I love a good rooftop bar, so I was excited to go check out Luna atop the new Canopy Hotel in downtown Portland.

I’d heard stories about lengthy waits to get in, so my friend and I showed up five minutes after they opened. A few people had beaten us there, but we walked in with no wait and still had a pretty good choice of seating outside. The enormous (and stunningly decorated) indoor portion was still empty.

Five minutes later, our other drinking companion arrived, a bit flustered. Unlike when we arrived, when she got to the elevator, there was a host stand staffed by an employee who wanted to know what name her reservation was under. She was confused, since Luna’s website states that they operate on a first-come, first-served basis. It took quite a deal of convincing to get him to let her proceed upstairs.

As we were leaving, I told the upstairs hostess about this, but she blew it off, saying he had used the wrong word and that he meant “wait list,” not “reservation.” That would make sense if it weren’t for the fact that there was still plenty of open seating both outdoors and indoors when my friend arrived. There was no wait list.

Selene, Andromeda and Hades specialty cocktails at Luna.

At any rate, onto the drinks. Luna offers six $16 specialty cocktails, all with names from Greek mythology. One friend chose the Hades (dark rum, banana, black tea, honey and lime), the other ordered the Andromeda (vodka, strawberry, honey, Maine Kombu and lemon), and I went with the Selene (gin, aquavit, crème de violette and lemon).

Our drinks arrived quickly, each in different types of glassware, a touch I always appreciate. We liked the Hades the best, finding the other two rather unbalanced. We particularly disliked the little pieces of lavender floating in the Selene – while they made for a beautiful garnish, we didn’t enjoy having to dodge them while drinking.


It was a gorgeous day, and we weren’t ready to leave the rooftop just yet. One friend pointed out that, if we each ordered one more drink, we would have tried every single cocktail on the menu, a first for me during a Bar Guide visit. How could I resist?

The Demeter, Persephone and Dioscuri round out the speciality cocktail list.

She chose the Dioscuri (tequila, Serrano, mango, cherry lime), which arrived with an intricate rim design that went down the side of the glass. Our other friend opted for the Demeter (bourbon, cognac, Cocchi Dopo Teatro and amaro), and I ordered the Persephone (citrus vodka, Cappelletti Aperitivo, prosecco and lemon). We liked this round much better, finding it tough to decide whether we preferred the Dioscuri or the Demeter.

Overall, we left with mixed feelings. In addition to the entry difficulties my friend faced, there was the glaringly obvious failure of the servers (who were plentiful) to ask if something was wrong with my first cocktail, which I had left untouched after my first few sips. Even when I ordered a second cocktail with the first glass still in front of me, no one questioned it. They did ask how we had liked the crudo we had ordered when they saw the completely empty plate.

Indoors, there were no hooks under the bar – a pet peeve of mine. It was also one of the priciest places I’ve been to in Portland, with $22 buying us only six shrimp. That’s over $3.50 a shrimp. If I’m paying that much, it had better be hand fed to me.

Retired diplomat Angie Bryan writes about Maine’s cocktail bars while making as many puns as her editor allows.

If you don’t need a view, or hooks under the bar, the inside of Luna is stunningly decorated.

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