PORTLAND, Ore.—Jackknife, a destination bar and lounge, is now open in the lobby of Sentinel, Provenance Hotel’s new Portland location that debuted in March in the former Governor Hotel. The hotel is situated in two historic buildings in the heart of downtown’s resurgent West End.
Reinventing the classic hotel lobby lounge with a modern sensibility, Jackknife is the creation of two of Portland’s favorite barmen, John Janulis and Jake Carey. In recent years, Janulis’ Bye and Bye and Sweet Hereafter and Carey’s Dig A Pony have helped define the bar scene on the East side of Portland’s Willamette River.
In constructing Jackknife, Janulis and Carey assembled a team of hands-on business partners that included Liam Duffy, Ben Hufford, Clyde Wooten, and Ian Davis to help them design the space, source materials, fabricate interior elements, and do all carpentry and welding. Drawing on their skills as tradesmen and architects, Jackknife’s owners rolled up their sleeves and worked closely with Provenance Hotels and their partners Woodbine Development Corporation to take full advantage of 4,000 square feet of street level lobby space in Sentinel’s East Wing. Using the iconic hotel lobby lounge as a jumping off point, Jackknife is open to Sentinel’s lobby to encourage engagement between the spaces. While it has a separate street-facing entrance, patrons can also enter from the lobby itself through antique wrought iron gates that once served as the elevator gates for the historic property. The bar team rescued the relics from the hotel’s basement, restored and repurposed them for Jackknife.
Jackknife winds through a variety of distinct architectural spaces that have been stripped down and completely renovated with reclaimed wood and handcrafted details. The bar team tapped into local resources like Portland-based Rejuvenation who gave them access to their entire stock of vintage lighting. Guests will be able to perch at a gently curving 65-foot, 50-seat white Carrera marble bar and sip cocktails beneath an ornate vintage stained glass ceiling and authentic reclaimed Art Deco hotel lamps; curl up under one of the many original oil paintings by Portland artist Juan Casas with a pint of beer next to a double sided fireplace; or enjoy a glass of bubbly in a speakeasy-style niche created in the former alley where Sentinel’s two historic buildings were joined in 1992. Never before accessible to the public, this space was reclaimed by Janulis and Carey and now offers cozy banquette seating with views through what was once the building’s exterior windows, into the bar and hotel lobby.
Jackknife will specialize in creative cocktails, craft beer, and bubbly from around the globe. Bar manager Justin Diaz has designed a house cocktail menu, as well as a series of classic hotel cocktails inspired by sips made famous at the world’s great hotels. On the culinary side, Chef Erik Paulsen has created a tempting menu of snacks, salads, soups, and sandwiches.