Own up

Bartender Haley Murphy serves a Modelo, one of 20 beers on tap at Our Bar.

Bartender Haley Murphy serves a Modelo, one of 20 beers on tap at Our Bar.


Learn more at ourbarreno.com.

I’ve never liked the name Our Bar. Besides sounding like a “Who’s on First?” dad joke, it’s hard to say. I feel like I’m saying “Are Bar” unless I over-enunciate to make it clear, then it sounds like I’m saying “Hour Bar.” Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Despite my feelings about the name, I haven’t intentionally avoided the place. I’d heard the burgers are great but never had anyone invite me to join them, never heard about the beer selection—just nothing to get me there. My wife and I wanted beers and a little something to eat last Sunday, so we decided to wrap up our weekend at Our Bar.

I hadn’t set foot in the historical brick building on West First Street since Port of Subs closed a few years ago. The neighborhood is still populated with some cool little businesses, but it seems like some of its fun character has faded. You wouldn’t know it after walking into Our Bar, though. For a Sunday night, the bar itself was pretty full, and most tables were occupied or needing bussing. Unfortunately, from the empty table we found near the pool table we couldn’t see the beer taps, just a good view of multiple TVs broadcasting football games. A counter fronting the kitchen indicated we could order food and drinks there, so I helped myself to a menu, and a friendly chap said he’d be right over to take our order.

The problem with a good beer selection is the sheer number of choices, frequently changing with seasonal releases, that servers are expected to know and recite to their customers. Our server said there were 17 taps and asked what we liked but struggled to come up with many suggestions without running over to the bar. A printed beer list would help when that many beers are available for table service. Based on his suggestions and the ubiquitous Corona propaganda, I decided this wasn’t a fancy beer bar and ordered a perfectly acceptable 805 and a Deschutes IPA for my wife. He kindly offered a taste to be sure we would enjoy what we were ordering, a great customer service gesture I really appreciate. A closer look at the taps later confirmed a decent selection of well-known craft beer and the usual major label choices. Of course, a full array of spirits is also available.

The food menu was borderline astonishing for a bar that doesn’t include “and Grill” in the name. In addition to the acclaimed burgers, the choices include various sandwiches, delicious-sounding tacos and some appetizing small plates. Unfortunately, our first choice—avocado fries—was unavailable but, we made do with chicken wings.

The small crowd nearby was raucous, enjoying drinks, the pool table and each others’ company. The acoustics of the brick and wood interior made waiting for wings tiresome, but no other tables were available. I wandered around a bit and found darts as a possibly quieter pastime but wasn’t feeling up to throwing sharp objects.

We enjoyed our wings and beers and headed home before it got too late or the pool players got any louder. I could easily see Our Bar—I still don’t like using the possessive pronoun; it isn’t mine—as a great spot for drinks with friends or late night post-drinking grub. Starting the night quietly with the $12 burger-beer-and-a-shot special might be the way to go.