Monday, February 17, 2014



Location: 4612 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, USA

Opened: 2000

Closed: July 2013

Here is how Kathy Beige described Dingo's at The review is undated, but as the piece also mentions the Egyptian Room, a Portland lesbian bar that closed in October 2010, it must predate that time.

Dingo’s, a lesbian-owned restaurant and bar is THE place to be on Thursday nights. The margaritas and lime chicken enchiladas are not to be missed.

Then there is this review from Barfly, which is decisively less enthusiastic:

Not hard to imagine a Dingo's outside every twenty-second century left-coast megamall brightly-lit, colorfully-decorated, family-friendly franchises serving up a vaguely-Mexican-themed cuisine and vaguely-dyke-themed nightlife.

It's possible, of course, for the average clientele, enjoying a microbrew on the benches dotting Hawthorne's still singular enterprise, to remain blissfully unaware of either, of course (presuming it's not Thursday's Lesbian Speed Dating night), until your kid inquires about the 'Priscilla Queen Of The ’Ritas!' cocktail. 

Long enough established to be a Hawthorne fixture, but service and food have run decidely downhill in the last couple of years.

The consensus at Yelp (and a few other sites) was that the Mexican food at Dingo's was pretty awful. While there are some 99 reviews in total, there are comparatively few references to this also being a lesbian place. So it definitely appears most folks remained "blissfully unaware" of the dykes hanging about.

The first reference is in the very first posted Yelp review of Dingo's from Chrissy S. in October 2007:
A March 2013 event at Dingo's

I may be a southern belle, but I am still super left in terms of thinking. My friend Laura (not a Yelper) is gay and she was suuuuper excited to go to Dingo's which is supposedly a lesbian run taco bar, for Gay Margarita Night. I was totally down with this plan, (even though if there were a Ryan Gosling Look-a-Like Margartia Night, I probably would've  high-tailed it thata way instead!)

Nevertheless, while Chrissy enjoyed the drinks, she hated the food and overall service.

In summation, if you are looking for a gay friendly hangout and you don't want to eat anything but chips and guac, come here. Down some yummy Margaritas in as many flavors as you can stand. But expect to invest in the property...'cause you ain't goin' nowhere, baby.

Sorry, Dingo's. You suck!

Then there's Chris S. in July 2008, who played the role of condescending @$$hole dude most admirably:

a bar/restaurant with lots of lesbians called a Taco Bar makes me giggle.

Here's Katie P. in November 2008, who is just judgmental. If you're all bent by the sight of women kissing, then why are you here?
Dingo patrons hamming it up

I seriously can't remember the last time I had food that bad.

If you want to watch girls play tonsil hockey, however, this would be the place to go.  The lesbian scene here is impressive but depresses me, c'mmon ladies, isn't there a place you can hang out at that has good food and descent service? Don't you think you're worth it?  I didn't have a drink there but apparently that's where it's at.  They should close down the food, just do chips and that crap salsa and make it a larger bar.

The ever condescending Chris L. returned for encore performance in January 2009, and regurgitated his earlier comments. Boy, is this guy clever or what? And folks can't figure out why a lot of lesbians don't like dudes hanging around their scarce space.

The Leggy One mentioned off hand that Dingo's was a lesbian taco bar; this in of itself really has no bearing on the review...but those familiar with my debaucherous mind can imagine the images this phrase conjured in my immature brain.  Plus, I just like saying "lesbian taco bar".  It kind of rolls off the tongue and it makes me giggle. The same giggle when I think of the Pink Taco in Vegas.  

Robin K. in April 2009 said similar things:

we came here for "Girl's night out".  What we saw, was not even close. We were expecting a happening cantina type feel.  Semi-loud music, margarita's flowing, big bar, talkative atmosphere, etc. What we got instead was a taco bar with a lesbian staff.

A lesbian taco bar? you'd think that was start to a bad joke.  A nun, priest, and rabbi walk into a lesbian taco bar......

Then there were the oh-so-liberal dudes like Darrell L. This is from March 2010:

I'm not uncomfortable with Lesbians. But this place kind of had the vibe that the people who worked there, and the patrons didn't want you there. So they can have their wish. We will never go back. Burp. That hamburger is coming up now, gotta run.

Then there is Wayne C. in August 2010:

Food yucky, service questionable. I loved the company. Por que no! across the street, I was jealous of those people, even the lesbians.

The last Yelp review is dated December 2013. However, the Facebook page reports that the last day was July 31, 2013. Here's the farewell notice:

After 13 unforgettable years,(well...maybe we forgot a little) it is with many mixed emotions we announce Dingos will be closing its doors on July 31st.

Being a part of this community has been a great gift to all of us. We need to thank our daughter Saci, for running Dingos better than we ever could. Our bad ass staff, past and all have made our world a better place. We will never forget our amazing and loyal customers who have supported us for so long. have until the 31st to get your Dingos on!!!!

Big loves..Tiff and Diane

According to this article, Fado Portuguese Kitchen & Bar now occupies the site.

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