Party Time

Remember what happened the last time you tried to throw a party at your house? Yeah, you dropped 300 bucks at Pier 1 on tiki torches and thatch place-settings alone, hoping that might keep the horde outside. It didn’t. They invaded the kitchen like they always do, and you still can’t get that stain out of your drapes. So do yourself a favor: Let someone else clean up the mess, and let yourself get just as rowdy as your invitees.


What you’re drinking: A Chi Chi
If you order a piña colada, don’t expect fresh coconut cream to come pouring out of the plastic bottle. And that woman who greeted you at the door with the flowing red feather boa, the gorgeous eyelashes and the high cheekbones? She’s actually a man. But as the lights dim and the uproariously naughty, catty and, yes, classy choreography and comedy unfolds on stage, you realize there’s nothing at all fake (aside from the cleavage) about this 41-year-old fiery drag cabaret. A chorus line of fishnetted legs kick into the air one minute; the next, the buxom mistress of ceremonies, Darcelle herself, points out a man in the crowd and exclaims, “Looks like a TV dinner from here. All that meat and no potatoes!” Next up, a Bette Midler impersonator purrs into the mic, followed by an outrageous chaps-wearing rhinestone cowboy. In the audience, a trio of elderly women dressed all in purple look as though they just got off the cruise ship for the evening. A bachelorette party yelps out catcalls from up front. And a crew of rowdy architect-types cheer on their buddy who just joined in the fun: “Y… M… C… A!” It’s always a party here, and everyone’s invited, no matter your orientation. (208 NW Third Ave, 503-222-5338)

What you’re drinking: A Shin Kicker
Last time we went to this raucous two-story den of skater-rocker-retro sin, we took over the private leather pod (or was it velvet?) upstairs, and proceeded to get very, very drunk. One of us started a catwalk competition. (Trust us, it was hot.) Another member of our group may have borrowed a skateboard from a cute bad-boy she spied and taken it for a spin across the concrete floor and… come to think of it, we never saw her again. The beats kept spinning, the drinks kept coming and the servers, no matter our behavior, never batted an eye. The Chesterfield made us do it. Which is why we go back again and again. For the sake of your relationship, do what we did, and tell your significant other you went to a wine bar. (1101 E Burnside St, 503-236-6133)

What you’re drinking: A Gutter Ball with four straws
Droves of snappily clad postcollege kids from the ’burbs fill this eye-popping 40,000-square-foot perfect storm of plasma TVs, garlic prawns, fishbowl-sized libations, IKEA-inspired conversation pits, faux fireplaces and neon signs. Even the dozen crowded lanes pulsate with flickering light like some kind of Las Vegas-style UFO landing strip. In other words, when it comes time to host your boyfriend’s impending 30th birthday bash, don’t even think about stocking up on chips and salsa at Costco and trying to organize a Wii tournament. With a grown-up fun center like this in town, why would you want to? (839 SE Morrison St, 503-236-2695)