If you’ve skimmed recent feeds from Eater PDX or Portland Monthly, you might have seen mention of a new bar, Tulip Shop Tavern, planning to open on North Killingsworth Street just a short couple of blocks from Saraveza, another popular local beer bar. The plan has been realized, and Tyler and Devon Treadwell, local hospitality industry veterans, have quietly opened their tavern without much fanfare. So far, the single-room bar and kitchen isn’t on a lot of social media: no feed on Facebook on Twitter, just a few photos on Instagram, and a minimalist web page. The place has been open since May 24 as a revamped watering hole with a straight-up selection of good bar food, eight taps (seven beers, one cider), and classic cocktails.
Tyler Treadwell was on duty on a pleasantly warm evening, mixing drinks and pouring beers like a pro with years of experience, which in fact he is, with stints at Cascade’s Barrel House, Saraveza, and the Rum Club. His wife, Devon, has put in working time at Higgins, Sweedeedee, and yes, also at the Rum Club.
While Tyler handles drink duty at the bar, Devon takes care of the kitchen side, with a menu of pub burgers, a couple of main plates, soups and salads, and some damn tasty bar snacks: think platters of onion rings, french fries, house-made tortilla chips with guacamole and a chipotle salsa, a big soft-dough pretzel with mustard and cornichon pickles (and an option to add melty tasty raclette for dipping), and that old-school pub standby, pickled eggs. The burgers are inspired by Loretta’s Northwesterner, a beer and burger bar in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood that’s been around for more than a decade. They’re not just good pub burgers: they’re very good, nicely seasoned without being over the top, and a couple of them are laden with the sweet goodness of caramelized onions. The schnitzel sandwich also goes nicely with a beer from the well-chosen list.
Oh yes, the beer! Treadwell mixes classic cocktails exceedingly well, but that draft beer list is as a great example of getting things right. One tap pours your basic macro lager; six of them pour modern cult classics from the likes of Ruse, Holy Mountain, Wayfinder, and Chuckanut, and there’s likely to be the occasional “how did they get that keg” surprise: Cantillon’s Fou Founne was on tap when the Tulip Shop opened, and then switched to Hill Farmstead’s Arthur soon after.