Teardrop Lounge’s Owner on the PDX Cocktail Scene

You’d think that, as the owner and operator of Teardrop Lounge (Portland’s cocktail mainstay since 2007) and a partner in The Commissary (a juice and syrup business) Daniel Shoemaker would have been born with a knack for mixing drinks. But according to an interview with Eater, his, and Portland’s, rise to cocktail stardom took a bit more work than one might expect.

Relocating from San Francisco to Oregon in 2006, Shoemaker is quick to note his own initial weariness about the whole bartending endeavor. “I ridiculed them loudly for taking it way too seriously,” he remembers, referring to conversations with friends in the Bay Area who would later go on to pioneer San Francisco’s cocktail scene. The city of Portland seems to have been just as hesitant. “When I first moved here, cocktail programs had kind of stalled out. We were stuck,” he says.

Things have changed significantly in the eight years since. Today, with one of the country’s most vibrant cocktail landscapes, the lines are blurring between Portland’s low and high-tier bar programs. “People can [now] realistically expect a solid drink at a much wider swath of establishments.”

More cocktails for the masses? We’re in favor. [Eater] [Photo: Flickr/Stuart Seeger]