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The Drunkest States in America: See Where Oregon Ranks

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


What’s the drunkest state in America? Our information partners at Find The Best measured the states with the most bars per 10K people. Oregon has 6.64 bars per 10k people, which places it in the top half of the country. 

The “most sober state”, or the state with the fewest bars per 10k people was, not surprisingly, Utah, with only 1.73 bars per 10k people. Utah, the home of the Mormon Church, has extremely complex liquor laws that until 2 years ago required someone to become a member to drink at a bar. 

The “drunkest state” is Wisconsin, home of the Milwaukee breweries. With 12.57 bars per 10k people, the drinking culture of the “badger state” is well supported.

Here in Oregon, we love our IPAs and craft whiskeys. Oregon has more bars per capita than either California (3.31 bars per 10k people) or Washington (4.58 bars per 10k people).



Related Slideshow: Portland’s Seven Sketchiest Bars

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Island Pizza & Deli

Meth was sold on multiple occasions inside Island Pizza & Deli, sometimes with the bartender nearby, according to the OLCC. On one occasion in 2013, the bartender sold marijuana to an informant, and on another occasion, an employee of Island Pizza & Deli personally delivered marijuana from its premises.

A patron also delivered methamphetamine to an informant inside the business in 2012, according to OLCC documents.

Fifteen incidents occurred in a 13-month period, either inside the premises or nearby, that involved intoxicated patrons, harassment, fights and drug sales, according to OLCC records.

In May 2013, Island Pizza & Deli was issued with a notice that its license was at risk of being suspended. Island Pizza & Deli gave up its liquor license and the commission issued it a “Letter of Reprimand.” 

Photo Credit: kaktuslampan via Compfight cc

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Mandy's, a bar on the border with Portland and Gresham, racked up 83 incidents in a 19-month period. Employees kept a log of “incidents,” documenting all the drug use, drug deals, violence, public urination and visits by the police, according to OLCC records,

“Must be a bad batch of dope out there, most people very on edge tonight,” reads one entry recorded by an employee. 

In 2012, an employee wrote in an incident log that three patrons asked if they could do a line off the bar. The employee thought it was a joke until, the patrons did just that.

In response to all the problems, the owners of the bar hired someone to provide security, according to records. However, the only problem was the person wasn't certified to provide security. In November of last year the bar had its license pulled.

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Soobies is a strip club off of 122nd Ave. that serves juice. That's because it got its license to serve liquor suspended last year for allowing patrons to take open containers outside, allowing minors on the premise, hiring bouncers who didn't have the right certification and allowing two entertainers to engage in a “physical altercation.”

Records also describe fights, urination and a report of inspectors observing a woman enter the men's bathroom and emerge one minute later with a “white powder-like substance” around her nose and upper lip. Another report states that a 17-year-old danced at Soobies using someone else's identification. One visit from the Portland police noted that the cook was “visibly intoxicated.”

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The Crown Room

The Crown Room used to be part of the Old Town/Chinatown nightlife, but now it's shuttered. In June of last year, the owners were issued a letter of reprimand from the OLCC, who also recommended that the establishment's liquor license not be renewed.

The word “punch” is used frequently in describing incidents at the Crown Room: patrons punched employees; employees punched patrons; patrons punched patrons, according to OLCC records,

Inspectors also faulted the establishment for keeping the lights too dim. Under Oregon law, bars should be lit well enough to read a newspaper.

However, the worst charge against the Crown Room, according to records, was an employee confiscating fake IDs from minors trying to enter the bar and then selling them back to them.

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Blitz Pearl

Blitz Pearl, a sports pub in the Pearl District, drew the ire of the OLCC for failing to kick out drunk and unruly patrons and for allowing minors to be on the premises. However, Blitz Pearl is still in operation after it cut a deal with the OLCC that involved paying a $12,045 fine, hiring certified security, being more vigilant about checking IDs and not serving patrons so much booze, records state.

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Couture Ultra

Couture Ultra shut its doors after 43 incidents occurred in an 18-month period. A number of fights occurred at the Old Town/Chinatown bar, according to the OLCC.

The OLCC found that Couture Ultra hired security without the proper certification, had an intoxicated employee and served minors. The OLCC also took issue with the establishment's “Fun Cup Wednesday,” where patrons could get a cup for $5 and get unlimited refills, which is illegal under Oregon law.

In May 2014, the OLCC recommended that the bar's license not be renewed. 

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Fontaine Bleau

The bar that drew the most attention from the OLCC was Fontaine Bleau, a nightclub off of Northeast Broadway Street. Neighbors complained repeatedly about the loud “bass” being blasted from the club. Police were called a number of times in 2013, sometimes finding guns on patrons.

In February 2013, Portland police were called to a report of gangs fighting in the premises while other patrons hid in the restroom, according to records.

In November 2013, a fight broke out after someone sprayed the crowd with a bottle of champagne, according to records. One patron was knocked unconscious. After regaining consciousness, the patron stepped outside and shot and killed another patron, causing a 200-person riot to erupt, according to records. 


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