A beautiful oasis by the pacific, with orgasmic tunes, drinks and food with a tropical atmosphere that will transport to the tropics. Be careful, because you may never want to leave.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
In the fall of 2021, we made a trip to Portland, Oregon. The vibe was as advertised — rainy, gray, true to form Northwestern hospitality, weird in all the right ways, and an authentic time capsule: As a friend said “the dream of the ‘90s is alive and well in that city.”
What we didn’t anticipate were the stellar culinary and beverage scenes. For all the talk about the precipitation, Voodoo Doughnuts (yes, we stopped by, like proper tourists), and quirkiness, their hospitality culture really does shine.
In that spirit, we asked locals where to find the best nightlife spots and one place that stood out was Hey Love.
Tucked inside of the Jupiter NEXT hotel, it’s described as “Your neighborhood bar/restaurant/plant paradise/escape.” There’s no exaggeration to undrape. The drinks are on point, the food menu is chef’s kiss (and tongue) and the jungle-Esque / tropical decor is fun and funky without being too gimmicky.
Flora and fauna descend from above and rise from below, tapestry-like carpets garnish the polished concrete floor, and walls of rich blue and exposed concrete meet your eye. Plush black leather couches, a long wooden bartop, and beautifully backlit bar, collages of colorful art, and bamboo woven drop light fixtures round out the space.
It’s a genuine oasis in a gem of a western metropolis.
Everything from the music to the service breathes life into the “Hey Love” motif. We imagine it as a destination that you flee to, again and again, for good company or to cozy up to a date.
The parade of curated Spotify playlists (available on their website) set the mood. With sets like “Wet Hot American Summer Redux,” “Pushin’ Too Hard,” “All For You,” “The Power of Positive Drinkin’,” “We’ve Loved Before,” and more, they’ve mastered the art of melodic curation and extending the experience of Hey Love well beyond its brick and mortar digs.
It’s not all you came here for, but of course, the drinks are part of what anchors this locale. They are bright, inventive, theatrical, and whimsical. We’d expect nothing less. Think cactus-shaped glass jars, ornate tiki mugs, zebra and Playboy logo-adorned glasses, umbrellas, and fresh fruit embellishments — they spare no details, all in the name of putting you at ease.
Our favorites are the Fiesta Forever (“This Watermelon Cosmo Is So Fresh, It Will Have You Dancing On The Ceiling!”); Who’s Fooling Who? (Spicy Margarita with Blanco Tequila, Tio Pepe, Lime, Jalapeño) and the Oaxacan Sunrise (Mezcal Union Passion Fruit Margarita with a Strawberry Slushy Float, Served in a Cactus with a Hibiscus Sea Salt Rim).
Though, all the drinks (from top-to-bottom) are can’t miss, including their slushies. We suggest starting with the Tropical Cocktail High (Vodka, Rum, Lime, Vanilla, Pineapple Dole Whip. Bermuda, Bahama, Don’t You Know You Wanna).
They also make available a “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, No Booze” selection of zero-proof creations. There really is something for everyone and every reason to never leave — we definitely had to drag ourselves away and can’t wait to return to “The City of Roses,” if only for a return visit to this heavenly joint.
Try the Return of the Mac…N’ Cheese or the Nacho, Nacho Man on the dinner menu. Both are outstanding.
There’s a salivating brunch menu that includes Shrimp and Grits and a PB & J Waffle.
There’s a pre-open secret breakfast-to-go menu.
Check out their site to Livestream Nubop, “the word [they] use to define the most definite, brand new sound of Portland Jazz and Soul.”