During his years as bar manager at Clyde Common, one of the defining bars in Portland, Oregon’s cocktail culture, Jeffrey Morgenthaler never dreamed of owning a bar. But it’s funny how a global pandemic and the resulting business closures can change your mind. “Losing my job is what did it—I wouldn’t have left Clyde Common otherwise,” Morgenthaler says.
When an opportunity came along for Morgenthaler and former Clyde colleague Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg to open their own bar at the KEX Hotel, the situation just seemed right. Pacific Standard debuted last June, and while there are stylistic similarities between the two bars, Morgenthaler says the details are all new, such as approachable drinks like the Seville Orange Sour and an All-Day Bloody Mary. “I know a lot of people expected me to bring things over from Clyde, but that didn’t sit right with me,” he says. “And I wanted to do a bunch of new stuff, too, because I have no shortage of ideas.”
Later this year, the duo plans to introduce an original menu for the Sunset Room rooftop bar and to create more of a stand-alone concept, making the best use of the Pacific Northwest summer.
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