One of Portland’s oldest, largest gay bars is closing

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Embers Avenue, pictured here during Portland Pride 2017, is closing after almost 50 years of serving patrons in downtown Portland. / WikiMedia Commons, courtesy of Another Believer

Embers Avenue, a gay bar and staple of Portland’s Old Town Chinatown, just announced it will close its doors in 48 hours after nearly 50 years in business. The bar first open in 1969 and will remain open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, ceasing operation on Friday morning.

According to a post from Embers’ official Facebook posted around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, Embers’ owner Steve Suss suffered a stroke, which leaves Embers to “no longer operate as a business.”

Through Facebook, an anonymous page administrator verified details about Suss’ stroke and condition, but asked those specifics not be published without the consent of Suss or his family. The administrator declined to provide their identity without family or managerial permission.

Embers, located on the corner of NW Broadway and Couch, is featured on travelportland.com and frequently highlighted on LGBTQ travel and culture websites.

The Oregonian included Embers in its May 2017 list of best places to dance in Portland (Vanguard also included Embers on a similar list in January). Embers is located just outside the police-protected border of Old Town, Chinatown’s entertainment district, as is every neighborhood LGBTQ-catering nightlife business, including Darcelle XV’s Showplace, CC Slaughter’s and Stag PDX.


This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly. 

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