Oporto’s website states, “you’ll find the usual continental lagers, refreshing ciders and hearty bitters on tap, all perfectly kept and cooled, but that’s not what has seen customers flooding back every evening for over 15 years.” Well, they got the “usual” part right, but for our tastes the beers were a bit too cold and we didn’t see any hearty bitters. The beer selection is certainly not the worst we’ve seen but it’s ordinary at best: Tsingtao, Cusqueña, Tiger and Leffe in bottles and Tuborg, San Miguel and Guinness on draught. (Since when is Guinness a hearty bitter?) The value is nothing to shout about either, but in line with Call Lane (£3.80/bottle).
What they do claim has the customers flooding in are their selection of spirits and the great live music in their back room. The choice of liquor seemed okay, but any place that aggressively promotes Jägermeister makes me immediately suspicious. They do have a small stage area in the back and the website gallery shows off the many acts who have come through.
Rich said that the atmosphere reminded him of the roadhouse in Twin Peaks; it definitely does have a bit of an American feel to it. And since October, neon signs have pulsed in the windows advertising their “Dogging Club,” serving hot dogs for £3. We didn’t try them, so if you do please let us know how they are! There are rather garish murals on the walls of some kind of diabolical French theatre scene just to round everything off.
So the beer is meh and the atmosphere didn’t really get us excited. Bottom line: we probably wouldn’t come here except to catch a gig or if we had a hankering for a hot dog and Primo’s was closed.