THE FABULOUS BARFLY BUS FAQ
Inquiring minds want to know...
Q. You say "23 and up"on the BarFly Bus page - what's up with that?
A. BarFly doesn't do 21st (or 22nd) birthday parties for one reason, and one reason alone - we're just not that into puke. In general, we do not allow anyone under 23 on the BarFly Bus, but we do make occasional exceptions. Think you're exceptional? Write the most sincerely pleading, kiss-ass email, ever, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone in your party must be at least 21, however. Valid ID is required of everyone, regardless of age.
Q. What's a typical BarFly Bus Tour like?
A. You'll visit a variety of bars, clubs, pubs, lounges, and dives, during a typical BarFly Bus Tour. We almost always include at least one karaoke stop, one dancing stop, and one live music stop. We are best known for our dive bar tours, and we specialize in off the beaten path, oddball joints. If you're looking to hit a bunch of downtown clubs, you probably won't enjoy the BarFly Bus (but on private charter tours, we'll take you wherever you want - including all the downtown clubs, if that's your bag!). Strip bars are only included on designated tours (like, Strip-O-Rama Tours, or Mustache Rides), and on private charter tours, by request. All BarFly Bus Tours are "mystery tours," so we never reveal details of our itinerary (unless it's a private charter, and you want to know your itinerary). All bars in Washington and Oregon are non-smoking, but many offer smoking/drinking patios, etc. Most public tours start at 7pm, and end at 12am.
Q. Who goes on the BarFly Bus?
A. The BarFly Bus attracts a real cross-section of the drinking public. We get a mix of life-long Portlanders, newcomers, and tourists, on every BarFly Bus Tour. The median age is roughly thirty, but it's not unusual to see college kids and senior citizens, whooping it up on the same BarFly Bus. The BarFly Bus welcomes, and is frequented by, all walks, from hipsters to squares, blue collars to trustafarians, gays to breeders, etc., etc., and is usually a happy mash-up of all of the above. Regrettably, the BarFly Bus is not wheelchair accessible (unless you have a fold-up chair, and don't mind being hauled bodily on and off the Bus, by your friends - please note, we ask that you notify us of any special needs, in advance). Please note, the BarFly Bus has a strict "no pukers, jerks, or fighters" policy. Violators will be promptly, and unceremoniously, ejected from the BarFly Bus.
Q. Is there a dress code?
A. There's no dress code on the BarFly Bus, per se, however costumes are required on Halloween, and mustaches are required on Mustache Rides! BarFly's inner grandma highly recommends you wear sensible, non-skid shoes, and weather-appropriate clothing, At least, bring a jacket, for the end of the night, and save your stilettos for another party! If you're in a gang, please leave all that colors/patches/vest/homicidal tendency biz-natch behind you, before boarding the BarFly Bus. Note that if you're on a private charter tour that has elected to visit a 'boom-chicka-boom-chicka' type club, those clubs may have their own dress code (as may any other establishments the BarFly Bus may visit, in general). Concerned? Please email us.
Q. Is smoking allowed? What about vaping? What about pot?
A. Sorry, Charlies, the BarFly Bus is a non-smoking, non-vaping, environment. This is includes ALL forms of smokable materials, legal and otherwise. Most of our stops will have smoking areas available (for cigs - if you want to smoke the pots, please take a discreet walk around the block. SMOKING POT INSIDE BARS OR ON BAR PROPERTY IS PROHIBITED BY LAW.)
Q. May I BYOB?
A. Again, sorry to the Charlie, but the answer is no. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the BarFly Bus*. Why no BYOB? BarFly's all about taking you out to bars, and making the scene, as it were. Yes, we have a blast on the Bus between stops, but we're not a Jersey Shore-style "party bus" company, where the main ack-shawn is on the bus, itself. Over the years, we found that folks who BYOB either:
A. Puke and/or pass out before their third stop.
B. Use the bars as pit stops, only.
C. Are non-tipping cheapskates who give BarFly a bad rep.
D. All of the above.
Therefore, we no longer allow BYOB. Feel free to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages, of course (in resealable, non-glass bottles, please!).
