The Hop Haven has been open for a few weeks now, flying completely under the radar at NE Broadway and 21st. I had been keeping tabs on it, but finally stopped in for a brew to check the place out last week.
The Hop Haven is modeled after places like Belmont Station and The Beermongers - a cafe/bottle shop environment with a small assortment of rotating taps. The HH has its own unique vibe, owing something to a diner and dive bar, with its old wood paneling and "U" shaped bar. It also doesn't help that they have a jukebox against the wall and one of those annoying touch screen electronic bar games by the window. Oh, and did I forget to mention all the flat screen TVs? I can see this becoming a hangout for some locals wanting to catch the game and get a cold one, but what we are all really interested in here is the beer, right?
The bottle selection is pretty good, but far from what you would find at the Hop & Vine or Saraveza. My guess is they are stocking around 75 varieties of beer. I wish I had a more accurate number, but the owners have not returned my emails. While sitting down at a completely empty bar, my compatriot and I sampled 1 beer each. I chose a bottle of Southern Tier Harvest Ale, which I had yet to try, and my friend chose a draft selection. It was Happy Hour and the beer was very generously priced at $2 a 12oz bottle or $3 a draft. Unfortunately, I cannot quote the times of HH since they are not posted on the bar's Facebook page and I have not received a response from owner Jeff Ramsden.
The kitchen is pretty makeshift and serves some pre-made pizzas and pies, as well as panini sandwiches. Hop Haven has avoided advertising their presence, so far as they continue to iron out details, stock up on beers, and figure out what their hours will be (which are still up in the air as of the last time I was in, but are posted on their Facebook page as):
- Mon - Tues:
- 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
- Wed - Thurs:
- 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
- Fri - Sat:
- 3:00 pm - 12:00 am
- 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
So, many of you are probably wanting to know what my impression/review of the place is. Well, I don't believe in judging a place in its infancy, but while a lot of work needs to be done, the Hop Haven shows promise . For instance, my compatriot's beer was poured into a standard pint glass, but my bottle choice was simply uncapped and placed in front of me and when I requested a glass it was poured into a cheater pint. Some time in the Portland beer geek community will most likely educate them on the illogic of this practice. Big thumbs up to the bar dog, though, who was super-friendly and spent much of our stay licking my hand.
I look forward to checking out the continuing progress of the Hop Haven and stopping in for a beer after work in the relatively desolate east Hollywood neighborhood.
The Hop Haven
Portland, OR, 97232