Over, under 21: Places to go, see, visit in Portland

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The establishments in this edition of “Over and Under 21” are Portland mainstays with an international flair. The over 21 option is an English-style pub and the under 21 is a hodgepodge coffeehouse and hookah bar.

Down Belmont Street there’s a brick building with large glass windows. This is Horse Brass Pub, founded in 1976. Over the front door hangs a large brass horse’s head with the words “horse brass” emblazoned on it. Go through the door and you’ll find several heavy dark wooden tables placed throughout the pub on different levels.

Horse Brass Pub was featured on Food Network as America’s best English pub food location. Horse Brass has a rustic feel, featuring a fireplace and some heavy wooden tables.

There are steel-tipped dartboards around the bar. There are also lottery games and plenty of space for conversation.

The atmosphere is at once both intimate and crowd friendly. Whether you’re with a group of friends celebrating a momentous occasion or with a couple buddies out for a pint, Horse Brass is a welcoming and accommodating location.

They offer over 50 varieties of beer, both local and international. These can be purchased in ten ounce glasses or the more preferable 20 ounce pint. Their fish and chips are to-die-for as well.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the menu is informative. Whether you’re in the mood for bangers and mash, a Scotch egg, English meat pies or salad, they’ve got you covered.

It’s a bit of a trip even from downtown Portland, but the atmosphere and beer are worth the journey.

Horse Brass Pub is located at 4534 SE Belmont St. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily, and minors are welcome until 5 p.m.

Our under 21 establishment is The Pied Cow Coffeehouse. The Pied Cow is a combination coffee house, tea shop, hookah bar, light restaurant and hangout location. It’s a good place to do homework in the sunshine.

Located near Zupan’s on Belmont Avenue this establishment is the first in a string of cool bars, restaurants and coffee shops you encounter as you travel up Belmont.

It’s a large house with a huge yard that has been converted into an outdoor patio sitting area. The inside is a small, intimate restaurant with interesting carving and furnishing choices.

The food consists of soup, cheese plates and fruit plates for the most part, though this establishment is much more about liquid refreshment.

There are the obligatory Portland fancy coffees, but there’s also tea by the pot or the glass. Smoothies and Italian sodas top the large list of liquid refreshments.

But the real appeal of this establishment is that you can sit slightly elevated while sipping your drink, conversing with your friends, reading a book or doing homework. It all depends on your inclinations that day. It definitely should be visited at least once while you’re in the area.

The Pied Cow Coffeehouse is located at 3244 SE Belmont St. Its current hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from noon to 1 a.m., and Sunday noon to midnight.


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