The Marathon Taverna

Don’t forget your ID if you’re planning to grab the Marathon’s cheap gyros after a Timber’s game, there’s no getting past the gatekeeper. This divey bar on W Burnside has provided many a good time to me, my friends, and complete strangers. The space is immense, providing room for a sports bar area focused on the big three–football, baseball, and basketball–and generally populated by a different cultural subsection than I tend to run in. Around the corner are tables, then pool tables, and the television is more likely to be showing ‘alternative’ sports like soccer, Aussie rules football, or Formula racing. They try to run a pretty tight ship at the Marathon, but it’s definitely happened that people got a bit rowdy from time to time, though I’ve never seen a brawl there. I recall one time I was helping my buddy Adrian celebrate his birthday, and for some reason it seemed like a good ide to pick him up, causing him to grab the table, and the rest is history. Or at least everything that was on the table is. Good times, for sure.

I mentioned the Gyros earlier. For like $4-5 your drunken self can obtain the wonderful combination of a gyro and fries to fuel further adventures. With bread, thin meat, veggies, tzatziki, and feta, it’s really all you need to conquer the world. Well, you might need a second if you’re that ambitious.

The Marathon is a full bar, so they’ve got liquor and probably crappy wine in addition to their decent beer selection. I’m not thinking of any surprises in the tap selection, but they have a thorough selection of the downtown standbys, like Mirror Pond, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Widmer Hefeweisen.

Often times, people will play entire albums on the jukebox. The tunes tend towards hard rock, which is well within my realm of acceptable tunes, and a fair amount of what the radio terms alternative music. The Marathon is located at about W Burnside and 18th. Check it out, but don’t wear something you mind getting smoky. Best enjoyed in groups.

  • Bud Wizer

    I started going here when it was the Acropolis. The owner (Gus) or his brother owns the Acropolis II strip club on SE McLoughlin. Back then it was strictly a beer bar for aging alcoholics. The old alkies still go there but tend to hang out at the west end while the youngsters prefer the pool tables at the east end. The food at the Marathon is decent for a tavern although they have some strange combinations (like if you order a steak it comes with fries and potato salad). They also keep the beer very cold and normally have lower prices than other downtown taverns.