Holocene1001 SE Morrison St. Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503) 239.7639
Located in: Southeast Portland - Visit Website
BarFly's Review of Holocene
A dance club should primarily be judged by the attractiveness of those dancing, and Holocene's mid-century modernist warehouse accentuates the cheekbones of a damnably hot clientele. Poised upon the artiest tip of the Portland club scene, name DJs brush shoulders with indie tastemaker bands (they've their own label) and theme nights ranging from queer to gallery to miniature golf.
A slowish bar adjoins the main room's projection-lit sunken dance floor/conversation pit, another room down the corridor hosts louder and darker gyrations before a small stage. The former smoking nook is home to rotating art exhibits, and is most conducive to shameless necking, when the mood strikes.
Open primarily for events, but (mostly) regular hours are: 8:30pm-"late" Wednesday & Thursday, 5pm-"late" Friday, 8:30pm-"late" Saturday. Open Sunday-Tuesday per event schedule (see calendar on their website).
Fridays: Happy hour 5pm-8pm with $1 off all drinks, and quality eats for the low, low price of FREE! Oh, and deejays, too.
Cover usually free to $10 on most nights.
Third Saturdays: "Gaycation" (a.k.a. "Homocene") long-running, uber-popular, dance party with resident DJs Mr Charming and Snow Tiger, plus special guests & performers. ($5, 9pm)
|Holocene's Happy Hours|
|Monday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Tuesday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Wednesday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Thursday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Friday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Saturday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
|Sunday||Alas, no happy hour today.|
Base Camp Brewing Company, Basement Pub, Beaker & Flask (CLOSED), Cascade Brewing Barrel Room, Crush, Cyril's at Clay Pigeon Winery, Enso Winery, Gil's Speakeasy, Grand Central Bowl, Green Dragon, Morrison Hotel, Morrison Street Bar and Grill, Roadside Attraction, Rum Club, Sassy's, Star Bar, The Slammer, There Be Monsters
Was brought to Halocene by a local - after we spoke about going to a lounge style club- late 20's early 30's more business professionals han skanks-. It was terrible! It was as if a 15yr old had rented a warehouse, threw a few sheets over the windows, and rented a terrible dj! The music went from oldies, to the thong song, to early britney spears, to one about defication on a face and how it tasted. The crowd were young (old enough?)and dressed poorly/grubby. They say it's all different with who's playing..but I wouldn't ever step back in there again.
When this place first opened about six years ago I was there almost once a week for two years solid. It was fantastic and totally unique next to anywhere else in Portland and they actually made the effort to remember your drink - a rarity in this town. I've continued to frequent Holocene - though much less often and usually only to see some of the awesome bands/DJs they book - and recommend it to anyone looking for a great place to spend their hard-earned money but I'm sad to say I will not be going there again - ever. I don't know what happened to this place over the past year or so but the staff has gone from super friendly and competent to incredibly rude. The high and mighty attitude of the bartenders, is appalling - you can expect to be served (or not served) based solely on the way you look and/or how much ass you're willing to kiss. And I know it's not just me - almost every time I've been there this past year I've overheard other people swear they'll never go there again. I wish I hadn't given them so many chances to prove all the bad reviews they get these days wrong. So unless you know someone who works there or you don't mind incredibly rude service, go elsewhere and don't support a business that treats their customers like assholes for no reason at all.
i like the rap nights and my gay roommate loves the queer nights. the drinks are moderately priced but take a little bit to get to you.
Ok, Holocene is THE BEST club in Portland, hands down, at least in my humble opinion.
BUT....WHAT THE FUCK IS UP W/ THE BAR HERE? I WAITED 25 MIN FROM THE TIME I GOT IN LINE TO ORDER MY DRINK UNTIL I REC'D MY DRINK! UNACCEPTABLE!
Dear Holocene owner, please realize that you are losing $$$ left and right...you need to hire more bartenders or develop a line system w/ velvet ropes, etc because I see dozens of people coming and going after waiting forever for their drink. And w/ some of your cocktails coming in at 8-10 bucks each, you might want to provide more prompt service. Trust me, I'm a lush, I know my shit!
