Portland has many unique and unusual places to explore, including a plethora of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, tours, entertainment options, movie theaters, regular theaters, art studios, museums libraries etc. This column will highlight places for students over and under the drinking age.

The Roxy, our under-21 location for this edition, is located at 1121 SW Stark St. It’s your not-so-typical 24-hour restaurant, closed on Monday and opened the rest of the week. It has a distinctly Portland feel to it.

Just one of the things that makes the Roxy a unique location is the decoration. The walls are adorned with a collection of Barbie dolls, pictures, signatures and movie posters, including all but two Quentin Tarantino movies. Additionally, many of the Roxy’s menu items come with stories and explanations.

Staff is in efficient, knowledgeable and friendly if they know you. Though the Roxy accommodates all ages between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., at this time of night the staff will be short and to the point. The regular crowd requires a bit of directness. That being said, once the staff is familiar with you, they are always friendly.

The Roxy host a capacity crowd of revelers from all different walks of life. The Roxy is a favorite haunt after hours for denizens of the Goth and other alternatives scenes. At first it can seem a bit like a high school cafeteria with cliques of varying groups, but the atmosphere does encourage crosstalk. It’s a microcosm of interesting alternative scenes one should definitely visit.

The over-21 option for this edition is another hole-in-the-wall, The Tugboat Brewing Co.

Located at 711 SW Ankeny St., The Tugboat is in a unique and interesting location. You walk past Mary’s Theater to find open glass windows, where one sees a dark room filled with furniture and puzzle games on the wall.

The Tugboat serves wine, beer and some foods. The tugboat’s beers range from light all way to Chernobyl style, a higher-level alcohol that can only be purchased in an 8-ounce glass for a reason.

This pub is not for the hard drinking crowd. Discourse and discussion is encouraged on nights where there is not a free jazz performance in the corner. There are board games for playing. The Tugboat attracts people who have something interesting to say and talk about.

Either of these locations are good starting points to the uniqueness that is important to Portlanders.

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