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Oldest Bar in Oregon: Huber’s Cafe, Portland

Located in the heart of downtown Portland in the Historic Oregon Pioneer Building, Huber’s Cafe has been slinging drinks since 1879 when Oregon was just a young state.

From the outside, you could walk past it without even noticing. But once you step inside Huber’s doors, history jumps out at you.

Huber’s Cafe is narrow in the front and you have to walk through the front dining area and past the kitchen to enter the old bar.

The bartenders are all decked out in uniforms that take you back to the old speakeasy days, when Huber’s would serve Manhattans in coffee mugs.

We assume it takes a while for the bartenders to work their way into their positions. After all, each one must have the requisite skills to mix the house specialty… Spanish Coffee. It’s not easy to explain, but the whole process involves a lot of waving bottles and glasses around with long streams of alcohol flying through the air and magically finding their way into the glasses without a drop spilled. Yeah, they’re good.

Looking around the walls, you get a glimpse of the past. Early owner Jim Louie’s portrait overlooks the bar and there are old relics such as antique tills and the old spittoon on display.

Another relic of the past is their house specialty: the turkey sandwich. Served simply, but deliciously, with mayo, coleslaw, and cranberry sauce, it is a wonderful trip back in time. Back in the old days, Huber’s served these sandwiches free with any drink order. On the day I was there, I ordered mine with a Manhattan, completing the Huber’s experience.