Lucky Horseshoe Lounge Reopens in Southeast Portland

Inside the quaint Lucky Horseshoe Lounge that's adjacent to the Clinton Street Theater.
Inside the quaint Lucky Horseshoe Lounge that’s adjacent to the Clinton Street Theater.

The past year turned into one that was not so memorable for Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham, owners of Vancouver’s Rally Pizza. The couple ended up closing their popular and tasty pizza spot on the eastside of Vancouver after 6+ years in service on December 31, 2023.

But after the new year, things began to look a bit more promising for the couple. In mid-March they resurrected Rally Pizza as the food purveyor of Victor-23 Brewing in Vancouver. The pizzas are just as we remembered from our times visiting their original location, just now there’s a larger selection of beer choices from the reinvigorated Victor-23 Brewing.

It was also at this time that Alan and Shan announced that they purchased the 9-year-old Lucky Horseshoe Lounge in Portland. They received the keys to the neighborhood bar earlier this month. Since then they have transformed the intimate space into something and created a new Italian inspired food menu.

Our favorite cocktail at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge. Pappagallo made with a house rum blend, Campari, pineapple, and lime.
Our favorite cocktail at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge. Pappagallo made with a house rum blend, Campari, pineapple, and lime.

Keeping with this Italian theme, the couple decided to continue on with the name of the bar. The bar’s logo that’s a horseshoe is said to be an Italian good luck charm. And to keep the horseshoe theme prominent, Alan was appropriately wearing a retro Olympia Beer t-shirt last evening that prominently features the lucky horseshoe!

This move to taking on a bar with a food focus was something that seemed intriguing to Alan and Shan. It’ll be a bit different than operating a pizza place, but they are up for the challenge!

“After more than two decades working bakers’ hours, late nights, and every shift in between, Alan and I wanted to open a cozy spot where industry people can come after work and relax with a cocktail, some tasty snacks, and much-needed vegetables,” said Shan. “We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and neighbors come through after a shift or on their day off.”

Lucky Horseshoe Lounge is a cocktail focused bar that’s compliment with an Italian-American food menu. Alan will be utilizing his Italian-American upbringing, and his family’s love of Italian fare.

The Pork Cutlet Sandwich and Fried Meatballs at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.
The Pork Cutlet Sandwich and Fried Meatballs at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.

The food menu is one that features many small plates that complement the sandwiches and pasta dishes. For starters, the menu focuses on snackable bites, including polpettine (little fried meatballs), fried chickpeas, Calabrian chile eggs diavolo, and various small salads and veggies highlighting local farm-fresh produce. The bites are priced from $6-$8 and the salads at $12.

When it comes to sandwiches these are enhanced slider sized, larger than a standard size but larger than a typical slider. Choices include a Meatball Parm Sandwich, Pork Cutlet Sandwich, and Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich each priced from $11-$12. Currently there are two pasta dishes – Spaghettini Fritti, spaghetti fried with cheese and spicy, garlicky marinara at $10 and Cacio e Pepe Mac and Cheese at $12.

The Eggs Diavolo and Taralli with Tonnato and Sicilian Mayo at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.
The Eggs Diavolo and Taralli with Tonnato and Sicilian Mayo at Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.

For dessert, this is where Shan steps in. She’s the one that made Rally Pizza just as known for its frozen custard menu as it is for its pizza. Since the frozen custard menu didn’t make the cut at the newly revamped Rally Pizza at Victor-23 Brewing, you’re going to have to swing by Lucky Horseshoe for her desserts.

And to keep with the Italian theme, Shan has switched from frozen custard to gelato for a menu with a basic gelato that will rotate flavors and three other more indulgent options. With it comes a Fancy Gelato Sundae, Zeppole, and an Italian Rainbow Cookie. The gelato is made in-house and offers a selection of rotating flavors. These desserts range in price from $5-$10.

Being served an Old Pal at the newly revamped Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.
Being served an Old Pal at the newly revamped Lucky Horseshoe Lounge.

But what really shined during our visit last evening was the Italian leaning cocktail menu. These cocktails are ones that feature Italian vermouths, Amari, and liqueurs, including their version of a Negroni Sbagliato made with Lambrusco Rosé. Our favorite was the Pappagallo that consists of a house rum blend, Campari, pineapple, and lime. A perfect cocktail for the warmer evenings ahead!

Beyond the cocktails, Lucky Horseshoe offers Italian wine and five rotating taps. Currently the tap list includes offerings from Rosenstadt, Gigantic, Double Mountain, Steeplejack and Bauman’s Cider. These beers are rounded out by a few lowbrow canned beers including tall boys of Old German and Pub Beer, each affordably priced at $3.

Lucky Horseshoe Lounge is open Thursday 3pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 3pm-12pm, Sunday – Monday 3pm-10pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). The food menu is also available to-go, and diners are welcome to bring food to the Clinton Street Theater next door, which allows for outside food. There are seven picnic tables outside, four of which are under cover. Minors allowed until 9 pm.

The newly remodeled Lucky Horseshoe Lounge in Southeast Portland that's adjacent to the historic Clinton Street Theater..
The newly remodeled Lucky Horseshoe Lounge in Southeast Portland that’s adjacent to the historic Clinton Street Theater..

Follow Lucky Horseshoe Lounge on Instagram at its new handle, @luckyhorseshoeportland.

Lucky Horseshoe Lounge
2524 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

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