Q. Wait a sec - I was on a BarFly Bus that allowed BYOB! What's up with that?
A. We used to allow BYOB, but we put the kibosh on that, as of 2013. That said, we still allow BYOB on our annual fieldtrip to Mt Angel Oktoberfest, and on private party charters (BYOB permitted on charters with an additional $300 partially refundable security deposit - you'll get $100 back, in cash, if the bus is clean at the end of the night - empties all bagged up and no spilled booze, DNA, or other bodily fluids, etc.). Please note, when we do permit BYOB, we limit you to no more than two standard servings of booze/beer/wine per person, and we reserve the right to close your personal bar at any time (we'll return your goods to you at the end of your tour). Single serving containers, only (no gallons or handles of booze, no 40s or growlers of beer, no boxes/vats of vino, etc.). No glass bottles/containers are allowed.
Q. Why do you start and stop at different locations?
A. The BarFly Bus is firmly committed to thwarting any and all of our guests' misguided attempts at drinking and driving. To that end, your last stop will NOT be your pick-up/rendezvous spot. We always end the tour at a centrally-located (downtown Portland, or very close-in NE or SE) bar or club, that is convenient to public transportation, and where cabs are plentiful. We recommend that you get a ride, or take public trans to your rendezvous location, and plan on taking a cab, public trans, or having a sober friend drive you home. FYI - if it's a holiday (like, St. Pat's, Halloween, or New Year's Eve), you may find the wait for a cab to be an hour, or more, at the end of the night. Private charter BarFly Tours will start and end at your location(s) of choice - including your home, hotel, or other non-bar location(s), as you wish.
Q. Will I be seated with my friends?
A. Most BarFly Bus Tours are conducted using only one bus at a time, but occasionally, we may have more than one Bus heading out for the evening (like, on St. Pat's, Halloween, or New Year's Eve, etc.). If we will have more than one BarFly Bus, we will inform you of this when you receive your confirmation email, after you purchase your tickets. We do our best to accommodate group seating requests, but the only way to guarantee that you will all be on the same BarFly Bus is to have one person purchase all of the tickets for the group. All tickets purchased by the same person will automatically be seated on the same BarFly Bus.
Q. Do you offer group discounts?
A. A limited number of discount ticket packs are available for every tour. These tend to sell out, early, so be sure to grab one a.s.a.p. if you want to save big bucks. Discount tickets are sold in packs of 10 or more tickets. When the discount tickets are gone, tickets are usually still available at the regular price. If you have more than twenty in your group, please email info [at] barflybus.com to inquire about a group rate for your entire party. We do our best to accommodate all group discount requests.
Q. Do you offer refunds?
A. BarFly Bus Tickets are non-refundable. On occasion, we may offer you the option to upgrade your unused tickets to "Open Ticket Status," which makes them good for any BarFly Bus for one year from the date of the originally scheduled tour. There is a $5 per ticket upgrade fee. This option expires 72 hours prior to any BarFly Bus Tour, and is only offered at our discretion, and is not available for every BarFly Bus. Please send a pleading, kiss-ass, email to info [at] barflybus.com, if you'd like to upgrade your tickets, at least 72 hours (3 days) prior to your tour date.
Q. Do you do private BarFly Tour charters?
A. We sure do! Please see the BarFly Private Tour page for info about
private charter BarFly Bus Tours, BarFly Van Tours, and BarFly Stumble (walking) Tours, and general info about private BarFly Tours.
Q. What if I book a BarFly Bus private charter now, but change my mind on the date?
A. No problem! We'll re-book you for your date of choice (unless we're already booked up on that particular date - but we'll do our best to accommodate you!), when you're ready.
Q. What will my private charter BarFly Tour be like?
A. Your tour will be tailored to your tastes and specific requests. While BarFly is best known for its down and dirty dive bar tours, we do it all - clubs, lounges, pubs, you name it, we'll take you there. We'll do all the planning for you, and get you the same great deals you enjoy on our regular public BarFly Tours - no cover charges, discount drinks, and the occasional free eats, all included! And if you'd like a special theme party, trivia competition, or scavenger hunt, we've got you covered! Your own BarFly Bus Host (read: Adult Babysitter) is included to shepherd your flock, on your behalf. Your BarFly Bus Host will wrangle your group, keep everyone on time and together, and make sure that you and your guests have the best time, ever!
Q. Does my private charter have to be 5 hours? What if I don't have 50 guests?
A. Our charter rate is the same for any time period, up to five hours. In general, we recommend 7pm-12am as the best tour time, but we can do any five-hour period. Our BarFly Bus charter rate ($799) is also the same for any number of folks, up to 50. We recommend the BarFly Bus for any group of 15 or more. Why don't the rates change? Because it's our insurance that's the spendiest part of running the BarFly Bus, and it costs the same to us whether your group is five or fifty. We offer a BarFly Van Tour option for groups of up to ten. The cost is $599, for five hours. We also offer "BarFly Stumbles" (e.g. walking tours for groups of up to 20, for 5 hours, for $399). You may also book our party planning/BarFly Hosting services separately, when using your own vehicle (that is, a properly licensed/insured commercial limo or party bus, from another legit company - sorry, no privately owned vehicles), for $250/5 hours. All of the regular private party BarFly Bus info applies to all of our private BarFly Tour options.
Q. Can I talk to someone about my private party charter, before I plunk down my deposit?
A. You bet, if by "talk", you mean "email". Email BarFly's proprietor, Jen Lane, at jen [at] barflybus.com, and she'll answer all your questions. Be sure to include your phone number if you prefer to actually "talk".
Q. Do you go to Washington? How about Beaverton, Clackamas, etc.?
A. You betcha! BUT, we may charge an additional minimum of $99+ depending on location. Email email@example.com for specific pricing for your party.
Q. How long has the BarFly Bus been around?
A. The first BarFly Bus rolled out in 1999, and has been going strong, ever since! The BarFly Bus began as a promotion for the first issue of BarFly Magazine, but grew quickly into its own entity, from there. BarFly Tours is still owned and operated by Miss Jen Lane, the founder of BarFly Magazine (which is now online-only, at www.barflymag.com). There is at least one public BarFly Bus Tour each month, and we do private party charters, by request.
Q. I lost something on the Bus. Can I get it back?
A. Possibly. Please email info [at] barflybus.com for information regarding your missing belongings.
Q. I think I met 'someone special' on the BarFly Bus. Can I get their number?
A. No. But send an email to info [at] barflybus.com, and if we can identify your beloved, we'll forward your contact info to them. We also recommend that you place free "Chance Meeting" and "I Saw You" ads in Willy Week, the Portland Mercury, Craigslist, etc.
Q. Is there anything else I need to know?
A. Our lawyer would like you to know that BarFly Tours are an entirely at-your-own-risk type of activity, and BarFly is not liable for any damages, of any kind. You alone are 100% responsible for yourself and your guests, and as the fine, upstanding adult you are, you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner that inflicts no harm to yourself or others, your own or other people's property, and to generally respect the laws of our great land.
I understand I may opt-out of BarFly’s mailing list, at any time. (Note: if you have purchased tickets for an upcoming BarFly Tour, party, or other event, please hold off on opting out of the mailing list, until after that particular festivity, lest you miss any truly important emails from BarFly, regarding your tickets, secret meet-up locations, etc.).
If we ever sell-out to ‘The Man’ and any of that stuff changes, you’ll be the first to know. At this time, selling out to The Man, or anyone else, is not on our event horizon.
All of the above is correct as of October 1st, 2019.