Updated: Jul 12, 2018
What is McMenamins All About
McMenamins looks to save landmarks in Oregon and Washington and restore them for the public to enjoy while also keeping its integrity alive and compiling as many stories of the history of these buildings to share with the public. There are currently 49 McMenamins properties in Oregon and Washington combined. The properties are a combination of restaurants only and restaurant and hotel combinations.
To quote the McMenamins website:
"Our goal is to keep the past in the present, to celebrate and connect us all with the people and events that have helped define each McMenamins property. To that end, we research, interview and compile materials to identify and commemorate our properties and their surroundings."
One of my favorite parts of the McMenamins that also have a hotel is that when you stay at one, you basically don’t feel like you ever have to leave to be entertained. Most of the hotel properties have two restaurants and several bars you can just stumble across. It's like exploring a bit of history.
If you know anything about me, you also know I am SO FASCINATED with all things haunted. Because McMenamins finds properties with history, there are often reported hauntings at some of the hotel properties and plenty of stories to go along with it. One example of the amazing history of these properties is at Edgefield:
This property was built in 1911 and functioned as the Multnomah county poor farm. It was like a self-sufficient community complete with a farm, laundry, kitchen, and hospital wing. In 1962 it was renamed Edgefield Manor and operated until 1982 when it closed. The property was bought by the McMenamin brothers in 1990 and that is when renovations began.
A ghost story about the property:
"There are two places at Edgefield that are supposed to contain ghosts. In the old hospital wing over what is now the winery, people are suddenly come over with sadness, and a nurse has been seen wandering the halls. In the administrator's a young girl (said to be the old administrator's daughter who died young) has been seen wandering, guests have had their ankles held in the middle of the night, and a black man in tattered clothing has been seen."
There are currently 10 hotels with 2 set to open in 2018 and 2019. They are:
Anderson School - Bothell, WA
Crystal Hotel - Portland, OR
Edgefield - Troutdale, OR
Gearhart Hotel - Gearhart, OR
Grand Lodge - Forest Grove, OR
Hotel Oregon - McMinnville, OR
Kennedy School - Portland, OR
Old St. Francis School - Bend, OR
Olympic Club - Centralia, WA
White Eagle Saloon and Hotel - Portland, OR
Elks Lodge - Tacoma, WA (opening 2019)
Kalama Harbor Lodge - Kalama, WA (opening 2018)
I have stayed at two of the hotels (Hotel Oregon and Grand Lodge) and hope to stay at more in the future.
There are currently over 60 McMenamins restaurants all over Oregon and Washington! When you visit a McMenamins restaurant, you can expect the same quality from each! Check out where the restaurants are located by CLICKING HERE
"McMenamins has been offering handcrafted ales, wines, spirits and Northwest pub fare for more than 30 years. Whether you're sipping a pint of Hammerhead at your neighborhood pub, bringing out-of-town visitors in for a meal or celebrating an occasion with friends and family, McMenamins is the place to go."
Not only are they a huge hotel and restaurant franchise, but they also make their own beer. The menu will vary by location but there are some staples to the menu, including:
McMenamins Irish Stout
"Secret Beer Menu"
Another fun thing to do when visiting a McMenamins is to order off their "secret menu." Someone came up with a few different beer combinations that actually taste great!
Rubinator (mixing the Ruby and Terminator)
Rubberhead (Mixing the Ruby and Hammerhead)
Copperhead (Mixing an IPA with Hammerhead)
I am sure there are more combinations that will vary based on the McMenamins location you are at. Be sure to ask your local bartender!
One thing I haven't done is participated in the McMenamins Passport program. It is $30 per person, 21 and older.
"Launch your quest to fill your very own McMenamins Passport with stamps from all locations, and become a Cosmic Tripster! On your journey you'll visit your favorite pubs, all while discovering new ones. You’ll be granted prizes along the way, ranging from free tots, burgers and appetizers and goodies to exclusive Passport pint glasses, T-shirts, a growler and other merchandise. Every stamp you gather counts, so journey across the McMenamins land, and you’ll earn the grand prize for completion!"
I would recommend doing this if you live in Oregon! You can find a bulk of the locations here.
Have you been to a McMenamins? Which restaurant is your favorite? Stayed in one of the hotels? Is there one I absolutely have to stay in? Let me know!