Aura (CLOSED)1022 W Burnside St. Portland, OR 97209 Downtown Portland & near Pearl District
(503) 597.2872 - Visit Website
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BarFly's Review of Aura (CLOSED)
Well, you’ve seen them, of course - the primped throngs eternally lining West Burnside for the chance to enter Aura (on Harry Potter release nights, as the crowds waiting outside directly-opposite Powell’s Books stare daggers, the world’s silliest rumble ever threatens.) And, weirdly, passing through the gates, it’s almost worth pacing an hour through drizzle.
Several bars upon two levels, catwalk, projection screens, modish bathrooms designed for lingering, color-coded drinks, interiors resembling a monied post-apocalyptic wreckage, aging futuristic décor miraculously retaining a shambling chic, elbow room sufficient despite the massed celebrants - the club acts as douche safety-valve from neighboring sister-bar Fez.
The menu’s still worth a nosh, though those eating at dance clubs should perhaps rethink their substances, but no bar’s stylish enough to overcome the suffocating joie de idiocy (and accompanying Top 40 dreck) from the popped collars and backwards baseball-caps currently leasing floorspace.
Opens at 4:30pm Tues-Sat, till midnight W-Thurs, till 2:30am Fri & Sat, dark Sun/Mon.
Thursdays: Soul Sessions w/DJ O.G. One (7pm-11pm).
Fridays: Shoshot Productions w/DJs George and Hipnotic (9pm, $7).
Saturdays: Sky w/DJ Hipnotic, FSO DJ & guests (9:30pm, $6).
Aura (CLOSED) 's Happy Hours
|Monday||No happy hour info available.|
|Tuesday||No happy hour info available.|
|Wednesday||5pm-7pm $3 cocktails, $3 select drafts, $3+ wine, $4+ specialty cocktails, $3 food menu 5-7pm|
|Thursday||5pm-7pm $3 cocktails, $3 select drafts, $3+ wine, $4+ specialty cocktails, $3 food menu 5-7pm|
|Friday||5pm-7pm $3 cocktails, $3 select drafts, $3+ wine, $4+ specialty cocktails, $3 food menu 5-7pm|
|Saturday||5pm-7pm $3 cocktails, $3 select drafts, $3+ wine, $4+ specialty cocktails, $3 food menu 5-7pm|
|Sunday||No happy hour info available.|
Getting to Aura (CLOSED)
Reader ReviewsAdd your own review or comment
No thanks. Went in for happy hour and it was as if I were a monster. Everyone that works there is a douche because the clientele has rubbed off on them. Douche + Douche = Colostomy Bag.
AVOID at all costs.
However, if you see the line on a Friday night and you think you can blend in like a camouflaged night-clubber at war, by all means enter and proceed to level colostomy bag.
I'll be down the street having a normal priced drink thanks.
Okay so i am in the military and i will be in Portland in a couple days for the Rose Festival. I am looking for a place to dance and have fun and dance with women and from what it looks like is that this place is legit. Any other opinions about this place or anything i should know about this place. I will be in my dress uniform so i am not worried about an outfit but drinks, music and of course the beautiful women i would definately like to here more.
The night started kind of fun, good music, but the long islands were $14 each & there were scarce men. I had my fiance there with me but it took most of the night for my sister and friend to find someone to dance with.
KEY: They took a knife from my fiance at the beginning of the night (he carries a knife because of his job) and they would NOT give it back to us at the end of the night- treating me like a crazy person in the process because I put up such a fight. Just so you know, I am in Nursing school and my fiance is a pre-med student-both with a 4.0. We are honest people and they treated me like I was crazy, and it ruined my whole night. They kept claiming that they gave my fiance the option to take it back to his car or they would take it for the night- but they never said they would take it and not give it back- my fiance even asked them.
When I tried to get it back from them they first 1) claimed they didn't have it and then after a while of arguing 2) claimed it was an "illegal" knife and "do you honestly think we would give back a knife like that to a person that has been drinking." SO all in all, someone got a free knife that I got for my fiance in Mexico and lied about it, and that club supports that kind of thing.
This bar is a pretty cool place to go dancing as far as Portland is concerned. They play a weird mix of music but other than that I think the place is pretty sweet inside. You needa dress up nice and tuck your shirt in and all that shit, but who cares. If you wanna dress normal then go somewhere where that's cool. Besides once you start dancing you can just untuck your shirt and un button and all that if that's your steez. There are usually tons of hot girls all dressed up sexy if you go on the weekend, which is why I go here.
