Pépé le Moko

Words by Simon Difford on 27-Oct-2014

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Address: 407 SW 10th Avenue, (btwn SW Stark & SW Washington Sts), Portland, Oregon, 97205, United States
Tel: +1 503 546 8537
Website: view Pépé le Moko’s website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Cocktail bar
Food: Tapas/plates & dishes
Established: 2014

Review

A tiny oyster bar at street level is the prelude to this intimate 36 seater basement cocktail bar. The look is 1950s Cuban lounge with a curvy railway carriage-like ceiling over black leather clad banquettes. The name is taken from the 1937 French film, Pépé le Moko (French for "Pépé the man from Toulon") which depicts an infamous gangster.

Pépé le Moko sits in a space under the Ace Hotel which was formally a storage unit for Clyde Common around the corner. Like Clyde Common, le Moko is managed by Jeffrey Morgenthaler so the recipes are honed, and when we visited expertly executed by the fabulous Talia.

The cocktail menu lists a dozen well-known classic cocktails from different periods of cocktail culture with a drink to suit seemingly all palates - each so perfectly made that it will make many reconsider the much maligned Long Island Iced Tea.

Remember the oyster bar upstairs in the entrance - along with the oysters this also offers drinkers charcuterie boards to share and cazuelas.

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