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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

 

One last night at the old Driftwood Room




The Driftwood Room and the Hotel Mallory were set to close their doors earlier this afternoon at noon. I'm ashamed to say I didn't make enough trips down there after I became of drinking age. Each time I did though, eavesdropping yielded a least one bit of conversation worth remembering. A while back, I listened in as an off-duty mechanic revealed a recipe for what he called "perfect bar-b-cue sauce." One of the key ingredients? Mad Dog wine.

A trip down there late Saturday night did not disappoint and the Driftwood was filled with at least a few patrons worthy of Twin Peaks. While we there, a drunk middle-aged woman left her purse at the bar after heading upstairs with a guy that looked a lot like Ron "Hellboy" Perlman.




Looking at the array of strange bottles behind the bar, my eye caught one with a plain, white label towards the back. Sloe gin? That stuff really exists? Going off Jack Black and Loretta Lynn's recommendation, I ordered my first ever sloe gin fizz.

Verdict? Both too sweet and too tart but probably a good drink for a place filled with Baby Boomers looking to score. I asked the bartender who typically orders it. Creepy old guys and young woman apparently love the stuff.




I promptly spilled a substantial amount of the fizz after hitting the "Fault Line," a large crack in the bar that has caused many a drink to fall over the years. As another bartender later explained, the fault holds the bar, its ambiance and possibly even the whole universe together. From what I understood, I hadn't just spilled a drink. This was destiny, serendipity, nirvana and "meant to be" all rolled into one- a sacrifice to the Gods of Liqeur. Or something like that. He was screwing with us and we played along.

Sloe gin fizz. Ron Perlman. Sarcastic existential musing about perfectly good booze gone to waste. While your doors willl open again this summer, Driftwood Room, I get the feeling you'll never regain that old, weird "magic. You looked just like an airport lounge that hasn't been remodled since the '50s. And you always reminded me of that hotel bar in a certain Stanley Kubrick movie.




The Driftwood Room is dead (for the most part)! Long live the Driftwood Room!

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