Portland Recommendation: Portland Coffee House on SW Broadway and Alder
A block away from Pioneer Courthouse Square and close to pretty much everything downtown, the Portland Coffee House is a nice little hangout I went to three times in four days, once just to test out the free, open wi-fi without purchasing anything. I'm a mocha kind of guy—something about the combination of chocolate, caffeine and hot beverage turns my brain on for the rest of the day—and the mocha was good as was the plain bagel with cream cheese, though they did make me put my own cream cheese on the thing. It's a cool atmosphere with comfy chairs and a place to people-watch at the windows.
A sister duo consisting of the guitarist and very sexy bass player (the girl playing the standup electric bass—competently I might add—was sexy; instruments are not soulful or sexy, but the people playing them can be) was playing cover songs and originals one night that I was there. It was fairly obvious which songs were the originals, but as sappy love songs go, they were quite good. When there was no live performances, the music they played from CDs was squarely on the hip side of things, their playing a Neil Young CD before playing an instrumental hip-hop CD, and the morning I was there some cool glitch-pop (think Postal Service but a little less twentysomething white boy angst).
They didn't seem to mind me spending a couple hours there with all of my luggage and having my laptop plugged in while I ripped the tracks from the CDs I purchased over the weekend. It was not unusual to see people hanging out at the Portland Coffee House for longer than we stayed i.e. they were there when we came and stayed when we left. The crowd was fairly diverse, too: Cute Punk Girls (tm) mixed with well-dressed suburbanites and office workers and whatever-category-I-fit-into (t-shirt and jeans foreigners, maybe). At the very least, it's recommended as a good place to wait for friends on a Saturday night after seeing a movie at a cool combination theatre and pub.
A note: I was unsatisfied with the search engine results for Portland Coffee House and its variations of spacing. But like I said, the wi-fi was free and open and bountiful, the atmosphere is cool, and they didn't hassle anybody for staying there for 2 hours after only buying a mocha and bagel. Not me at least.