One of Aura's bouncers literally choked one of my friends on a saturday night. (this was one of my female friends. Think 200+ lb bouncer vs. 120lb girl) I don't care who you are you just dont do that. Then we were all waiting outside because nobody wanted to stay after that and we saw some guy get thrown out onto his face on the sidewalk. Didn't know him he probably deserved it but still. Anyway, Aura had a really cool atmosphere and good drinks. Its too bad that some of the employees had to ruin this place for me and my friends.
Our Barfly bus party of 25, with a prearranged reservation, arrived at Aura only to be told by the guy at the door, that a) no t-shirts allowed (and we had just been cleared by our Barfly hostess), and that b)they were near capacity so therefore could not go in. What? We had an advanced reservation, this was part of our club itinerary. Then we overhear another doorman tell some people that they weren't full yet, come on in. Jen, God Bless you, handled him like a champ, and I told him that I would be sure to let anyone know to never frequent that establishment. After wasting precious time we moved on and spent our money elsewhere. Some times that's the only thing that will get their attention. Too bad for them, cuz our group rocked it up at the next place!
Poor music (imagine turning on your radio to hear the local hip-hop station and all its overplayed worthlessness). I dont care about the $12 cover, the lame attendees, wannabe rockstars and fat chicks, but if the music is crap, you might as well throw in the towel, and hang up a closed sign.
I came here for the 1st time on a weekend night expecting it to be like Oregon's version of the Roxbury with drinks at least as expensive as SoLo and was pleasantly surprised. Interesting clear floor panels on the 2nd floor. My miniskirt-clad friend unknowingly gave the downstairs bartender a clear view of her "Britney" so I knew to get my drinks from him the rest of the night. Packed dance floor the most you could do was sway side to side. There was a TON of asian girls so my friend who has an asian fetish was in hog heaven. Got hit on by a cute guy, that was fun, still worried my friends might tell my boyfriend. The only thing I didn't like is they left my friends who showed up later freezing in the line while groups of girls got right in because they were 2 guys and a girl. They missed our friend's birthday because of that. Very California of them.
For those who have never been to Aura then you should try it out, more than likely you will come back again. The place is always upbeat with good music. The food service is a little slow but not bad beings it is a dance club. Drinks are a little slow but I have noticed peopel saying that it takes a long time to get them. If you act like an a*s then yeah it may take a little longer. I have never been in line for more than 5min to get into the club or to get a drink. and to the men who say all the women are stuck up and only dance in circles, and wont dance with them. Well when you come up to us acting like you are gods gift to women and act cocky then yes you best bet is to turn away and not even try. Half of the men are jerks at this club fair warning to the women. Yet I have come to this place with a group of people and have also come here with one of my gf and I have always had a great time at this place.
Lots of pretense. Lots of "better than you" attitude. Lots or girls dancing with each other in a circle because they are too good to dance with men. I got kicked out of this club for telling a woman that I didn't care if she did work there, I still thought she was cute. My playful flirting got me kicked out. I wasn't malicious or mean and it was in the context of good taste....oh I forgot I'm black and the chick I was talking to was blonde and blue-eyed. I guess I should consider myself lucky in that case. Fuck this club.
At 10pm, waited in line no more than 10min.Seeing I have an affinity for asian women, this was the plase to be:-)I was already feeling high and mighty by the time we stepped foot into the club. Had a good blurry time, dancing and admiring all to see. Had some drink called the Juice of Death, very effective and pretty much put me into the dark abyss for the rest of the eve. Would I go back, perhaps. Crowd was early to mid twenties, I am mid to late thirties but faced no attitude or boundries. My girl felt the yound buc's were too cocky, hey such in life in the scene. Music was good, upbeat.
i have NEVER heard "deep house" at aura - i was just there friday night for a "glam" theme party and they were spinning n'sync! and they weren't even trying to be ironic! plus, the "glam" sign was made out of styrafoam spray-painted gold. that's kind of like an oximoron hanging on a wall, don't you think? for some insipid reason there is always a line and a WAY overpriced cover charge to get in here. great set up, but it's too bright and the music pretty much cripples the soul. too bad new management doesn't take over and bring the location up to its potential! if you REALLY want deep house, go to the om or pala... om has better music, but pala is just downright posh.
