Portland Sports Bar Series: Kingston Bar & Grill
Are you overhearing a gravelly voice reminisce about that time when he sat courtside at the Moda Center, but at the time it wasn’t the Moda Center, it was the Rose Garden, and the arena was packed, packed! – you couldn’t sell your arm for a seat that night –and you could literally feel the…
Chances are you are at the Kingston Bar & Grill and if you’re not, you should be. The history of sport seems to live and breathe in Kingston. Memorabilia is everywhere. Throwback Portland Buckaroos hockey jerseys, signed. Portland Vikings helmets, signed. Blazers vs. Bulls match up posters, signed. Pippen looks down, pleased, from the high walls.
This place is old but this place is alive. Opening in 1982, it’s seen some stuff. Every nook and cranny, and there are a lot of those in this place, is filled with something that looks like it should be dusty, worn out and dated but it’s not. Someone just sat there. Someone just updated that poster or autographed that picture. It’s old in all the right ways to make today’s sports fans feel like they are part of history.
Kingston sits in the triangular building on West Burnside right across from Providence Park –close enough to drink your beer in the bar and look out the window and read who’s playing on the Marquee.
The triangular building adds to Kingston’s unique feel. There are five, yes five, distinct rooms that make up the bar. Whatever vibe you are looking for, you can most likely find it at Kingston. Take away four of the five rooms and you would still have a legit sports bar, but with everything together, you have a city staple with a great place to eat with the family or alone, with a friend or a client, with that special someone or first date.
Each room gives you a vantage point of about five-to-seven TVs, each playing something different unless there is a big game on or a request for patrons.
In the east room (yes, there are so many rooms we have to distinguish them by cardinal direction) there is a pull-down projector that gets used movie-theatre style for big games (so this would be a great room to call dibs on with your big group on game day).
In the eating room, we call it this because it is filled with booth seats, is where we’d come to grab brunch, lunch or dinner if we just wanted to stop by for some good food.
The west room is where you can get your video lottery on, which is a must-have for any sports bar. Then there is the round table room. This one has some classic video games – NBA Jam and Big Game Hunter –for those halftimes during date night when you want to reconnect before you both lose yourselves back into the game.
And then there’s the main room. It has about 12 seats at the bar in front of 6 TVs with six bar tables right behind to hold beers and club sandwiches during free throws.
The off-hour clientele skews to the older side –guys who have been coming here for longer than you’ve been alive type of thing. During games days, you can expect a packed house and mostly of people who are very into the game or at least very invested in those who are very into the game.
These folks come to watch, talk, argue, slap backs and buy each other drinks. Kingston in a sports bar and we love it.
A lot has changed over the past 30 years on Portland’s West Burnside. One of the things that hasn’t is the Kingston Bar & Grill.
Things to Write Home to Your Mom About:
• Great place to watch the Civil War. Both Ducks and Beavs are welcomed and equally represented.
• Five rooms each with a unique feel and layout.
• Wall projector for big games.
• Steps away from Providence Park.
• Solid comradery or archrivals – whichever you are looking for.