959 SE DIVISION ST. 971-266-8276

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When it opened in April, in the new building on Southeast Division Street with a 70-foot mural painted on the side, Palomar was said to be inspired both by owner Ricky Gomez’s Cuban heritage and his hometown of New Orleans. Going in, I thought that meant I was visiting a New Orleans-themed Portland bar. Turns out, Palomar is more like a New Orleans bar that just happens to be in Portland. Here you will find classic cocktails with simple twists. The frozen daiquiri ($9) is among the best in Portland, a rich blast of mango with a velvet-smooth texture. The Cobbler ($11) is a master class in balance, a mix of dark rum, sherry, guava, lemon, orange and bitters in which each ingredient amplifies the off-dry sherry notes to channel everything you want in a tiki drink, minus the sweetness. Palomar’s beauty is in its refusal to overthink anything. Portland didn’t need another bar that specializes in unpronounceable vermouths and celery bitters. What it needed was a bar with a gin and tonic that also tastes like pineapple, and a daiquiri that tastes like a daiquiri. With Palomar, that’s now what it has.

> Walker Macmurdo

2 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday;
11 am-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday.
Happy Hour 2-7 Pm Daily: $1 Off Drafts, Wells & Wine; $6 Food Specials