Five dollar cocktails in Portland? Old Port speakeasy opens

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You don’t need a secret knock, password, or slamming outfit to get in. A pocketful of cash and the guts to ask the 20-somethings smoking butts outside “where is Lincolns?” does the trick.

What, you haven’t been to Lincolns? Where the hell have you been drinkin?

This months-old speakeasy where drinks are poured furiously, strangers talk to strangers, and no one splits hairs over the latest mixology report, is everything that’s right with Portland nightlife right now.

Open on Market Street since the spring, the subterranean watering hole unites Portland’s service industry folks, international tech workers and post collegiates from Orono, who gather in close quarters to knock back five dollar drinks like it was 1989. No sign? No problem.

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Walk through a nondescript doorway, descend a flight of stairs and slide over a fake bureau. Open sesame! Upon entering, instead of snide looks, a packed crowd seems to cheer your arrival. You’ve cracked the code. Cue the White Snake and let the mayhem begin. Was it this thrilling in 1932?

The menu is simple, hard alcohol and a few local ales on tap — all for $5. Feel like spending $15 for a booze-infused snowcone? You are in the wrong place. And don’t even think of asking the bearded barkeep to muddle up a mojito, this James Brown of bartenders has no time to chat. He is in the zone.

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Slinging drinks faster than a Manhattan barista at 8 a.m., he’s all business. If there is a cocktail throwdown in the works, sign him up.

I am not sure who is behind this place and I don’t want to know. If it’s illegal, under the radar, let’s keep it that way. Food? Just mac n’ cheese. Pretension? A few doors up please. Camaraderie and an honest drink? Lincoln’s is ready to serve — mixed, shaken and stirred.

Hours are 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Address: you’ll figure it out.

 

 

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.