I like the Holocene, I really do. The place hosts some of the best bands and live acts in Portland. I love ATLAS on the 2nd Saturday of the month- international music, lots of dancing- great fun! I don't like the set-up of the place. The front room is too big, and the back room is too small (and the bands usually play in the back room. Open the whole place up! Or make the rooms equal-sized. Also, these folks could definitely use two bar areas. The lines can be attrocious. The drinks are perfect, but expensive. Occasionally some good happy hour specials, though.
My husband's 10 year highschool reunion took place at Holocene. The bar staff was extreamly prompt and helpful and the atmosphere was perfect. Plenty of places to sit, plenty of room to mingle and an ove rall open, comfortable feeling. It was a great place for a private party and I would recomend it to anyone!
The house Pinot was great!
PROS: easy parking, great wait staff
i understand portland, so i was in this hip club the other night, dressed right and patiently standing in a long line waiting for a drink. as i was talking to that sweet piece next to me i noticed something that disturbed me greatly... don't get me wrong, the staff were definitely hot and bust it, but there was a clueless rude suburbanite expecting to have his booty kissed just because he was there. not going to happen... also, the crowd was just good looking, not great. luckily i was saved by two things - my favorite bands come here and it has a great scene.
Pros: staff is hot and bust it
Cons: could have better looking crowd
Wow, do the people who serve you drinks think they are super cool. I spent a fun night here (fun because of the people I was with) with the bartenders looking down their noses at me and my friends. Nary a smile, a thank you, a kind word. We felt like the uninvited guests. The only cool person was the guy at the door. The rest of them must belong to the super cool secret society. And the drinks they pour are weak and get weaker throughout the night. I did hard time working in a bar, I'm pleasant and I tip very well, (the first tip was $5 for one drink) but attitude like this makes me stop tipping after a while. I wonder if anyone has told them that being cool (actually BEING cool-not just thinking you're it) will get you more and bigger tips.
A note to those bartenders and servers: you're no better than anybody coming into that establishment. Pour my drink (and put some booze in it why don't you), treat me like I'm another human being, and lighten up.
Pros: Location, Cool Doorman
Cons: The Bartenders and Servers
so, i am rarely the coolest guy in the room and on some nights i feel reminded of this fact more than i'd like, but i like the shows, and the drinks are nice and generously poured. always something different, sometimes its way too crowded, and its hard to get a drink let alone walk around sometimes, but i've seen the most eclectic interesting and weird shows there. nothing like it. i feel like i'm beginning to "get" portland, and don't feel so put off by certain things, but i understand how some of the other reviewers have felt uncomfortable. the blonde bartender is always sweet though, and i recommend going on less busier nights.
Pros: clientele, scene
Cons: if you don't understand portland you won't like it here
Holocene has so much potential, but it has been a disappointment time after time. I always come with a high energy fun attitude and end up leaving early, angry and upset going back to the bars that have respect for their customers, and quality drinks.
The bartenders are rude, mixing weak drinks with and zero personality. Multiple times I have waited in line for 20+ minutes finding at the end a bartender that barely acknowledges you. We were even kicked out once when I confronted my bartender about being next in line. She told me I will get my drink when she tells me, and proceeded to serve others who were behind me. My girlfriend was very upset and asked her to serve us! The bartender went to her manager and he kicked us out stating that they chose who to serve and who they don?t. That was my second drink of the night and I was very upset that they would dare to treat someone who wants to pay them like that.
The music has never been a huge success, the sound has been a bit off, the times I?ve been there.
The space is open and very cool! However, the smoking room seems to leak smoke out and makes for a nauseous feeling for nonsmokers.
Overall, I guess I don?t fit in. We like quality drinks, good music, and respect? you will find non of this at Holocene.
Pros: Cool building!
Cons: Bartenders, Managers, Drinks, Lots of attitude!
I had gone online to read some reviews of the place before heading there; most of the reviews were negative reports about rude staff and long lines but I decided to try it anyway. My girlfriend and I were able to get right in- through the doors, anyway. Thankfully the line was inside where it was warm.
There were probably 20 people in front of us. We waited for over an hour, watching about 60 people leave, while the door staff let close to 50 people in who we were told were either "VIP" or "Employees". We witnessed about 30 people leave the line after waiting for much too long, but after an hour we were close to the front of the line.
The guys in front of us were told to leave, after waiting for an hour and a half, because one of them was wearing a button down that wasn't buttoned, with a t-shirt underneath. The kid kicking him out said he "was told that he had no choice" and looked very uncomfortable. The guy buttoned up the shirt, had nice jeans and dress shoes and looked like every other guy in there, and they still kicked him out. After waiting in line for an hour and a half without a word from the staff before then.
