Crystal Ballroom1332 W Burnside Portland, OR 97205 Downtown Portland & near Northwest Portland
(503) 778.5625 - Visit Website
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BarFly's Review of Crystal Ballroom
Swellegant 90-year-old third-floor dance hall, rescued from the wrecking ball, and somewhat hippified by McMenamins in the late nineties. Still has all the bells and whistles of the younger part of the 20th century, including a balcony bar and a 'floating' dance floor ("dance on air" on its sprung hardwood floor). Midsize, mostly indie-rock touring bands predominate, with local showcases, and the occasional dance night, fill its schedule.. With notable exceptions, the service blows - expect a long wait, a vacant stare, and a short pour. Still, a terrific showplace, with great sound and dramatic proportions. See separate listing for Lola's Room, the Crystal's second-floor sister, and Ringler's Pub, its first floor pool hall.
Crystal Ballroom's Happy Hours
|Monday||No happy hour info available.|
|Tuesday||No happy hour info available.|
|Wednesday||No happy hour info available.|
|Thursday||No happy hour info available.|
|Friday||No happy hour info available.|
|Saturday||No happy hour info available.|
|Sunday||No happy hour info available.|
Crystal Ballroom Calendar
|Fri 04/14 @ 9:00 pm||40th Anniversary Tour The Damned Adv: $23.00 / Door: $25.00|
|Tue 05/09 @ 7:00 pm||Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Atlas Genius, Night Riots Adv: $25.00 / Door: $30.00|
Getting to Crystal Ballroom
Reader ReviewsAdd your own review or comment
I cant believe Portlander's can be such cranky butts!! What do you mean "drunk fucks"?? If your drunk-you should'nt even be there being served dummy!! There are OLCC laws that get the bartender/server/venue and probably your duppy ass in trouble with fines-and in your case a good ass whippin or accident!! So why not stay home-turn whatever music you wanna hear on- and drink to your hearts content and make everyone happy :) And also when you have a couple bartenders to contend with hundreds of people--sometimes ya just gotta wait to get that drink ya need sooooo badly. I know... how bout you try it on a busy show night?? Or maybe you just have a day time desk job- and have no clue how hard it can be dealing with folk like you!!
I am an employee here, just to get that out of the way. If you've had bad experiences in the past...please come back. Although we still don't allow smoking (of anything) in the building, we now ALLOW re-entry, and we have switched to cascade ticketing = lower ticket prices/service fees. Also, I know the drink prices pretty much suck, but IF you decide to drink before, just don't over do it. We really don't enjoy cutting people off, nor do we enjoy the scene when you're so drunk that you want to hold everyone else up just to argue with us about it.
So Crystal servers its purpose. If you're a booze drinker, dont expect a good pour but why else would you come here unless to see the band that you really have to see? Don't completely understand the no ins and outs policy for smokers however if you have to see the band you'll deal with it. Lola's can be a respite for the weary if you are bored with a set. Portland's equivalent of vanilla.
oh my gosh i absolutely loved the crystal ballroom! i saw eric church there last night and i thought it was amazing. i love the interior, and the sound rocks! the atmosphere was really fun. i cant wait to go again!!!
So, i was at the show and after quite a few songs in. The band began to recognize the fact that portlandians love to smoke weed and that everyone should light up. So i did. And blammo!!!! Security was all over me. They said i had to leave. I Reminded them that i was just doing what the band was asking of us. They said it doesnt work that way. And proceeded to escourt me down the stairs and out the door. Thank you crystal ballroom for maintaining the spirit of the Doors. Maybe it would serve best to just turn your head and have a little respect fot the band and their following I know you all smoke weed anyway I am a former employee of mcmenamins. It goes without saying that the band was most enchanting.
I work there. The Mezzanine Bar costs more because of the convienience if you travel upstairs or manage to grab one of the 70 seats. I can't say much about the drinks (because I don't bartend) other than you have to serve as quickly as possible when you've got 500+ people wanting drinks. It's a music VENUE (2 if you include lola's room), and music BANDS and ARTISTS play there. The all ages side only sucks because you're not old enough to drink, and as far as sneaking in a flask...you go right ahead, but WHEN we catch you, you'll get to finish your flask elsewhere and I wouldn't want to be you if it's before the headliner. As I said in my other post. If you don't like it, don't come. There's nothing more irretating than people bitching about a place they've been to before. If it's not your first time, and you don't like the atmosphere, drink content/prices, save yourself the $50 or whatever the ticket cost you.
I go to a lot of shows around town and this place, is kind of cool in terms of interior decor and atmosphere. But the sound system is one of the worst. All you can hear is the thud of the bass. The floating dance floor always makes my legs and back hurt after standing for 20 minutes. And the bar on the balcony charges more than the bar on the floor - what's up with that??? Anyway, it's a popular place for larger acts (saw Air there last night), so I usually don't have a choice, but I'll take the Roseland over this any day!
My first trip to the Ballroom was for comedy Friday nite. It was a little tight with folding chairs close together but the show started nearly on-time and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I got a big bottle of beer for 6 bux and had fun.
I like the crystal ballroom as an entertainment venue, but their bar SUCKS! If you go during a show it's just so insanely crowded, the drinks are nothing to write home about and put together fast and sloppy and then you're stuck far away drinking them. It's much better to just have a few drinks prior and then sneak in a flask so you can watch the show AND get drunk!
P.S. Jess Stuart, posting your swing ads in here is cheeseball. I know people in your organization and their all cool but this is a website to review bars. I'm not here to get solicited.
The Crystal has a once a month swing dance! For dates and schedules, check out www.westsideswing.com. The floor is bouncy. You kind slide a couple of feet, but the floor isn't slippery. Overall, one of the best floors I've danced on.
This is the only place to see national acts in Portland in the winter. It's sooo much better than the normal black box clubs like LaLuna (thank god it's gone) or Roseland. Atmosphere, uniqueness, I'm sure the musicians love playing there as opposed to some nameless caverne noir that they play in every other town. That means they have more fun, are more spontaneous and play better there than any other indoor place they play - almost anywhere.
I really like this place--seen many good bands & acts perform at the Crystal over the years.. The Crsytal Ballroom has TWO floors two choose from, should you happen to feel a bit crowded on the main floor downstairs. As for the dancefloor at the Crystal Ballroom, it is GREAT. (I don't agree with Nicki Finn's post here), because it is THE ONLY dancefloor in Portland where you're dancing on actual "air,"---the dancefloor at the crystal is unique and original in a class all on it's own--compared to ALL OTHER dancefloors in Portland...Where else in Portland does the dancefloor bounce and move, when your dancing? NO WHERE.
I think the Crystal pretty much sucks. The all ages venues suck even more becasue the beer section is away from the stage, which leaves all of us drunk fucks too far away to enjoy the festivities. The other downfall is this area is uber crowded, allowing no breathing room, or at least no breathing room which is not filled with reminants of alcohol. And the whole dancing or floating floor, or whatever the hell it is, just does not impress me. But, I would have no choice but to go again, as the Crystal gets some pretty good music venues.
Overall Rating of Crystal Ballroom
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