The lovably racy and slightly scandalous Silverado
(318 S.W. 3rd Ave.
, 503-224-4493) has been a stalwart of Portland gay nightlife for many years, and it's become even more popular since it moved to a much larger and more impressive downtown space a 10-minute walk from its former Stark Street location (which still has a couple of popular gay bars
). The bar has two sections: you enter into the main club, where a few hunky (and generally quite hung) strippers dance (they're permitted to strip down completely naked in Portland) on stage and in a small cage to one side. This room has two levels - head up the stairs, and a loft-style bar area looks down at the dancers, along with the hordes of guys ogling them. It's usually pretty packed in here on weekends, and even on weekdays this is one of the better-attended gay hangouts in the city, drawing not only guys who love to watch guys dance, but also plenty of others (women and tolerant heteros are perfectly welcome).
The main room leads to a small but charming patio area that's a bit quieter and is also a popular place to mingle. From here, you can access a smaller, more laid-back bar (pictured here), which has a pool table, a long bar with stools, and several tables and chairs. This is a good spot simply to chat with friends, meet local guys, and enjoy a somewhat mellower pace. If you're a fan of male dancers, Silverado is a must - it's one of the best such venues in the country. But even if not, this is a consistently fun place to party and people-watch.