Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern

Portland, Oregon

The purer the dive bar, the more subtle the signage. That doesn’t necessarily always hold true, but it does for Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern in southeast Portland, a dive bar about as pure as it gets almost hidden on the ground floor of an apartment building on a city block with few other attractions. Aside from an Oregon Lottery sign hanging over the business, neon beer signs provide the only real indication that alcohol can be purchased inside. The stone exterior of the dive bar matches the color of the red brick above, further adding to the bar’s ability to fade into its surroundings.

Opened in 1939, Gil’s Speakeasy Tavern feels more like it was opened in 1992, a punk-rock holdover that has held onto the music and the vibe that comes with it. A glimpse of that scene can be found in the jukebox that sits among chalkboard walls and ceilings scrawled with all manner of graffiti, handwriting and everything in between. Couches mix with low tables distributed around a bar that sits in the center of the subterranean space.

The surroundings don’t necessarily suggest that high-end food is to be found here, but daily food specials include a signature Tilamook grilled cheese worth pursuing. Living up to the self-given nickname “Nicest Assholes in Town,” Monday features a well-loved bingo night that includes packages of ramen among its prizes.

SFG Note: This is a dive bar directory listing. We haven’t had the good fortune of visiting firsthand yet. When we do, you’ll get a great review. In the meantime, we’ve compiled information to help you make a choice on visiting.

The Basics

609 1/2 SE Taylor St
Portland, OR 97214

Neighborhood Bar



Further Reading

  • Beer Chaser: Review