Wednesday, July 21, 2004

History and Good Eats

Just a few more words on the McMenamins empire and then it’s on to other things. Here’s some info on a couple more of their historic properties.. Grand Lodge is located in Forest Grove, OR. It was opened in 1922 as a Masonic and Eastern Star Home for the aged. In 1926, a children’s cottage was opened for orphans, but that only lasted a few years. Apparently, “relations between the elderly and the children” were “less than harmonious.” Imagine that!! Grand Lodge became part of McMenamins in 1999 and opened in 2000. Like the other historic properties, it has a hotel, restaurants and bars, movies, music and other events. To tempt your palate, the breakfast specials this week include eggs benedict florentine and cheese blintzes. Lunch/Dinner customers have a choice of grilled steak burrito, muffuletta wrap (ham, salami, provolone and olive relish in a four tortilla), buffalo burger and vietnamese style hoagie.

Kennedy School is located in Portland, OR. It opened in 1915, when the area had few people but lots of rabbits. (There was a law that made it illegal to shoot rabbits from the street car.) Many of the students lived on the outskirts of the city, without benefit of electricity, water, sewer or telephones. The school was much used in the community, until its last year of 1974-75. Although there were many opinions of what should be done with the facility, the McMenamins were able to acquire it and start renovations in 1997. In October of that year, the “original principal’s bell was rung on the front herald the old school’s new beginning...” Some choices from the menu: for breakfast, lemon ricotta pancakes with marionberry sauce or a breakfast banana split. For lunch or dinner, try Tandoori chicken salad, pizza marguerite or a pesto veggie calzone!

Olympic Club Hotel & Theater, built in 1913, is located in Centralia, WA. It has 27 renovated guest rooms, a theater pub and the New Tourist Bar. Next door is the 1908 Olympic Club saloon, pool room and cafe.

Hotel Oregon, located in McMinnville, OR, was built in 1905. Among its many incarnations are lodging, “restaurant, lounge, dance hall, bus depot, Western Union office, beauty parlor, soda fountain.” The rooms have been named after some of the colorful characters that used to frequent the place.

The newest McMenamins will open at Old St. Francis School in Bend, OR this fall. Former class rooms in the circa 1936 building are being turned into “lodging rooms, a pub, brewery and bakery, movie theater...and a Turkish bath -style soaking pool.”

So take your pick, but where ever you are in OR and WA, a McMenamins probably isn’t too far away!


At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are making me hungry!


At 4:38 PM, Blogger Kris said...

Hi Kerry's Mom, Sue Gee,

My brother is a long-time McMennamin's employee, and I gotta say, I have almost as much love for the company as you do. I visit him when he tends bar at Ringler's and The Crystal Ballroom, and he often floats me a free beer and tales of pub tomfoolery. McMennamin's gives its employee benefits, and from what I hear, is a generous employer. My three favs:

1. The Ram's Head
2. Ringler's
3. The Blue Moon

There's also a McMennamin's movie theater in my neighborhood! The Mission, on NW Glisan. Beer and movies. Yum.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger suegee said...

Too bad we are all so far apart - we could have a McMenamins night if we lived closer together!


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