Friday, October 22, 2010

4-4-2 Soccer Bar

Another place that has opened recently in SE is the 4-4-2 Soccer Bar at 18th and Hawthorne. Okay, okay, it's not a Portland beer geek paradise and probably never will be, but there are a few qualities that immediately endear it to me. First off, no Bud/Miller/Coors is served at the place -- the furthest down the ladder you can get is the Heineken tap. I asked the proprietor what he would say if a thirsty soccer fan demanded a Budweiser. "Not in my bar, some other place," he said. When I was in there the other day, the taps were Heineken, Spaten Pils, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Caldera Pale Ale, and Ninkasi Total Domination. A third tap reserved for Oregon beers was empty, but kegs from Deschutes, Lompoc, and Laurelwood were in the cooler waiting to be hooked up. There is also a decent selection of mostly German bottled beers -- Aventinus and Paulaner Salvator are what I remember from the top of my head.

Another thing that 4-4-2 has got right from the very beginning is Honest Pints. My Ninkasi came to me in a Spaten mug with a 0.5-liter line that left plenty of room for a head on the beer. Bravo! Remember folks, every time a new brewpub or taproom opens in Portland serving beer in shaker pints, a unicorn loses its horn. And yet here is a simple sports bar that gets it, and not only serves a full portion, but uses marked glassware. "I'm not stingy," says the owner.

The third reason you might stop in even if you're not a soccer fan is the delicious Bosnian food on the menu. I used to occasionally have lunch here before the remodel, when it was the European Market grocery store. There are an assortment of sandwiches, including a few vegetarian models, but I never get past the ─ćevapi -- seasoned grilled ground beef -- served simply with onions and ajvar (red pepper relish) on homemade bread.

The three TVs are loaded up with every soccer channel the satellites can shower down upon us, and the pub regularly opens at 6:30 or 7 in the morning for important games -- where important has a meaning that I am not enough of a soccer fan to fully understand. It's not a very large space -- probably a half-dozen large tables and about the same number of small ones, plus space at the bar -- but I think a bar dedicated entirely to soccer is an idea that should succeed in Portland. Another welcome addition to the neighborhood.


  1. thanks for the tip, that place had great food when it was the euro grocery, sounds likes its going to be even better now..