Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Good reviews for Portland’s latest bike-friendly bar

Posted by on May 19th, 2010 at 10:03 am

Plenty of bike parking at the new Apex Bar on SE 12 and Division)
(Photo © Andrew Kreps via Twitpic)

Apex Bar (1216 SE Division) is the latest Portland beer joint to roll out the welcome mat for people who show up on bikes. Owner Jesse McCann is a former beer rep who worked for New Belgium Brewery (and helped us round up a ton of great prizes for a BikePortland benefit party a few years ago) whose love of bikes is evident at his new establishment.

On the bar’s website, McCann writes that Apex combines a love of great beers, “with a life-long passion for all things two-wheeled.”

When it opened earlier this month we heard about Apex right away from readers who where excited about the huge row of bike racks available right near the patio.

I haven’t made it out there yet myself, but the Daily Vaguard (PSU’s newspaper) published a glowing review yesterday. About the bar’s bike-friendly vibe, the Vanguard wrote:

“McCann has two other passions… that give Apex its personality… Pictures of both are hung on Apex’s walls, including a large photograph of naked bicyclists above the bar. Also nailed against the walls are shelves designed for helmets.

The huge bicycle rack on the patio reveals McCann’s passion, too. It would take an enormous crowd to fill up the rack, which is sure to make many bicyclists sigh with affection for the place.”

If you go to Apex, keep in mind it’s cash only (ATM on-site) and they don’t serve food (but Mexican food place Los Gorditos is in the same building). Check out ApexBar.com for more info.

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  • Morgan Scott May 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    YES! I was recommended this place by Ezra from Upright Brewing. I went by there yesterday but it was “too early” for me to drink a beer 🙁 Look for a Bike Temple ride to APEX for some Belgian monk brews…

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  • Camp Bike Fun May 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks Jessee!

    I wish my local bar followed suit.

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  • Cemetery Rider May 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Every time I go past this corner the bar (and bike racks) are packed. Glad to see it is succeeding! It will be an AWESOME summertime deck.

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  • Spiffy May 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    nice! I ate at Los Gorditos last month and wondered what all the bike parking was for…

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  • Bonnie May 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I’m excited for the outdoor space, but I wish they would share their bike parking with Los Gorditos. Apex has signs up saying that the bike rack is just for them. The two businesses go well together, but Los Gorditos only has a couple of bike staples, which will not be enough for the summer/fall. Be nice: share.

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  • Grand Master May 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Join the Bike Temple Sunday May 30 for the Pew(k)ing Monk ride. We’ll be going to local beer establishments, including Mash Tun, Upright Brewing and APEX and drinking fresh brews! click on name above for more info or visit http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/#30-1654

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  • natalie portman May 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    bonnie (#5) took the words right out of my mouth.

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  • matt haley May 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    park bike(s).
    buy taco(s).
    buy beer(s).
    sit on patio.

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  • steve-o May 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    does anyone know if this place is open to underage guests like the Lucky Lab?

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  • P Finn May 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    should read:

    When it opened earlier this month, we heard about Apex right away from readers who were excited about the huge row of bike racks available right near the patio.


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  • BURR May 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    OK, so I checked this place out this evening.

    Their beer selection is great!

    Their bike racks, not so much, and here’s why:

    1. The ‘ribbon’ or ‘wave’ racks they are using are not recommended by the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals, because they don’t support a bike frame in a minimum of two places.


    2. The ‘ribbon’ or ‘wave’ racks they are using have about half the capacity that the manufacturers claim, and

    3. The racks as installed are way too close to the fence line, making the actual capacity even less, a very common installation mistake in PDX.

    These racks are not designed to be installed so close to a wall, fence or similar obstruction, they work best and have their greatest capacity when installed with free and clear access from both sides.

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  • steve-o May 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    why all the beef with wave racks? I’ve never had a problem securing both my front wheel and frame to wave racks with just my basic u-lock.

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  • Passer-by May 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    #11 Burr – I saw the row of racks before the place opened, and was not impressed, for all the reasons you mentioned. I’ve not been by again. Beermongers on the other corner is more likely to get my custom; their few racks are too close to the building and not any better than Apex’s, but without the self-importance, I feel more forgiving.

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  • Shetha May 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

    steve-o – they do not allow minors at this establishment. If you have kids, don’t bring them to APEX. They would have to serve food in order to allow minors, and I don’t know how Los Gorditos would take to that. What a pickle.

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  • Mabel Worth May 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    (#5) and (#7) I’ve heard the same thing about APEX’s mega-possessiveness of their bike racks. And that sort of attitude is what will keep me from checking them out.

    Seems like a “more the merrier” outlook would benefit their business better than selfishness. Best to be friendly with your neighbors.

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  • Brodehl May 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Dont forget the bicycle helmet cubbies inside. Cool place for sure.

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  • Aaron May 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    About the cubbies, yeah, nice! But don’t leave your helmet next to an nearly identical one. I went to pick mine up, and it looked the same but was too small. I left it at the bar with my phone number, but no luck getting it back. Whoever used my oversized one on their head must not care it doesn’t fit!

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  • Bjorn May 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    We tried this place out last night, a few comments:

    1. Seriously a freaking wall that you have to walk all the way around to go from Los Gorditos to the bar? I saw it precariously scaled by 3 different people while we were sitting in Los Gorditos eating, if Apex doesn’t want to be sued when someone is hurt falling off that thing in the rain they will open a walkway on the Los Gorditos side of things.

    2. They advertised they were showing the Tour of California, and they were but without the sound, would have been nice if they had at least had the captions on.

    3. It is really really loud inside, probably because the whole place is cement and they had the garage doors closed, they might want to consider some sound deadening on the ceiling or walls.

    4. On the other hand the place has a wonderful beer selection with very reasonable prices for the local stuff. We had a really good time and while we ate next door because we weren’t sure of the rules on bringing food over from los gorditos some other people brought their food in and the bar staff didn’t complain.

    So overall I like both places but it sure would be nice if the two businesses would get together so that you could easily eat off real plates at the bar instead of having to use disposables and lock up your bike out front no matter which place you might be patronizing at the moment. Honestly I am a bit surprised that they don’t have a door between them so people can just walk right into Apex with their Los Gorditos.


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