This place has really changed. The DJ was one of the worst hip hop dj's I've ever heard. The place was packed with a very young (average age 20-21), suburban, unsophisticated crowd. Not one hottie in sight! Lots of bachelorette parties that night. The service was terrible from Katrina, the bitter manager on duty who wouldn't let me & my friends go outside and smoke, to our ditzy waiter who was reluctant to split our large tab onto 2 credit cards. They have a miserable smoking area that is essentially a closet without ventilation. I'm not sure how that meets any building codes. Overall, the vibe was more Spring Break in Tijuana, than Las Vegas ultra lounge. You'd be better off going to Greek Cuisina - it has the same crowd, but at least the drinks are cheaper, the music is better & it doesn't take a half hour to get a damn drink. It's such a shame that this place has gone down hill - it used to be a pretty cool lounge.
Hey Brit, you fucking corporate sell-out whore. what`d ya do with all that blood money, Brit??? Vote Republican? Pay your Masons dues? Fontanelle fucking? How dare you sell out the sanctity of Bar Flys on-line user reviews to the highest bidder, Brit?!? Scab ass! Brit. Or should I call you JUDAS! P.S. buy me a jello shot till tues.(I know you`ve got the cash.)
I have never been so insulted in my life. I was waiting in line while my fiancé went to an ATM. Jeanette was working the line, and I heard them mention a pass of some kind. I was confused because there was nothing on the website about this requirement. I tried to ask her and she physically grabbed my arm and pulled me out of line. This kind of behavior is unacceptable, I was really going to escalate it - but honestly people and places like that are not worth my time/energy. I am from Dallas, and we know clubs - to allow someone like her to represent the club is ridiculous. Keep treating patrons like this and see how long you stay in business. Portland won't put up with this for long.
Just one comment - the slowest mother f'n bartenders ever. I guess it does take a long time when everyone orders a goddamn apple martini or a sex on the beach. On the plus side - some hot young chicks.
i loved aura! love the music and the architechure. BUT waiting in line for close to an hour and paying a high $12 cover was a no no. please please reduce the cover!!!!!!! other than that great club.
So this is my review of AURA…let me just start by saying the evening was preceded by Zanex because I knew it would be trying my every last nerve.
The Service is horrid at best….we arrived at what would usually be considered very very early and already the poor girl was overwhelmed. Could have been the fact that we were upstairs and she had to go downstairs to get our drinks when there is a bar 10 feet from us or the fact that we were a group of 12 which was I admit a bit confusing trying to fit into a banquet because every area in this place is “reserved” (on a side note – the fact that you need to reserve a place in Portland is ludicrous – I’m not sure what the owners are thinking other than the fact that people are stupid enough to pay $150. for a couch to look cool and by the way – when you pay you aren’t cool) or that there was already a big party of geeks and boobs set up with bottles of champagne that she had to attend to.
The Atmosphere is pseudo-chic. Since my visit I have searched the internet to see what other people thought and am now truly amazed by the complete lack of experience people in this very small town have. I’m not sure where these 20-somethings have been in their vast career of partying, but this place is not upscale, not cool, not “swanky”, not anything but a contemporary terd presented on a bed of lettuce in other words – the owner and/or publicists for this place have given you a load of crap and you people from Beaverton and Gresham have eaten it with eyes open because you think its “neato.”
The Drinks are wet. That’s about the best thing I can say, because unlike so many mothers have taught us, I just can’t keep my mouth shut and say nothing….they are not good. If you wanted to spend $10 for water, you can send me the money and I send you not only the water but a free take-out container. We asked for a couple of different types of tequila – they didn’t have it, a couple of different drinks – they didn’t know what they were and then we had to give the recipe to the bartender for another drink. Now I don’t expect a bartender to know every drink ever made or invented but these were pretty well known drinks and they really should have.
The Food , oh my… after an hour of sitting with the first round of drink glasses still sitting empty on our table we finally receive our plates (2) of food – COLD and greasy ….clear signs that the food has been sitting for awhile waiting as our server was floating around helping the geek and boob brigade pour champagne as they dry humped each other in a disgusting display of ugly people gettin’ busy - there were actually two of the girls attempting to arouse all the men in the upper deck by making out…honey – unlike some soft core porn movie, you were not cute therefore it was not appealing AT ALL!!! Sorry, got off on a tangent….the food ????? I can’t believe the “chef” even went to culinary school – let alone CIA – but I guess we all remember the whole Rocco DiSpirato fiasco...although if it had been at least warm, the grease may not have had a chance to creep to the top of the spinach dip and float on top. I didn’t see a lot of food being carried out to tables – but at 10.PM it may not be a clear indication of the food but rather that the mood was changing from dinner to lounge…
The Music, if you can describe it as such, is awful. I can’t believe people were actually “popping”, as it were, to Michael Jackson. I honestly don’t know where they picked up this DJ – but it sure as hell was not L.A., New York, Vegas, etc. as is mentioned in reviews I read.
