Getting down at Portsmouth Pizza

We're dealing with a family dining establishment's gonna take some timeIt’s on a Wednesday and it is way the hell out there. These aspects of a new queer dance night that popped up in North Portland lead me to think it might not rise to the ranks of a truly popular queer destination. But then again, 4 or 5 years ago a little night called Booty opened up all the way up in what was then the middle of nowhere, in a tiny bar called Porky’s and it became a night of queer Portland legend.

So indeed the as yet unnamed night, which may be called “Fame,” could very well grow into one of the biggest, baddest events in town. It’s not quite there yet.

Biking folks often forget just how big north Portland really is. Portsmouth may not be as far as downtown St Johns, and the area is really sprouting with cute little places like the Little Red Bike Cafe, but it is a trek. I heard plenty of grumbling, even from drivers. I have been clamoring for a night to come back up north, as everything has seemed to move to inner southeast or downtown, but the reality is that most of us still live pretty far south and east of the Portsmouth Pizza (5262 N Lombard) venue.

That said, the venue is pretty great. It’s grand size leaves plenty of places to sit, play, pool or dance and it’s nice not to feel claustrophobic for once. However, that also makes it feel a little empty. Last night’s crowd was sizeable, and probably would have felt like a busy in the tight confines of a place like Porky’s, but PP’s wide aisles made it an awkward walk to say hi to an pal.

But the drinks were stiff and, upon proper lubrication, folks did finally make it to the dance floor, albeit not until well after midnight. The playlists jumped around, from genre to genre, decade to decade in a way that you wanted to be refreshing but in actuality was a little disturbing. The biggest part of being a DJ is understanding the concept of transition and this was a bit lost. But Portland queers will bust it out to anything and between the games, drinking, chatting and dancing a generally good time was had by all.

Fame may have some issues  (and don’t we all) but it’s a solid Wednesday night option that is sure to grow as the summer heat sets in.

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