You’ve probably passed by Rontoms and not even known it. There are no flashy signs, banners or neon flickering. In fact, there’s no sign. The only sign even signifying the fun within? A shadow of a man with an umbrella. The walls are painted a drab green and it’s easy to saunter by on your way to Sizzle Pie (review to come), the delicious pizza joint doors away. It’s understated, yet stylish when you take notice. That goes for most things at Rontoms. The drinks, food, and attention to detail present themselves in a way that feels like silk to the senses.
The walls have been torn back to the basic structure, with exposed beams and open cement and metal frame climbing up the wall. With just a few splashes of color the room is brought alive along with lighting that is always just a hair too dark. The gaping room is open and comfortable. And this is all you’d know, really, if it’s your first or even second time here. That’s because behind the bar there’s a walkway which leads back to what you’d think is the kitchen. Instead it leads you outside to one of the most beautiful outdoor Portland patios available.
There is a ton of space out back. There are more than a hundred people outside on a Friday night and it’s all hidden from the street. The bamboo island lends a nice touch, as well as the rock beds surround the outdoor seating. I know what you’re thinking… this is Portland. It rains. Rontoms has that covered, literally, with enough space for everyone protected under an architectural brilliance. The fire pit keeps you warm, the exterior bar makes it convenient and did I mention the ping pong table? Prepare for a challenge.
…All of which might lend to how delicious this drink tastes in my hand. That, or the quality ingredients. That needn’t matter. What does is what a great spot this is to come and relax. Just know, you’re now in the heart of East Portland, so non-hipsters beware – there’s a lot of flannel and mustaches here. Worth it? Worth it.