The Smoking Area is OUTSIDE – I understand it’s now fashionable not to smoke, but that doesn’t mean you have be herded outside where the entertainment outside by a bunch of X’ers dancing to techno beats, posing with flashlights and playing tennis was much more impressive than inside.
And the people – oh my…..let me just take you on a visual tour from one side of the room to the other….you’ve heard me talk about the geek/boob squad to the left…then there are the fat girls trying to squeeze themselves into jeans and tank tops…the girls who spent more money on their upper body then they have on an education… girls in spandex bustiers with mile-high mall hair… guys with perms… a cute little girl standing at the bar waiting to order a drink while three big boys stand behind her doing a little “air groping” (NICE)… small groups of men walking up the stairs, stopping, scanning and then getting their groove on as they moved towards the bar to get a drink – as if this were the Roxbury. I do have to say there was ONE good looking guy there – but he was so drunk he just stood at the edge of the dance area staring out over everyone’s head – weirdo…
Basically – overall the place is overrated for and by posers and therefore a Mecca for the like and not to be visited by any self respected person looking for a “lounge” atmosphere.
Okay, so this place is totally yuppie. The spot looks really nice on the inside, but the music selection was really crappy and there were no guys to dance with and it just flat out sucked. It might be a good spot if you went out there with a BIG group of friends and kick it in the pretty lounge chairs and danced amongst yourselves. Other than that, it aint good. Definately not the single-person's spot.
The bathrooms are worth the visit alone. Kinda weird but so cool.
I think this place is a little on the spendy side but it is an experience to have. Plus you can go to Henri's accross the street too. Fun evening.
I had a good time. This place is a lot better than the Doug Fir. The people are way nice. Not all stuck up and snotty.
Aura is one of my favorite places to go, and I come here often. I happen to like that "gross hip hop/top 40" stuff, so this is my favorite place to dance. Plus it is smoke-free! I haven't had any of the appetizers other than the fondue, which I thought was just so-so, but the dancefloor is always hopping and there are always good looking people (both guys and girls) roaming around.
If you haven't been to Aura yet, Aura's atmosphere is great---in terms of it's lay out, and the way it looks. (A little on the swanky lookin' side, once you enter). I went with friends on a Saturday night. One of the things I liked about Aura is that there are two levels to the place. Order a drink from the upstairs bar, downstairs bar can get a little crowded at times. There's a cool little see-through glass floor upstairs, where you can see some of the downstairs---nifty. One thing I did NOT like at Aura: the choice of music the DJ played--just your basic gross hip hop/top 40's tunes. At times, he did throw in a few of the same old 80's tunes you typically hear. (The waitress who waited our table that night said it was supppose to be more "upbeat/fast dance/house music" that night, but I don't think she knew what she was talking about). Anyhow, if you are into hip hop/top 40's, then this is the place for you! Aura's food: A few appetizers I do NOT reccomend ordering: the Spinach dip w/chips, the Spinach dip was very BLAND, boring in flavor. The Hummus Dip w/Pita Bread was equally the same, Hummus dip just tasted like your basic Fritos Bean dip. Aura's chef needs to chill out a litle on the Pita Bread's salt--waaaaaaay too salty. Anyhow, if you haven't been to Aura yet give it a try, it's worth stoppin' by!
I really enjoy going to Aura, for the atmosphere. (Well, I guess you could say "upper scalle" looking atmosphere, there). But I will have to admit, some of Aura's appetizers are just downright, plain yucky. Two appetizers I suggest NOT ordering if you go: The Spiniach dip, it's extremely bland, and very boring in flavor. The Hummus Dip w/Pita Bread was equally the same, Hummus Dip tasted like your basic Frito's bean dip. And the Pita Bread was wayyyyyyyyyy too salty; the chef needs to chill out a little on the salt on that dish! But aside from their bland appetizers, Aura is worth giving a try to visit for their atmosphere, just don't order any of the food items I mentioned here...
...if my review sounded like an ad, but that's kind of what I do for a living so I guess it just carries over. The review is for real though; I love Aura!
This bar is one of my favorites. Happy hour cosmos, lemon drops, and regular martinis are only $3! Plus, the tiny burgers and shoestring fries on the menu are lots of fun. The atmosphere is fantastic, the seating is cozy, and their three bars are hot. If you order dinner, you'll get free cotton candy for dessert. All this, and it's NON-SMOKING! Love this place.
Overall Rating of Aura (CLOSED)
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