Holocene is awesome, nice layout, shows, etc...but their service is TERRIBLE. I agree with pdx qboy. I've been there when it's really busy and that's one reason to wait for a drink-although they could be faster or maybe put another person on. I went another night when it was slow and still got the crappiest, rudest service ever. I am in the service industry so I know what's up and I am VERY sympathetic to slammed bartenders but this is something else. Whatever, I guess the bartenders there are just too cool to wait on anyone, that's the impression I got. Nice place though!
seriously. went to gaycation last night. 1-waited outside for 20+ minutes to get in. 2-pnce in fought my way like a GD salmon heading upstream in a torrent of obnoxious "kids" to wait at the bar while 4 of portlands SLOWEST most INEPT bartenders attempted to make some money for the poor owners of this place. If this were my place , i would be mortified. To the owners, all I can say is this...you may be making some good money, but there is a hell of a lot more walking out your door than will ever come back in again. and there are only so many trendy little nights you can throw before someone opens a place with a kick ass crew that can handle the crowds. music was good. ppl overall weren't bad. but come on, out of the two hours i was there, I spent 80 minutes at the bar. ordered 4 drinks each time. and each time the poor bartender had to say, "ok you need to tell them to me one at a time, that's too many to remember" i shit you not. here was my order. you be the judge. -iron city -vodka soda -bourbon n ginger -bourbon n ginger
we were all so incredibly annoyed that we left. and everyone of said, "never again". I have tried that place 3 times, each time I think it will be different. and it never ever is. seriously. owners. fire the bar staff, or train them. they can't handle anything more than single deep bars. and are screwed when it gets 2-4 deep. they lost their shit and you are losing business because of it.
holocene is one of those few places that you could take and put in any other major city of the US, and it would still be successful.
Great space...I agree it takes way too long to get a drink, I found what looked like a vacant spot at the end of the bar, but I noticed I was getting the stink-eye from other customers and I asked the bartender whats up with that and he politely explained I couldnt order my drink there but he would let me order one drink...I politely thanked him and told him I would go to the "proper" part of the bar to order my drinks...all in all a very very nice crowd of great looking people. My partner and I danced while everybody sat in the "pit"...we were the only ones on the dance floor but we didn't care. Nice place to put on some nice threads and enjoy...alas we stayed for only one drink and headed over to Lola's Room for 80's dance night. We will be back for the Feb 2 Gaycation dance party. It's definitely worth giving it another chance.
Ok, 1st, i love this joint...great music, chill crowd (dykes on Double Down can have MAJOR 'tude, and what's w/ all the trannies actin' like they own the place???). BUT...do no order only one drink at a time...order at least two...i kid you not, I have had to wait 30min to order drinks before...always a huge line w/ drunk lesbians and trannies looking at you cross-eyed...Pop Tart is their best night, early start, friendly ATTRACTIVE lesbians (something Portland needs more of...hint hint E Room) and great music!
I love this place. If the service at the bar gets a little slow, complain too the management about it! The food is great, btw, tho it can also take a while, too. But what I like best about Holocene is that it's the real deal. It's not the produce of some marketing dept. It's like a labor of love. The staff and the guys who own this place have created the kind of club that they'd like to hang out themselves. Look around at the people who come here -- really nice folks. Assholes are not tolerated here. And there's great music, many acts that don't show up at other Portland venues. This place takes risks to bring new music to Our Fair City. Appreciate it. (Even if the line at the bar can get a little long.)
Holocene is not without it's quirks, but i short it = well stocked bar (but could use some more single malt scotches) tended by Bridget, one of the best damn bartenders in portland. Order a manhattan from her and you will not be disappointed...
ok, i love this place...unlike other bars in this tired ass town, it's large, spacious, and non-smoking (smoking room in back)...eclectic, good music, casual...BUT...it's FATAL FLAW...getting a drink here takes FOREVER! seriously, you will wait at least 20 min on a somewhat crowded night...HIRE MORE BARTENDERS! and the blonde bitch at the door is, well, a BITCH! and don't get me started on the sucka wack ass MC who thinks she can rap on the Tart/double down nights...and finally, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO hot in here...air conditioning???? HELLO?!
I really like this place, except for the fact that people in Portland don't dance. I've heard they have great dance parties, but I won't believe that until I see it; every time I've been there, there are like 2 people on the dance floor and everyone else looks at them and lives vicariously through their ability to not care if people are looking at them. Otherwise, the high ceilings create a very "open" feel, which is great if small, smoky bars aren't really your thing. They also have a water stand with lots of cups, so you don't have to bother the bartender. Lots of neat events.
Holocene makes me happy. It's a nice place to be, queer dance parties and drag shows are lots of fun. Mixed drinks are tasty, and most have been uniform and well made. Service can be a little slow, but it's a small price to pay for a well-mixed Long island and great atmosphere.
This place hosts that hottest dance parties in town. Smoking is confined to a meat locker type curtained room, so the venue is essentially smoke free. Very cool for hang out and people watching. Get there early if you want to drink, cuz the lines get long, but the drinks are good...a little pricey, but hey you're there for the ambiance.