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After 92 years, downtown Portland's Lotus bar to close for high-rise hotel project

After 92 years, downtown Portland's Lotus bar to close for high-rise hotel project (Photo courtesy Lotus bar)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- After 92 years in Southwest Portland, the Lotus Cardroom and Cafe has announced they will close later this month.

The historic bar, which is located at SW 3rd Avenue and Salmon, will be demolished to make room for a high-rise boutique hotel. The 30-foot cherry wood antique bar was made by the Brunswick Company in Chicago in the late 1880s, traveling around Cape Horn in South America and ultimately ending up in Portland.

While the restaurant will be demolished, the bar will be saved and sold. The bar's owner John Plew says the priority is not getting top dollar but finding a proper new home for it.

"My goal and wishes are that it remains in Oregon," said Plew. "That it gets put in the proper place where other people can enjoy and will really honor it for another 100 years."

Lotus has been open since 1924, when it started as a pre-Prohibition soda bar. It was rumored to have had a connection with an underground depression-era brothel, and was the first legal gambling site in Portland.

The bar will host a "End of Almost a Century" party on Saturday, Aug. 30 starting at 7 p.m. with a silent auction, a DJ and complementary food.

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