I flew into Portland for a weekend trip with some friends, we stayed at an awesome AirBNB studio in SE PDX. I wanted to do something interesting but also wanted to have fun with my friends. I remembered I had seen Ghosthunters on TV about the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland. If you are not familiar with this, they are a network of tunnels in Portland that run underneath the Old Town/Chinatown area down to the central downtown section as well as to the water of Portland. The tunnels connected basements of a lot of the different bars and hotels in the waterfront area off of the Willamette. Officials say that they were used so businesses could avoid streetcar and train traffic on the streets. But, Historians have stated that although the tunnels were used for businesses transporting goods it was also used in the practice of Shanghaiing patrons of the bars and hotels. Shanghaiing is the practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors or essentially slaves.
As this practice does not sound great, seeing the history that exists did sound like a fun and interesting evening. We started our evening off at Shanghai Tunnel which is a two story bar, half of the bar is underground and resides in part of the existing remainders of the Shanghai Tunnel system. http://www.shanghaibarpdx.com/
After having a few cocktails at Shanghai and grabbing some pizza at the window from the pavilion around the corner, you could also choose to grab some VooDoo Doughnuts if you wanted. We decided to go to the Annex, which is another underground bar, located right off of W. Burnside, there is an upstairs that is a wide open layout. Downstairs though is where the unique and interesting layout comes into play. It is a very unique cellar bar. They like to call it a subterranean cave to enjoy your drinks. Many nights a week they have music or stand up comedy in the back where there is a stage. As one of my favorite bars I have ever been to I highly suggest the experience. I am not sure if the Annex was part of the Shanghai tunnels or not, but I sure could imagine it being part of it. http://www.shanghaibarpdx.com/