Thursday, June 7, 2007

"Portland is the most oversaturated strip-club city in the world"

As if those of us here did not already know this. The WW had an article this week highlighting one of Portland's more nefarious industries. Say what you like about them, women and liquor have gone together for over 125 years in this city. It isn't anything new.

Back in the late 1800's the area north of Burnside, known then as just "The North Side", was full of bars and taverns catering to the sailor, miner, and loggers that transitted through Portland on their way to other locations. In many of the taverns and saloons it was much the same; liquor and gambling on the first floor, ladies for entertainment on the second. Erikson's Saloon, perhaps one of the most famous of Portland's history, actually allowed women to dance on stage on the first floor. However, due to the rowdiness of the customers, August Erikson surrounded the stage with electrical fencing when it became available (aside - this feature might have just been the icing on the cake for the movie, Roadhouse).

For many years, much of the money generated here bought alot of political influence in the city. And it was not until the clean-up that came in 1905 with the coming of the Lewis and Clark Centennial that Portland's image of rough, men-only type of town began to relax.

The first Gentlemen's club, as we know them today, was Mary's, began in 1965. Since then the industry has boomed, to over 40 clubs, and at least 500 bars. "Liquor and women, a good combination...", my slight adjustment to the lyrics of Kenny Rogers.Add to Technorati Favorites


Jeremiah said...

I have to say you are by far one of the best writers I have the privilege of reading.not only have you taught me more about the history of Portland which I think alot of Portlanders should know more about , you have also made it fun to read keep it up :) said...

Thank you Jeremiah, much appreciated and kind words.