Actually, the lobby of the Sapphire Hotel is as far as you'll get when you visit these days. And for all intents and purposes, it's far enough. The Sapphire maintains the edge its enjoyed since its inception in the early 1900s. Then a gathering place for the quirky and lightly mannered; cool before cool was cool, it now is the great-grandparent of PDX hip. The candlelit scene keeps the conversation low and the alcohol levels, therapeutic. With cocktails like: You're Not My Real Dad, Retrosex, Winter Isn't Coming and Floozie, what could possibly go wrong.
The hotel rooms are long gone, but the kitchen still hangs around. The menu maintains a simplicity and charm of another era. An order of the salmon corn cakes with a Sapphire salad will easily sustain, but why stop there. Go for the fully-loaded Sapphire burger, have another pop and regroup for the ginger-vanilla bean creme brûlée.
The best thing about the Sapphire is the hang time. It's out on the bleeding edge of Hawthorne, so once you get out there, you'll tend to want to linger. The atmosphere encourages it with a sharp wait staff supported by bartenders that roll the dice to delver concoctions you can't get just anywhere. Happy hour tends to evolve into happy evening, even happy night. I'd say it was a gem, but that would be stating the obvious.