Birch Street Uptown Lounge serves up the classics

New bar has vintage vibe in downtown Camas

A new business has a 1920s look and a Frank Sinatra vibe. Diners at the Birch Street Uptown Lounge are likely to hear the stylings of “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” as well as songs performed by Tony Bennett, Glenn Miller and Tom Jones.

The Uptown Lounge opened Dec. 3, in downtown Camas, after a four-month renovation project in the space previously occupied by La Reve Boutique. The new business is located in the historic Clara Street Building, which was built in 1928.

Lounge owners Kevin and Marlene Taylor, along with bartenders Dennis Kinsey and KJ DeBoer, serve pre-prohibition and classic cocktails, four varieties of whiskey and a selection of draft beers and international and Washington wines.

Top sellers include lemon drops and Manhattans.

“We move plenty of Negronis, Sazeracs, Monkey Glands and Vespers as well,” Kevin Taylor said. “Our sales data, thus far, certainly suggests people in Camas are interested in cocktail culture without having to drive into Portland.”

Northwest products include Pacifique absinthe, distilled in Woodinville, Wash.; Counter gin, from Seattle; Dry Fly whiskey, from Spokane; and Medoyeff vodka, New Deal vodka, and Aviation gin, from Portland.

Non-alcoholic beverages include Pepsi products and lemongrass, cucumber and juniper berry soda from the Dry Soda Company.

Food options include meat and cheese plates, pulled pork sliders, and gourmet macaroni and cheese.

The photographs on display are from the Taylor’s collection and the Camas-Washougal Historical Society.

The bar fronts are antique doors turned on their sides, and the main bar front was constructed of two large mansion doors, according to Kevin Taylor.

“The small side bar is another standard sized antique door,” he said. “The bar counter tops were purchased from Washougal Lumber.

“We utilized local suppliers and contractors to complete our project,” Kevin added. “It was important to us to do as much local business as possible, as these vendors will be our customers in the future.”

Painless Ric’s Tattoo Parlor donated a “VIP room door” to welcome the Taylors to the neighborhood. The door actually leads to an upstairs storage area, and it is only accessible by a ladder.

The lounge has some design elements taken from bars owned by Kevin’s brother, Brian Taylor. He operates Pencil Factory Bar in New York, Daphne’s in Edmonds, Wash., and Daphne’s Fairhaven, in Bellingham, Wash.

There is an antique, non-operational cash register, below a clock where time stands still.

“It’s always 5:05 somewhere,” Kinsey said.

Gift certificates are available to purchase.

Birch Street Uptown Lounge, 311 N.E. Birch St., is open Monday through Saturday, from 4 p.m. to midnight. Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. The lounge will be open extended hours for New Year’s Eve, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, call 210-7219 or email BirchStreetUptownLounge@yahoo.com.

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