whether the restaurant will reopen tomorrow. “Friends: in these most uncertain times, we’ve finally reached the most unprecedented of weeks,” the restaurant’s Instagram announcement reads.
Matta is normally closed on Tuesdays, but owners Richard and Sophia Le have decided to close tomorrow while election results roll in. “We’re just gonna flat out say that we don’t wanna open tomorrow while we wait for the fate of our democracy to be decided,” the Instagram post announcing the closure reads. “So instead, we’re gonna take a day (possibly 2) to let things breathe and see how it all plays out.”
Maurice normally stays closed on Tuesdays, but the online store is usually open from Sunday through Tuesday. Instead, owner Kristen D. Murray has kept the online story offline, and is not sure if the store will open at all this week. “I have suspended preorder online sales this week to be sure we can operate safely yet I am on the fence as to how we can pull this week off,” a post on Instagram reads. “It’s a hardship to miss a week of service, but we need the staff + all of you to remain safe.”
• How to get booze delivered in Portland
• Pizza delivery and takeout, an election night tradition (or just straight-up Italian food)
• Bakeries to visit, for stress-relief carbs
• Ramen takeout and delivery options, for those craving the comforting embrace of soup
• Where to drink cocktails copiously, if you feel comfortable drinking at a bar right now
This post will be updated throughout the day.