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.Read More
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.Read More
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.")Read More
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.Read More
Each of these images included in this week's blog is associated with a different McMenamins property. How many can you name?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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!Read More
Can you guess from which McMenamins properties these photos and images were taken? Have a look, and then see the answers below...Read More
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...
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
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...Read More
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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...Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
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...
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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!
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.