Friday, December 6, 2013
By EMMA BOUTHILLETTE
Remember the pub crawl I talked about last week? Here's part two.
Satrah Rulman mixes up a margarita at Amigo’s in Portland.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
WHERE: 9 Dana St., Portland
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday to Sunday; 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday
PARKING: On street
SCENE: A dark, basement-like bar with pool tables, darts and a couple of video games for entertainment
HAPPY HOUR: 3 to 7 p.m. daily, with $3.25 craft beers
Our night worked its way into the heart of Portland's Old Port. After a quick stop at Bull Feeney's, we navigated the cobblestone streets to find Amigo's. Located on Dana Street, the bar is in the bottom level of a brick building.
By 10 p.m., there was a bouncer at the door checking identification as folks entered. The bar's name led me to believe I'd be seeing margaritas and Coronas, but that's not what I found. Once inside, I saw plenty of people hoisting pitchers of beer and sharing the brew among pints with their friends.
One friend leaned in and said to me over the loud music, "So far, everyone I've seen working here has beards, and I love that."
He had a point. There is something about guys with beards that gives a bar some of its charm. Add to that the wood-planked walls, and Amigos has more of a dark tavern atmosphere than a Mexican cantina.
With a dozen beers on tap, you can get a pint for about $4.25 or opt for the pitcher at about $15.50. Some basic math shows the pitcher is the better deal. Although some bars are meant for sipping cocktails, others are more appropriate for downing beers. Amigo's is more like the latter, and with pitchers being ordered, some serious drinking was going down.
Barely anyone was actually seated at the bar. Most patrons found large booths for their groups of friends. Others were gathered around one of two pool tables or the dart boards in the middle of a game.
I noticed a number of people heading toward the back of the bar and outside to a small patio -- for a smoke break, it turned out. That's good for two reasons -- bouncers don't have to check identification constantly, and the front door isn't clouded by smokers.
A jukebox was the source of the night's music. It played loudly, so raised voices were needed for conversation.
Needless to say, I can't speak for what the bar is like around lunch, midafternoon and early evening, but it's definitely a hot spot for an Old Port pub crawl and a place where people end up toward the end of the night out.
Making this the fourth spot on the night's pub crawl, you can imagine that all my friends were feeling pretty good at this point. Most of the people at Amigo's were in the same boat -- well buzzed or nearing completely drunk.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.