When Willie Played the Yukon Tavern

A long history creates a lot of memories, and that’s true for both people and places. At the Yukon Tavern in SE Portland, those memories are of a rough and tumble bar, with rowdy customers and the great music they love.


The Yukon has hosted many great bands throughout our long history in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood. There’s even a rumor floating that Willie Nelson stopped in at the Yukon during his early years playing along the West Coast. Of course, the audience loved him and his band and he packed the house every time.


I can easily picture ‘the red-headed stranger’ in the back corner, strumming his way through his 1969 song, Buddy. The Yukon Tavern would be just the type of bar that Willie would have felt right at home in. The long bar puts you shoulder to shoulder with other like-minded beer lovers. Pool, tabletop shuffleboard, and card games are available to the people who like to take a chance on their luck, and the staff is always ready to serve up a nice, cold draft beer.


The Yukon Tavern still welcomes musicians during their “Open Mic Nights” every Wednesday night at 9pm. Join us every week to enjoy local artists, or strap on your own guitar and perform for the crowd. Each band is given 10-20 minutes for their set, depending on the number of performers present, and it’s always free to get in.

The signup list is posted from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and the final line-up is posted at 9:00 pm. Come early and enjoy happy hour specials at 3 to 7:30pm and 10pm to close.


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