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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The Jasmine Tree still stands
A few weeks ago Willamette Week hinted that the Jasmine Tree would close this month and The Daily Vanguard painted an equally gloomy picture in a story back in February. But according to Tai, who was working behind the bar on Saturday night, rumors of the ancient tiki bar/Chinese restaurant's impending death are greatly exagerated.
Worse yet, the attention has driven away business and Tai suspects much of the Jasmine Tree's clientele is convinced they've already closed their doors. According to her, the bar in its current location will shut down once the city begins to break ground on the Bus Mall revamp but that could be several months away. The exact date of the bar's final day remains up in the air.
So if you enjoy Portland's fading retro-bar scene you still have time to pay your respects. While the Jasmine Tree can't rise to the level of its North Portland tiki rival, the kitsch heaven that is the Alibi Restaurant and Lounge, it does offer plenty of cold Tsingtao and decor worthy of an episode of "Hawaii Five-O." Or a '70s porn flick. Or a Vegas motel lounge that time forgot. The Jasmine Tree also has these on display over the booths:
The number of cannibalistic tiki gods in the Jasmine Tree? One, possibly more (I'm not sure what that second one is supposed to be doing). The number in McFadden's? A big, fat 0.
These cell phone snapshots don't even begin to do these two justice. To fully appreciate them, stop in for a drink before the Jasmine Tree really does kick the bucket.