Creepy's – Portland, Oregon - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura


Definitely not a clown bar. 


One of the founders of this singular East Portland dive has said he wanted his customers to have “something to look at at all times.” Indeed, there’s stuff to look at, and then some. Here at Creepy’s, some of the stuff even looks back. 

True to its name, Creepy’s puts on an absolute clinic in carnivalesque kitsch. But in a city whose “weirdness” is sometimes overhyped, the peculiarities here are far from performative. Case in point: When it came to decorating the space, the co-owners did little to no purchasing. Their personal collections housed enough odd-lot material to warrant the bar’s title.

They overhauled battery-powered tin toys from the 1950s, so that circus monkeys clap and drummer boys drum from behind the bar at sporadic intervals. Velvet portraits of Victorian children with bulging eyes demand a second look you may come to regret. Shoddy taxidermy ranging from a grey fox to a bison head to a six-foot-long peacock lends an air of quietus while hand-painted horror movie posters round out the doom. The crowning achievement (as per Creepy’s stated aim) is a five-foot-tall painting of John Quincy Adams looming over the bar whose plastic eyeballs—hooked to a rotating mechanism behind the canvas—scan the room at a nearly undetectable crawl. 

It’s enough to warrant a drink, or five. There are the beer-and-shot specials you’d expect from any dive as well as some standout cocktails including a mint-chocolate Grasshopper (cream-based and topped with brandy), Creepy’s Frozen coffee (made with cold brew and served in classic white-and-blue Greek coffee cups), and the Lift Tickler (gin, elderflower, lime, and cucumber). 

If you’ve come with (and maintained) an appetite, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich (fried chicken, hot honey sauce, slaw on sesame bun) and Jersey Breakfast Sandwich (Taylor Pork Roll, fried egg, American cheese on English muffin) are crowd favorites, but shared plates like deep-fried (whole) peanuts, sriracha hush puppies, and good old nachos make the cut as well. 

It’s a dedicated love letter to the tawdry and macabre, perfect for horror fans, dark senses of humor, and the general kitsch-adjacent. Check your childhood nightmares at the door.

Know Before You Go

Creepy's is usually closed on Mondays.

Check the website for hours and update

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January 10, 2022

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