Last week, We Dig took a peek at the morbid history (and authentic bites and beverage offerings) behind one of Seattle’s most haunted Irish pubs. Today, we rendezvous in Portland for our next supernatural destination.
The joint: White Eagle Saloon & Hotel || 836 North Russell Street, Portland
The history: The mosaic-tiled floor, exposed brick walls and dark wood back bar aren’t the only original features that have stuck around the White Eagle Saloon and Hotel through the years since it was built in 1905. Spirits of days past are still suspected to linger in the basement, main floor and 11 original guestrooms at the McMenamins-owned hotspot.
Located near the Fremont Bridge in the industrial district of North Portland, the White Eagle originally served as a place for Polish immigrant workers to grab a pint and unwind at the end of the workday. According to legend, both the saloon and hotel saw their fair share of mischief in the early days, supposedly harboring a secret brothel in the building’s basement and second floor (present-day storage, office and hotel accommodations). Rumor has it the basement also housed an underground tunnel, where kidnappers would Shanghai drunken men and force them to join nearby ships as crewmembers.
Today, the spirits of these agitated former guests are rumored to occasionally manifest themselves in the saloon and hotel—whether through unexplained music, the faint odor of smoke or a variety of phenomena logged in the Eagle’s ghost blog.
The spirits (plus cocktails, brews, bites and more): Known for hosting live music nightly, the White Eagle ensures the crowd stays full and happy with a full menu of Northwest-style pub fare (think burgers and sandwiches, fish and chips, tater tots and dipping sauces). Keep your glass full with any of McMenamins’ handcrafted draft ales or coffee creations, or peruse an extensive variety of Edgefield wines, ciders and spirits. Can’t decide between coffee and cocktail? White Eagle bartenders will mix up an Irish coffee featuring whiskey, a double Americano, touch of sugar and fresh whipped cream. Just remember to make room for some ghastly company, and as McMenamins says, “keep an eye on your beer…”