1308 SE Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97214
Hal’s will always hold a fond place in the hearts of the TFC because it served as the proving ground where our group cut its shuffleboard teeth. The deep dive atmosphere that once weighed the place down like a rusty anchor has been lifted by a post-smoking-ban makeover. What has not changed is the peerless vintage shuffleboard play and the bar’s deep commitment to protecting the enduring tradition of the game. The immaculately preserved and cared for table is a testament to the rightful respect for one’s elders. With a working vintage scoreboard, spotlit surface, excellent puck set, ample play supplies, and regulars well versed in rules and etiquette, this little hole in the wall leaves little for the shuffle-ista to want for. Despite the makeover, the ghost of Hal’s deep dive past still lingers. However, the ghost is much better than the street drunks that used to hang about waiting to steal sips of your beer. A recent youth movement has mixed in with the old guard which can make things a bit uneven at times, but if you wish to play shuffleboard in Portland, you should start here. We did and are reminded why on each pleasant return trip. Omission of this shuffleboard gem is simply inexcusable.
Long narrow, train car shaped dive bar with the spotlit shuffleboard at its heart, in complete walk-around. Terrific neon sign and wall mural invites with authentic old Portland character. The pool table is tucked behind the shuffleboard, but there is no secret which game is the king here. Video poker and multiple tvs add a bit of unnecessary visual junk to the place, but it’s not all that bad. Internet juke keeps the ears filled with rock and pop from the 70s onward. High tables on the west side provide proper perches for watching the action. The bar stools also sit up a bit and give the best views of the table. Good liquor specials and usually a few alternative taps to go with the cheap American brews. Quite a few unexpected food surprises from the kitchen. Friendly, no-nonsense service offers a refreshing alternative to the hipper-than-thou that pervades so many Portland establishments.
Arguably the very best table in PDX, this mid-fifties American has stood the test of time under the tender hands of its caretakers. The crackled yellow finish on the cradle, the well worn horse collars, and the vintage scoreboard make this table a bit of a time capsule. The plank has that subtle vintage character that only a well kept lacquer table can produce. There are slight curls and bends, but nothing extreme. The table is consistently set up to play fast but eminently fair. Watching a gently placed weight float effortlessly down its perfectly lit surface is a thing to behold. This table is simply a treasure. It is no wonder that getting a beer anywhere near it will get you kicked out quick.
Scoreboards: On vintage scoreboard mounted above. Scoring buttons on cradle sides. One light out and one button malfunctioning, but that’s life after 50+ years right?
Weights & Supplies: All the fixins.Triple Crown puck set; #1 wax (very fast); board wipe, t-square for disputes.
Cost: 50 cents per game; Put quarters on the table to challenge.
Tournament Play: Cash tourneys every Friday night and Sundays. Open to all. No entry fee. The bar pays out to winners.