Portland, Oregon has long been a melting pot for art and artists of all kinds. Portland is a true breeding ground of creativity. And that’s before discussing the creativity of the foodies and brewmasters.
One look around this terrific city and it’s not hard to see why. Four distinct seasons allow for the full gambit of color, sound and aroma to open your right brain to new and wonderful things. Charming commercial architecture, parks and fabulous homes only reinforce these creative ideas. Each night of the week you can find new and upcoming poets, musicians and visual artists no matter where you live in the city; and open mics are a great place to meet them. And, because they tend to be free, they are easy on the wallet.
One such open mic is Mondays at the Corkscrew Wine Bar. The Corkscrew Wine bar is only about a year or two old. It resides on the border of the fantastic Sellwood and West Moreland neighborhoods. The lighting in the bar is soft and largely natural. Dark wood walls and ceilings add to the charm along with a variety of dimly lit chandeliers, long wooden tables, and an upstairs balcony that looks out over the patrons and stage below, while offering a bird’s eye view of the street.
The Corkscrew food menu is limited to figs, cheese, genoa salami, olives and hummus. They welcome you bring in your own food and with sushi, Thai and American restaurants within walking distance, the culinary options are endless. Bring in your food and check out the drink menu. Rotating kegs ensure a different beer experience each time you visit. Some of the finest micro brewed lagers and stouts are always here. Or, order a nice wine. The house red is particularly tempting. It’s heaven on the palate, much less dry than most reds and, at only five dollars a glass, one can afford to imbibe without having to stretch the bank account.
Take a seat amongst the friendly locals and approachable poets and musicians preparing to perform. The artists are diverse and the crowd is polite, the performers are all top notch, and the sound is loud enough to be heard form the back of the bar, yet soft enough to allow you to politely converse with the other patrons and the bar staff.
As with all neighborhood bars, there are many regulars that attend, perform, and dine here. However, there are always newcomers and participation is encouraged. Do you have a poem you’d like to share? Share it! Did you write a song? Sing it! Do you have a fun story to tell? Make the Corkscrew laugh! Heck, maybe you just had a bad day and you want to talk about it. One gal shared her doctoral thesis at the mic, to thunderous approval. The Corkscrew is open to anything and everyone. Whether you’re a polished performer or a total newcomer, the crowd is supportive and kind. Every Monday from 7-9 for ten minutes, the microphone is yours.