After they were kicked out my friend and I were next and we asked how much longer they anticipated the wait to be, and the uncomfortable 18 year old manning the door told us at least an hour. We of course left, along with about 10 others in line. It was obvious that most of the guys working there had no clue what was going on. Good luck Agency. Unless they change their practices, with bad business decisions and poor treatment of patrons, The Agency won't be open for long.
Pros: Line is inside
Cons: Everything else.
I've been around Portland for a while now, and Holocene is pretty much my favorite small-scale venue in town. The crowd and such are usually dependent on the night and who's playing... sometimes it'll be totally empty and other times so busy you can barely walk through the place. My favorite nights are usually in between... a lot of amazing electronic music artists come through the Holocene and although the dance floor is pretty small I always feel comfortable there. Bar service has never been a problem for me (except with huuuge lines but that's not their fault) and the bartenders definitely know what they're doing. The smoking room is pretty gross... I usually end up going outside for a cigarette but its nice that they still have the option (at least for now). Chill door people and usually pretty reasonable covers. I'm sure I'll be going back to Holocene for quite a while.
Pros: Cool ambiance and decor, good music for the most part
Cons: Small dance floor, attracts annoying hipsters
I've been here once, and would go back again. The look inside is awesome, with a mixture of grunge and beauty. It's just the kind of place I would design if I had a bar. Just sitting back and watching everyone and everything is fun. The "living room" area is good if you want to have a conversation, and if you want to dance it up head in to the dj room. The night I was there (it was a Friday), started off a little slow, but by the time I left the dance floor was packed and there was about a 5-7 minute wait to get a drink (not unreasonable for how busy they were).
Overall, if you like djs and dancing, and a cool vibe at the same time, it's a great place to go.
Pros: Good vibe, good music
Terrible customer service, bartenders are very slow and some rude. Drinks are ok, average price. Music wasn't that great either, I suppose it was a theme night cause all they played was indian music. Not enough places to park.
Tart night at Holocene is a great place to meet single gals looking to dance and have a good time. The drinks are great but the service is slow. Staff is friendly and mixes drinks well, though, so it makes up for speed.
Seating is comfy and the place gets pretty full. No smoking guarentees you won't go home smelling like a stale ashtray.
Muisc is a good mix, so you may get sweaty. DJs spin latin/dance/pop/hiphop, but the transition from one song to the next can be choppy, leaving dancers stranded in mid-motion.
Overall it's a fun place to dance and meet great people.
...and the international channel seems one click above public access.
I like Holocene, been there quite a few times, but the place often just has its head up its hiney, and the service is pretty crappy, but these days, that's merely par for the course.
One evening, somebody got on the mike, turned the music off, and started talking about the fundraiser they were doing, and didn't shut up for about 10 minutes. People HAD been dancing, but many of them just went elsewhere when it was obvious someone didn't know what a Friday night at a dance club was for.
A different evening, a DJ's time was up and for whatever reason the music was just shut off right in the middle of a song, while people were dancing no less.
On the other hand, the hey-we're-doing-some-art-thing-here vibe and comfy old warehousey building feel make the place great even if your drink is late and the music just got turned off in the middle.
And the no-smoking thing is very nice. Even if it is all just cooped up in a stinky plastic-door corner.
If you don't like art, international music, or maybe having to put a little effort into something, you may be better off at that sports pub back home in Beaverton. The one with Freebird in the jukebox.
Pros: The biggest mixed bag of people you'll find all having fun together
Cons: not always very well executed
Well if you like the normal downtown scene, you will not fit in at this club. Immediately when we arrived, I knew it wasn't my kind of place. Can you say grunge? I felt so out of place in my designer jeans and camisole, since the majority of this crowd was wearing thrift store clothes from the 70's and 80's. The Saturday night we went, they had this strange brass band playing, with stilt walking men, and circus type atmosphere. We had one drink (which we stood in line waiting for in 10 minutes), and then left this weird club.
I honestly dont know what the fuss is all about the first time i went to Holocene, my friend was the Dj so i stuck around for support but after he was finished and left it was so dead only probably 16 people in the whole place, the second time i went and it being not in the middle of the week but a saturday i thought more people would show and it was still a skelton crowd i dont recommend it if you like the social scene but if u want somewhere quiet and mellow this is cool for you
Pros: open spaces for you to dance since there are only 5 people dancing at a time! but the door guys are nice
Cons: dull, not exciting, didnt keep my interest
Late one friday night, I was happy to go to Holocene and see what kind of dancing they could offer me. No cover made the place very attractive.
They've got great atmosphere and when DJ Safety Scissors started up, the tiny crowd really got their groove on it. I just wish more people had stayed as late so it would have felt more like a dance floor.
I'll go again.
