Raven’s Manor, a haunted themed cocktail bar, opens in downtown Portland
Raven’s Manor, a haunted mansion-themed lounge bar, held its grand opening last week at its home inside the Henry Failing Building on the corner of Southwest First Avenue and Oak Street.
The show offers 15 signature cocktails, many of which sparkle, smoke and ignite. The visual centerpiece is Dr. Raven’s shiny green stash ($ 9) with rum, pineapple juice, Midori, and spritzer served over dry ice in an Erlenmeyer lab flask.
But if you’re looking for something a little more polished, go for the Hellfire ($ 15), Raven’s Manor takes an old-fashioned style that includes fiery Grand Marnier poured over bourbon and Four Roses bitters.
The theme continues with the food menu, which includes a Raven Burger with a pentagram mark etched into the bread, or the “Chilled Brains” of Tillamook brain-shaped ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
And while reservations aren’t necessary to enjoy a range of spooky cocktails and drinks, Raven’s Manor also sells tickets for an immersive. Elixir Experience it’s a hybrid escape room and a mixology class.
Co-owners Rebecca Vega and Jared Bradley have been planning on opening a “scary” business for years.
“We got the idea for this haunted bar about three years ago and then two years ago it got serious,” Bradley said. “We started buying everything and we were originally hoping to be open before the pandemic. Obviously, a year later, it gave us more time to prepare and be better. “
Built in 1886, the Failing Building once housed a McCormick & Schmick’s seafood restaurant and more recently housed the No Vacancy Lounge. When Vega and Bradley visited the space, it already had its main draw – an antique wooden bar along one wall that is the centerpiece of the over 5,000 square foot living room.
“We looked at a lot of buildings in the area and came to this one and we were like, okay, this one is perfect,” Vega said. “This place already had that vibe.”
All it needed was crimson paint streaming down the walls, cobwebs, flickering candelabra lighting and shelves of weird dolls and medical journals to transform the space into the entertainment lounge. from the fictional Dr Raven.
“Dr. Raven was a well-established doctor in Portland who threw these lavish parties for the elite of society,” Bradley said. “But they were a blanket. That way he could take individuals and experiment on. them without being noticed. “
The “backstory” of the living room is explored in more detail during the Elixir experience. Participants must decipher clues to reach Dr. Raven’s secret trophy room, where they will be rewarded with drinks before heading to the basement to whip up their own cocktails in the lab.
The owners of the salon are, unsurprisingly, longtime Halloween fans. Bradley’s mother ran seasonal Halloween stores when he was growing up, and he learned a few haunting tricks of the trade. The couple bring a sophisticated look to a concept that, in less skilled hands, risks appearing too old-fashioned.
Thanks to real estate sales and the Facebook market, Vega has created cozy nooks with old armchairs and side tables. Anyone with such a fondness for music can play a tune on one of the two old pianos, but otherwise you’ll hear pipe organ music or the Haunted Mansion soundtrack, not just any hit from the Top 100.
“We want this to be a space where you can have a drink and have a good conversation,” she said.
Last year, the couple moved from Missouri to Oregon with a 25-foot rental truck full of spooky supplies. Vega, who has family in Oregon and has spent summers here, thought the Portlanders would host a haunted mansion-themed bar. The response so far has been positive, with Halloween enthusiasts, horror fans, Goths, Wiccans and “really nice Satanists” among those reaching out.
“People here are weird, and that ticked a box for us because we love weird people,” Bradley said.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO:
Raven’s Manor, 235 SW First Ave., is open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., except Tuesday. When coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the lounge will be open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Elixir Experience costs $ 48 per person and can be booked for two to eight people online at ravensmanorexperience.com.
For now, the salon is only open to guests 21 and older, but if food sales in the coming months allow under OLCC rules, Raven’s Manor will add hours for minors.