Students say goodbye to beloved Portway Tavern

Fire shuts down the bar indefinitely

By Austin Thompson | September 15, 2021 11:12pm
Photo of Portway Tavern from 2019.
Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Portway Tavern, a favorite spot of UP students and alumni, will be closed for the foreseeable future after an internal fire in the early hours of Sept. 6. 

The bar at the corner of Willamette and Edgewater served as an affordable and welcoming gathering spot for students to socialize and decompress from the stresses of college life

Sean Hovland, a senior and psychology major, was upset to see it close so soon after the bar’s reopening. 

“It’s honestly incredibly unfortunate,” said Hovland. “My friends and I waited so long for it to open again because of the pandemic, and to have this fire happen just seems wrong.”

The consensus is shared by both current and former UP students. Caitlyn Cardona, a recent nursing school graduate, called the bar “a favorite” among her group of friends. Cardona found the bar to be a comfortable place to unwind and socialize after a long day of clinicals.  

“Honestly, it was such a nice break from the stressful environment of the hospital,” Cardona said. “The staff were always welcoming and I felt like they always made an effort to remember the regulars.” 

Portland Fire Public Information Officer Rob Garrison said that the investigation of the fire is ongoing and the cause remains unknown. According to Garrison, no one was hurt. 

While the exterior structure remains intact, Portway Tavern is closed indefinitely.  

Austin Thompson is a reporter with the Beacon. He can be reached at