Tulip Shop Tavern Quietly Opens in North Portland

Photo by Don Scheidt

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.

Tyler Treadwell. Photo by Don Scheidt

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.

The macro lager tap pours three-dollar pints; the hard-to-get beers are more pricey (and worth it), and the others will run you six to seven bucks, the going rate for better-quality small-batch beers. There are a few canned and bottled beverages on display too, but the emphasis is on draft brews and cocktails. The food pricing is reasonable and very much in-line with expectations of good value.

The Treadwells put no small amount of sweat equity into the space, taking over the former Pop Tavern premises, putting in a lot of elbow grease to clean it up, and remodeling where needed. The bar is still in the corner to the right as you enter, where it can get a bit crowded, since all ordering is done there. The room is spacious and comfortable without being cavernous, and there’s a beer patio out back that doubles as a haven for smokers.

Tulip Shop Tavern. Photo by Don Scheidt

There are elements of nostalgia in play, products of the Treadwells’ own backgrounds, like food you’d expect from drive-ins, diners, taverns and dive bars, with a strong neighborhood vibe. This corner of Portland is one of the city’s most diverse; nearby are Lao and Ethiopian grocers, any number of ethnic eateries, and a mix of people from all over. Together with other beer venues along this Killingsworth corridor (Saraveza is maybe two minutes away on foot), the neighborhood has the makings of a good pub crawl. Meet up here with friends. Tulip Shop will take care of the rest.

Tulip Shop Tavern is Open every day 3pm to 2am at 825 N Killingsworth St. Portland, OR 97217 503.206.8483

Don Scheidt
Don Scheidt

Don Scheidt has been into good beer since before the dawn of craft brewing in the Pacific Northwest. He created the Northwest Brewpage, a regional guide to good beer in Oregon and Washington, back in the mid-1990s, but has since retired it. Don started writing the Washington state “Puget Soundings” column for Celebrator Beer News in 1998, and continues to do that today. Don also wrote about beer for the Seattle Weekly in 2005-2006.