Pros: smoke-free dancefloor, good dj, cool but fun crowd
I've been to a lot of clubs. Holocene does EVERYTHING right. Creative/highly entertaining/pioneering acts are booked, the bartenders are THE BEST and most experienced/dedicated/skilled bartenders I've EVER seen. The drinks are HEAVENLY. The crowd is uber-hip, the club itself is as well. I am straining to think of a negative and I can't. This place has EVERYTHING you could ask for, I go at least once a week, I couldn't possibly miss getting my fix. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Holocene. I totally enjoy the experience everytime. Don't mistake this place for trendy Portlandism (if there is any), it's THE TRENDSETTER. Big difference. They can't help they are so kick a** second-class bars try and copy but can't possibly. Go there and you won't regret it, I mean every word in this post. Have fun.
Pros: Service/Drinks, Music, Atmosphere
good brazilian dj not enough promotion.Noththeless a good underated club with alot of potential.
I met up with friends here looking for a good cover band and a fun ending to the night. That is just what I found. Very industrial, like I walked into the back stage of a modeling shoot or something. Everyone was very rocker-trendy and dancing to a random line up of old and new fav's. Bartenders were pleasant and efficient with good price on drinks. Mixed drinks were average in taste. No smoking on dance floor or bar area which was so nice...special room just for the habit. Fun social scene...good place to wrap the night up with dancing.
Pros: Dancing, Social, Music/Live
I did Holocene. A friend from out of town and I hit visited this place and found the staff (especially the front door girl) to be extremely welcoming to us middle-aged folks. The DJ was fabulous. We waited a while for our drinks, but the bartender was very sweet.
Pros: dj, relaxed atmosphere, not a meat market
the most fun in portland for my friends and I, have almost all been at holocene. From film screenings, to great local djs and not so local ones, laptop battles, their Gongshow and shows of local fashion, it has always taken things a bit further then our other Portland nightspots.
I am not sure what place "too cool for school" was at, but service has always been unbelievably intuitive, needless to say kind.
Pros: very mixed crowd, friendly service, smoking room
The atmosphere and music at Holocene are very appealing. It is spacious and relaxed and I looked forward to meeting friends there last weekend. About 30 minutes after arriving, I regretted suggesting it as a meeting place. The service is deplorable. The bartenders never look up and take stock of the situation- they don't have any idea who is next in line, they don't make eye contact, they seem more interested in what they are wearing than they do in their customers. I've got news for the owners of what could be a very intriguing night spot - BARS ARE A SERVICE INDUSTRY. You are losing money and customers by hiring inexperienced bartenders. They may think they are coming across as hip, but most will take their lack of interest in basic service as being rude. I'll take my business, money and friends somewhere else.
Pros: music, atmosphere, room
Cons: , mediocre drinks, rude people
Checked out this place last week with a group of friends- we went after work for drinks and food and we were not disappointed in any way. The drinks were ample and creative, the food quite good. The music was not too loud so that you could not have a conversation in the lounge area. It was my birthday and the staff was very kind and accomodating to all of us. Sure, its a great place to go and dance, but don't overlook it as a great place for a drink and a light bite - great for casual dinning and sharing of plates. We'll be back!!
Pros: Food, Atmosphere, Staff
I am so so so glad this place opened. Holocene and Dunes together have made it worth going out again in this city. Very cool places with people that are down to earth and just nice.
I thought the Ugly Ducklings show at Holocene the other day was kind of lame. But every other night (8+ total) that I've been there the music has been just fantastic. I've seen really good jazz there, so many great DJs, and some great European electronic acts (Momus, u-Ziq, Funkstorung).
The lounge is gorgeous and comfy. The back room is kind of sterile. They need more lighting for act. I especially love the dance nights that are in the lounge. Lots of people crushed on the makeshift dance floor in the middle of the sofas. So many good dancers and so so many lovely women, who have been hiding out somewhere apparently.
Pros: delicious cocktails, wonderful crowd, super booking
Cons: bar slow when crowded, backroom lighting
I was pleased when I walked in the club. It's a mix of industrial and modern. Very clean and upscale. The music was very good despite what the other reviewers say (obviously the music varies depending on the DJs). We had a great time.
I think the music is decieving. I read a killer review in the Mercury all about a 3 piece band with turntables that plays downtempo beats with a hip-hop flavor. Show up just after midnite, that band is done and DJ Indie Rock was spinning. What is that? How do you go from downtempo to indie grunge? The place looks real cool, and best of all it is right next door to SASSYS!
The place is cool. The feel is nice. The night I was there had the world's WORST music. It sounded like dying Orcas. The first words out of my friends mouth was, "you have to see this... no NOW... you have to see this." And it wasn't good <*smile*>. Check before you go about the music, but the space was very well done.
Pros: ambience, service
Cons: MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC