Dec 27 2016

Back in October, fresh off his booksigning at Powell's, Bruce Springsteen stopped by the Tavern & Pool for lunch with his buddy Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and other works. Sounds like the start of a Portlandia skit, but it actually happened. And one of our T&P regulars, Catherine Graham, was there not just to capture the moment, but in some ways to bring things full circle.

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Dec 20 2016

You may have been to Bob's Bar at the Grand Lodge, named for Mike and Brian's dad. And now we have added another Bob into the mix - you can never have too many Bobs.

Below is the original artwork by Jonathan Case, accompanied by the excerpt from the freshly minted Nobel Prize-winner Bob Dylan's book Chronicles, now the name of one of the new guest rooms created as part of the renovation of the building's remarkable (and formerly unfinished) attic space.

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Dec 13 2016

Snow and ice are once again forecasted for the greater Portland and Willamette Valley regions later this week. Thanks to all our staff who kept our pubs, hotels, theaters and music venues open during last week's storm - it would be interesting to see how tater tot sales ratcheted up those couple days that schools were closed. (And a special thanks to our staff in Bend, who are probably thinking, "Who cares about snow? What's the big flippin' deal?Jeez.")

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Dec 7 2016

There is a new round of coasters out, and here we are to give you a little background on each, before they are set on the tables only to get soggy, stained, shredded, drawn on or collected by the coaster hoarders.

Artist Lyle Hehn designs our coasters, using his own artwork or that of one of his fellow McMenamins artists. Their explanations or inspirtations for the pieces are provided below. Cheers.

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Dec 1 2016

Each of these images included in this week's blog is associated with a different McMenamins property. How many can you name?

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Nov 21 2016

Every summer around the late Jerry Garcia's birthday, McMenamins celebrates his legacy by throwing a free-wheeling party. It's a wonderful day in tribute to a man who inspired legions of fans with his music. And at Edgefield, we honor Jerry year-round with a 7-foot-tall bronze sculpture in his likeness, a piece that draws his longtime admirers, curious hotel guests and others into its quiet, tree-lined grove just off the Pub Course.

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Nov 16 2016

As you may well know, the newly opened Art House at Old St. Francis School celebrates the work of the artists who have lent their talents to our properties, making them come alive with color and history. Here is another of the original murals and accompanying artist's statement, this one from longtime McMenamins collaborator Kolieha Bush.

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Nov 8 2016

This Election Day, while we wait to see the results from the ballot boxes, we should remember one of the most well-known sibling rivalries of Pacific Northwest politics. Abigail Scott Duniway and her brother, Harvey W. Scott, who went head to head over women's suffrage in Oregon in the early 20th century. Both of the Scotts have McMenamins hotel rooms named for them - Abigail Scott Duniway at Hotel Oregon (near her Lafayette, OR, community) and Harvey Scott at the Grand Lodge, where he was the first graduate of Pacific University as well as the future editor of The Oregonian.

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Nov 1 2016

On Thursday, November 10, we're pleased to host the premiere of OPB's Oregon Experience documentary "Vanport" in the Kennedy School Theater. The event is free and guests of all ages are welcome.

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Oct 28 2016

Its quite safe to say that The Freak Mountain Ramblers are an institution in the McMenamins music community. Going into their 12th year as a Great Northwest Music tour regular, not once but twice per season, we wanted to chat with The Freak Mountain Ramblers about how this relationship came to be, and to rehash some great memories they've made with us over the years.

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Oct 25 2016

Last Wednesday, 10/19/16, was a strange, unnerving and destructive day in Northwest Portland. A natural gas explosion caused extensive damage, but fortunately (and amazingly) no lives were lost. Credit for that goes to the quick, thorough action of first responders, who evacuated everyone from multiple buildings at the intersection of NW 23rd Ave. & Glisan St. The Rams Head, of course, is just at the other end of the block, but luckily all of our staff there is fine, and the pub sustained only minimal damage. We're already back open for business!

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Oct 20 2016

Can you guess from which McMenamins properties these photos and images were taken? Have a look, and then see the answers below...

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Oct 11 2016

For more than a decade, Mary Topogna had a shop on NE Killingsworth in Portland called Hail Mary. It was a local institution in the neighborhood. A 2011 article in Portland Monthly said:

With her mosaics, Tapogna makes magic of the discarded bits of everyday items that the rest of us would toss in the trash. For instance, broken plates and cups, like the pieces I sweep up in my kitchen periodically, one of my foibles being a propensity to break my favorite china and glassware (not on purpose). I should drop them off at Hail Mary...

