I had no idea about Portland's deep and long-running history of strip clubs. Stemming from an Oregon law forbidding any regulation of free expression, the city founded as a nexus of lumber and shipping welcomed strip clubs. Portland has a lot of strip clubs and a lot of variety. They now, sadly, have one less.
I had one of the most entertaining nights of my life sitting at a bar in Portland's Pearl District. To my right was a woman who worked at a, if not the vegan strip club in town, and was proudly telling me all about the place. I was shocked to learn many clubs had delicious food and were considered family-friendly dining. Another off-work dancer farther down the bar explained her establishment served the best southern fried chicken in the city!
A lively discussion ensued between two professional artists passionate about their industry and art. After describing the food and demonstrating pride in their places of employment, the performers began arguing over which dance hall had the best show and which was more explicit. They were highly competitive, and it was hilarious. I have ever since loved Portland. They also have the nation's best bookstore.
The Sandy Jug, a former filling station and luncheonette turned one-of-a-kind Portland strip club, has closed, according to a sign placed in the jug-shaped building's small parking lot.
Built in the late 1920s to resemble a moonshine container, the distinctive building has been featured in art books and roadside attraction guides alike. At various points in its history, the Sandy Jug has also included a towering oil derrick and an 8-ball stopper painted at the top of the jug.
More recently, both before and after the jug was rebranded as a Pirate's Cove strip club the Northeast Sandy Boulevard structure was known for its cheeky signs reading "packed with gluten" or the mysterious "Tyler hates it here."
Featured Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by John Margolies, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-MA05-1]