Unique, High-Energy Dance Clubs in Portland
By Meagan Shamy
Portland Local Expert
Portland, Oregon is a truly unique city and the city’s sensational nightlife is no different. In Portland you will find a true mix of nightlife including a variety of dance clubs. Portland has dance clubs playing all genres of music and for all ages. 10Best has selected the best dance clubs in town keeping the uniqueness of the city in mind. We have included Portland’s Old Town area, also referred to as Chinatown, because it is home to numerous night clubs, bars and a great place to go dancing. In Old Town you will find Jones a diner that turns one of the most popular dance clubs in town at night and Embers Avenue the hottest gay dance club in town with the top drag queen shows. We've included one of the newest Latina dance clubs in town, Conga Club, they even offer free salsa lessons! Also included is a local's favorite that offers one of the most high energy 80's dance parties in town, Lola's Room. It could be a complete list without including some bump and grind dance clubs, so we've included Holocene who hosts a night just for this type of dancing every Saturday fittingly named Booty Bassment. For the country fans we've included the Coyote Ungly themed Dixie Tavern.
During the day Splash Bar is a beach themed sports bar, but at night it transforms into a high energy dance club with a DJ or live music. The dance floor has multiple levels. The pool tables and video games are always free. Plus, they have their own version of a beer pong table and karaoke on Wednesdays. The drinks are cheap and they serve a variety of pub food. Happy hour starts at 5 PM each day. Splash was a regular hangout for the stars of MTV's Real World Portland. Check the website to see the daily specials and events. ((503) 893-5551)
Dixie Tavern in downtown Portland only serves beer that comes in a can, which goes perfect with their mechanical bull. This bar is a mix between a regular dance club and a country western bar. It has a mild Coyote Ugly theme going on and you can often find girls dancing up on the bar. Every night this bar brings out a DJ and becomes a dance club. Earlier in the evenings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays they offer karaoke. Tuesday - Sunday they have $2 well drinks and $1.50 food offerings during happy hour from 4 - 7 PM. There's a VIP area for an additional charge ((503) 220-5048)
This showbar and gay dance club, one of Portland's best and most popular, features a front bar, that is also an aquarium is referred to as Embers has performances by female impersonators strutting along the catwalk and karaoke on Sunday nights. There is a back bar referred to as Avenue that is a dance club. It's one of the area's busiest dance clubs. Patrons are enticed by the terrific music, which includes house and pop tunes. They also come to shake off the workweek frustration among friends. All are welcome, regardless of labels, and the environment is one of fun and festivity. (503-222-3082)
The Crown Room
The Crown Room is a popular hip hop dance club in the heart of Portland, next door to Magic Gardens and across from Republic Cafe. The drinks are cheap and there's plenty of booth seating, giving it an almost lounge like feel. On Tuesday's they have a DUBSTEP (electronic music) DJ, so there's usually no cover charge. They offer bottle service, bar food, and live music by indie artists on certain nights. To use a credit card you must have atleast a $10 purchase. Tuesday - Friday they offer a happy hour from 4 - 8 PM and all night on Mondays. (503-222-6655)
The Barrel Room prides itself on their original cocktail creations and delicious sharable food, like fried pickles. Inside you will either find a dj, dueling pianos or a live band. Outside on the patio a you will find yourself in a relaxed outdoor dance club much like a backyard frat party. During the winter months they put up a huge tent and the dance party continues. They play mostly top 40 hits. They do take advance reservations for tables on their Facebook page. Their Facebook page is also a great place to stay updated on the theme nights like karaoke and 80's night. (503-242-0700)
Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom
Portland bar-goers looking to dance into the wee hours often end up here: Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom. Located on the second floor directly below the Crystal, Lola's Room is home to the famous Friday night 80s Video Dance Attack, where patrons dressed in 80's garb hit the floor and dance to favorites by classic 80s icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson. Other DJ'ed dance events are held here, too, but the 80s night is most popular. Lola's Room is also famous for it's floating floor. The trampoline like effect makes it feel like your bouncing while you dance. (503-225-0047)
Holocene is a 21+ bar, dance club, and venue all rolled into one. On almost all weekend nights they offer high energy dance parties, including themed dance parties, on their two dance floors. On Saturday's it is usually Booty Bassment, a hip hop party. They always serve some type of alcoholic slushie as the drink of the day, like green tea-vodka-mint-honey or vodka, strawberry, lemonade, and black pepper. There cover charge is usually minimal around $3. As a venue they host a variety of music group. Check their website to see what upcoming bands are playing and what type of dance parties are happening. (503-239-7639)
Jones is an 80's and 90's dance club and diner in the Chinatown section of downtown Portland. The DJ mixes up the music playing top 40 songs, hip hop, and 80's and 90's music. In addition to dancing they have old school arcade games you can play and a photo booth. They have an extensive food menu including pub food and breakfast food. They also serve their own specialty cocktails. Jones has a daily happy hour from 8-10 PM with $2 Bud Lights and $3 vodka well drinks. If you get there before 10 PM there is no cover charge. If you get there after 10 PM there is a $5 cover. ((971) 271-7178)
The Escape Nightclub
The Escape Nightclub is the only all-ages gay club in Portland and the best dancing experience in Portland. Here they play the hottest and most popular tracks played by DJ Scooter. They also have an expensive light-show, including lighted floors, strobes, and occasional fog machines! The Escape is the premier nightclub destination for parties, groups, or singles! We offer an alcohol free bar all-night long and have multiple seating areas. The staff always ensure the safety of our patrons and make sure customers are never downtown alone. The Escape offers space for private parties and events* Saturdays are the most popular night and almost every Saturday is a themed night. You are encouraged to come in costume. They feature live shows at 2am with drag queens and occasionally with dance or costume contests for prizes. SAT: 11pm - 4am | $15 FR: 11pm - 2am | $10 The Escape Nightclub is a proud supporter of the LGBT community and especially the youth! ((503) 227-0830)
The Rose Bar & Lounge
THE ROSE Bar and Lounge is nested in Old Town's Historic New Market Theater. The Rose is Portland's newest nightlife destination focused on providing a warm atmosphere with a professional staff and superior guest service. This chic bar/lounge evokes an industrial, yet sexy ambiance, showcasing Rose City's local artistic talents with playlists brilliantly composed to keep your body in motion. You will discover a collection of captivating alcoholic elixirs, select indigenous craft beer and wines, along with appetizing gourmet pizzas, all for lovers of the nightlife to indulge in! (971-544-7330)
About Meagan Shamy
Meagan Shamy is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl. She has lived all around the United States, compliments of the US Air Force. After living in Texas, Mississippi, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, and Nevada, she chose to return to Portland, OR and make it home. Meagan graduated with a History and English degree from the University of Texas. Being a military wife has led her on adventures around the world, including two of her favorite places Honduras and Scotland. Her work can be found on several websites including 10Best.com and TravelingMom.com.
Read more about Meagan Shamy here.