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Oct 4 2016

On Sunday, October 16, as part of the Art Pub Series, the Mission Theater will host the King of Indie Animation Bill Plympton. Not only will he screen his brand new short, Cop Dog, along with other selected shorts (a.k.a. Plymptoons)., but he'll hand out a free sketch to each attendee! Pretty cool. Tickets are just $10, on sale now at etix.com.

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Sep 27 2016

On Thursday, October 6, the Kennedy School Theater is hosting the Portland premiere of the documentary Bridging Urban America about world-renown civil engineer and bridge architect Ralph Modjeski. Among his many structural feats are the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco, the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia and Portland's own Broadway Bridge.

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Sep 21 2016

Edgefield Winery's 2015 Poor Farm Pinot Gris is soon to be released, and this year, the label features this work by Lyle Hehn, called Match in the Attic, which is installed at Anderson School in Bothell.

The women shown were based on three of the four daughters of Ben Boone (also pictured below), whose phenomenal story includes links to frontiersman Daniel Boone, cattle-rustling during the 1890s Gold Rush, legendary author Jack London, Mike and Brian's grandfather Charlie Wentworth, rodeos on the Squak Slough and 85 cases of whiskey.

 

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Sep 6 2016

We are in the process of updating and compiling history sheets for all our properties, and last week I was able to spend some time in Sherwood, OR. Not only is it the site of our Sherwood Pub but it's the source of some really fantastic old stories.

This idyllic little bedroom community southeast of Portland was named by Money magazine as "among the top 50 best places to live in the United States" in 2013. But back in the late 1800s, things were different - Sherwood (originally referred to as Smockville) was considered "a tough town," with "rowdyism and drunkenness," a place where "gunplay was not unusual and street brawls were common."

Read on for a great story from 1890, one that would lend itself quite well to an original painting by a McMenamins artist...

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Aug 31 2016

As you probably know, each room at the new Art House at Old St. Francis School is named for the title of a painting done by one of the artists who have lent their talents to McMenamins properties.

Artist Damian Zari has a wonderful and distinctly different style from what we are used to seeing at our properties – for example, he uses an air brush to spray the paint onto his canvas (whether the canvas be a wall, a piece of fabric or the human body). Below is the piece he did for the Art House, his summary of his influences for the work, and his bio. 

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Aug 24 2016

On Saturday, 9/10, all are welcome to the 10th Annual Slabtown Festival, celebrating the history of this NW Portland neighborhood It's a big day -- and all big days deserve a parade, some beer and a healthy dose of history.

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Aug 16 2016

Anyone out there familiar with the Ramona Quimby books? Yeah, we thought so.

Since school is starting back up in just a couple weeks, this month's History Pub at the Old Church in Wilsonville is geared toward kids, including kids-turned-adults, about beloved author and McMinnville native Beverly Cleary's Oregon.

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Aug 9 2016

Here is another piece written for the Anderson School in Bothell, WA, about an intriguing character named Nicholas Oeconomacos. (First things first - it's pronounced: uh-con-uh-MOCK-us)

Oeconomacos was an elite musician who played for kings and queens and lords and ladies in celebrated venues around the world. So how did he end up in Bothell, WA? Read on...

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Jul 26 2016

Here's the story of another Irishman (along with his predecessors Father Luke Sheehan and Father Dominic O'Connor) who made his way around the globe to St. Francis School in central Oregon -- and then nearly burned the place down, minutes after his arrival. Today, Father Bill Coughlan has a room named after him in the new Ed House in Bend.

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Jul 19 2016

Imagine moving to a new place and literally having to hack and chop your way through the woods with axes in order to get your car (or, in the case here, a team of oxen) to the road (in this case, river) so you can go grocery shopping, visit friends or make it to the doctor. David and Mary Ann Bothell, namesakes of Bothell, WA, did just that and more as pioneers of the Sammamish River settlement.

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Jul 12 2016

In just a few weeks, we open the Art House at Old St. Francis School, where each room is named for the title of a painting done by one of the artists who have lent their talents to McMenamins properties. Each artist was asked to paint a mural that represents his or her experiences or inspirations from working with McMenamins. Below, read about Olivia Behm's contribution as well as her journey as an artist with the company.

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Jun 28 2016

Have you heard of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? Invented by three college kids in 1994, the premise of this parlor/drinking game is to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and prolific character actor Kevin Bacon. (For examples, see The Oracle of Bacon.) While we don't have a Bacon connection (that we know of at the moment, still working on that), we did discover a connection between McMenamins and . . . THE BEATLES.

Boom. [mic drop] * Yes, we are well aware that Ringo Starr has played at Edgefield. That counts; but keep reading...

