I’ve been meaning to stop by “Journeys” in Multnomah Village ever since they started talking about it over at The Multnomah Villager. Any place that advertises excellent beer and tasty bites should be on my list, but Journeys was particularly convenient, situated as it was at the midpoint of my daily commute.
But life is complicated, and there always seems to be too much to do, and although I drove past it a number of times, I never stopped in. Until last night.
Now I wish I’d dropped by sooner. Journeys is a small place. Most other places that were this small would feel cramped, but the decor and atmosphere at Journeys just serve to make it particularly cozy. Warm wood tones predominate, and there is no smoking and no minors allowed, which also contributes to the feeling that you’re in someone’s den rather than in a public house. The bar itself is just inside the door. It’s quite broad, and has a slight dogleg to make maximum use of available space. Coins from various countries are set into the top of the bar, reinforcing the travel theme. The seats are comfy, the music was unobtrusive, and everyone seemed happy to be there.
Bob, one of the owners, was behind the bar and seemed genuinely cheerful about it. He dispensed beer, wine, and plates of food while keeping up his end of a couple of conversations. His affection for the beer and wines he serves was obvious. The menu is interesting, with a handful of appetizers, salads and sandwiches that are of better quality than most pub fare, but the menu is too limited to make Journeys a destination for dinner.
However the food isn’t the reason to visit Journeys. The small selection of tasty things is really ancillary to the fine beverages that are available. I chose to enjoy a pint of Terminal Gravity Strong Ale, one of the six quality microbrews on tap. Apparently the product of a very small run, it was a deceptive little beer. The flavor was exceptionally smooth and well-balanced, entirely disguising the fact that it had an impressive alcohol content. Having a second would have been a mistake. A couple at the other end of the bar were working their way through a selection of wines, starting with zinfandels. The selection of beers (on tap and in bottles) and wines is impressive, and you could spend a long time working your way through the inventory, with the occasional snack to cleanse your palate.
If I had to describe Journeys, I’d say that it is precisely the kind of place where I’d love to be a regular. I could drop in, be greeted by name, and see what’s on tap that evening. Surrounded by people who wouldn’t look at you funny if you started talking about “hop nose” and “malt finish”, it would make for a pleasant interlude on the way home. Sort of my own version of “Cheers”.
When the weather warms up, Journeys will reopen their dog-friendly patio for dining, and I must say that the prospect of sitting outside on a fine evening with an excellent pint is terribly attractive. Hopefully I’ll be able to swing by more often.