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Jun 21 2016

Next month, we open the Ed House at Old St. Francis School, in which each room commemorates a teacher or educator from the former St. Francis School. And the month after that, we fling open the doors of the Art House, where each room is named for the title of a painting done by one of the artists who have lent their talents to McMenamins properties.

Each artist was asked to paint a mural that represents his or her experiences or inspirations from working with McMenamins. Below is just one example of the lovely pieces that will adorn the Art House - Brenna White's personal interpretation of longtime McMenamins artist Lyle Hehn's signature style and work, along with her description of the panel and biography.

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Jun 14 2016

Outdoor concert season has begun -- to quote Max, king of all wild things, "And now, let the wild rumpus start!" We are heading into our 11th season of Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn, with this summer's shows kicking off this weekend. But did you know that the original series started way back in 1994?

Recently, a Facebook fan of McMenamins History commented on a photo of a '94 Edgefield Concerts poster: "I went to Indigo Girls! I've been looking to purchase this poster!!!!" So we sent her a vintage poster, in exchange for her memories of that show for the history archives.

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Jun 7 2016

Our new Ed House at Old St. Francis School is scheduled to open July 1. The 17 lodging rooms are named in honor of inspiring teachers from the school's past, including one for Fr. Luke Sheehan, already the namesake of our Father Luke's Foundation Room.

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Jun 1 2016

McMenamins photographer Kat Nyberg had the opportunity to sit down with Saint Motel before their show at Crystal Ballroom on Saturday for a fun, spontaneous interview and photo shoot. Find out why the Crystal is one of their favorite venues, where babies come from, and other interesting topics. It was an amazing show for everyone, and the interview was a fun bit of spontaneity for both Kat and the band.

Thanks for a great night guys!

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May 31 2016

Our new Ed House at Old St. Francis School is scheduled to open July 1. The 17 rooms will be named after past teachers at the school, including Kathleen Heppner, "the last nun standing."

Written by our newest History Department co-worker, Emlyn Bruns.

 

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May 27 2016

Think you're pretty good at identifying McMenamins properties? Can you guess which ones these photos and images represent? Answers given below - no cheating, now...

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May 10 2016

This is an emotionally difficult story to read, but ultimately a positive and rewarding one. McMenamins artist Jonathan Case, whose work is shown below, lost his child several months ago. Otis was just 20 months old when he had an unexpected seizure and passed away in the hospital on January 21, 2016. As a tribute to their son, Otis's mom Sarah Zollner Case launched a powerful movement of generosity in their son's name, a wave of kindness that has since traveled far and wide over social media.

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May 9 2016

Are you a member of the Crystal Ballroom’s “Join The Band” loyalty program? Now through the month of June we’re rewarding points for all food and beverage sales in Al’s Den and the Annex.

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May 3 2016

You may have heard that next week, we launch into orbit the 17th Annual UFO Festival in downtown McMinnville. If you haven't yet made it to this colorful, mind-expanding festival, you should make it happen. It has become a Pacific Northwest "bucket list" item for many, attracting guests from around the nation.

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Apr 26 2016

One of our rooms at the Anderson School in Bothell, WA, is named for a colorful character named Elmer Carlberg. Born into what were still frontier conditions in the years just after Washington gained statehood, Elmer would live long enough to bear witness to the futuristic Space Age of the 1960s and beyond - always keeping an eye on the past.

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Apr 21 2016

With so many exciting new projects and properties on the horizon, we're pushing back construction on the new hotel and event space at our Cornelius Pass Roadhouse location to fall 2017. What does this mean for you? Tons of shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception spaces available for NEXT SUMMER! (And Spring and Fall! Woo hoo!)

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Apr 20 2016

This week, we are hosting the next installation of the Art Pub series at the Mission Theater: "SPILL: Excerpts from the Original Theatrical Production."

This event, featuring the work of McMenamins artist and theater/visual artist Reeva Wortel, poignantly marks the 6th anniversary of the most destructive environmental catastrophe in U.S. history. Read more below...

 

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Apr 12 2016

Last year, we organized the monthly Paranormal Pub series at the Mission Theater, co-sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, as a way to help promote our annual UFO Festival (coming up on May 12-15 at Hotel Oregon). Along with UFOs, aliens, abduction experiences and more, the Paranormal Pub series focuses on "other topics and phenomena not currently part of consensus scientific knowledge and belief" - like ghosts!

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Apr 5 2016

Born to a pioneer Washington lumber family, Harold "Pop" Keeney would in turn, become a pioneer in his own right. With a coaching career spanning nearly thirty years, Keeney (and the Keeney name) became synonymous with Bothell and Northshore regional sports. Once heralded "as the finest and smartest high school coach in the state," Pop had more trick plays up his sleeve than a big top circus magician. His mastery of game tactics won him a devoted following from fans and team members alike, and it was his boundless energy and love for the game that helped him take his teams to numerous titles. His namesake, Pop Keeney Stadium, rising just behind Anderson School, is a lasting tribute to this most special and resourceful man.

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Apr 1 2016

Think you're pretty good at identifying McMenamins properties? Can you guess which ones these photos and images represent? Answers given below - no cheating, now...

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Mar 15 2016

Ruby's 30th birthday is this coming Monday, March 21. This light, fruity, raspberry beer is one of our best-selling recipes. Who among us hasn't heard from a guest or customer at least once, "I love Ruby!" Thanks for that, and CHEERS! In 1986, McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery & Public House became the first brewery in the Pacific Northwest to legally use fruit in the brewing of ales.

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Mar 8 2016

Beginning in the late 1800s, the coastal enclave of Gearhart, OR, was a favorite home-away-from-home for many Portlanders, as well as those from Salem, Olympia, Seattle and beyond. Rustic cabins next to elegant Victorians and fancy resorts (precursors to our own Gearhart Hotel), a pleasant summer climate and a wide stretch of sand dune-fronted beach made it an ideal spot for those who had the means to support multiple households and months-long getaways.

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Mar 1 2016

Hooray, the stout is out! Today marks the annual release of our McMenamins Irish Stout, on tap now through the end of the month.

From the McMenamins brewers themselves: "McMenamins Irish Stout is made as traditionally as possible with our own little twist. It is a very dark, ebony-colored stout with a thick, creamy and long-lasting head. The flavor is a fantastic fusion of coffee-like roasted barley bitterness and semi-sweet chocolate. A moderate hop bitterness balances pleasingly with this hearty backbone, while tiny nitrogen bubbles enhance the sensation on your taste buds with a smooth, silky creaminess."

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Feb 23 2016

At the corner of Main and what is today's 102nd Ave. NE in downtown Bothell, there stands a towering fir tree. This fixture has stood since the 1800s, a witness to a population booms, a survivor of Bothell's series of devastating fires in the early 1900s and a calm observer of the community's rapid growth and development.

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Feb 16 2016

On May 12-15, we'll hold the 17th Annual UFO Festival at Hotel Oregon in McMinnville. The city's parade, live music and tin-foil-covered-people-watching are undeniably exceptional. But it's the presentations by leading scientists, investigators and experiencers from around the world that have garnered great respect and praise, resulting in a growing reputation for the overall event as one of the most well-balanced, open-minded UFO conferences in the nation.

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Feb 2 2016

On Thursday, January 28, not one but two members of Jefferson Airplane passed away - Paul Kantner and Signe Toly Anderson, both 74 years old. Anderson was raised in Portland and sang lead vocals on the band's debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966). Shortly thereafter, she decided that life on the road was not for her and her newborn baby (with husband Jerry Anderson, one of the Merry Pranksters). She also had concerns about the record contracts the band was being offered by RCA Records.

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Jan 26 2016

"I wanted to share with you all the lovely experience I had with Mary Sligh, the widow of Willie Sligh whose portrait I did for the project. She saw that I had done a painting of her husband and sent me an email to thank me and tell me how much it meant to her and her family to remember Willie in this way. We exchanged emails and I gave her a print of the painting, then she sent me this picture of Willie's son standing in front of his Dad's painting at McMenamins! What a great validation of how the Bothell project (as well as all McMenamins) has and will continue to touch so many people!"

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Jan 19 2016

History Pub. Classical Pub. Paranormal Pub. And now Art Pub. The Pacific Northwest is rich with artistic culture and legacy - to name just a few, glass artist Dale Chihuly, figurative abstractionist Mark Rothko, cartoonist Matt Groening, modern dancer Bonnie Bird (from Bothell, WA, and a classmate of another famous dancer, Merce Cunningham, who was from Centralia, WA).

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Jan 13 2016

Today a remarkable life is given a deserving spotlight, Benjamin F. McAdoo, Jr. He was an innovative, award-winning architect who helped design the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, a leading Seattle Civil Rights leader, and friend of the first ambassadors from the first independent Black African nation. During his most active professional years, Ben McAdoo and his wife lived in Bothell and their kids attended Anderson School! A guest room at McMenamins Anderson School is named in his honor and below is the write-up that celebrates his far-reaching achievements.

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Jan 5 2016

It was Thursday, May 29, 2008. Former Mission manager Mike Wyant recalled recently:

"We sold around 150 tickets. Capacity was 400. She was a very sweet woman and blew us all away with her voice. I remember the cleaning crew was there and her bass player asked if they could have a closed sound check. I said no because we didn't have a place to send the cleaners."

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