Wednesday, July 16, 2008

News: International Beer Fest, New McMenamins Hotel

Hope everyone is enjoying all the great Oregon craft beers being poured this month. As a reminder, if you want something with a more international flair, the Portland International Beer Festival kicks off July 18 and runs through the 20th in the Pearl's Park Blocks. There will be over 130 beers available for sampling from more than 15 countries.

And, in other news, McMenamins is gearing up to open a new hotel/brewpub in downtown Portland early next year. This looks cool...



The hotel will offer guestrooms, a pub, restaurant, soaking pool and more…

PORTLAND, Ore.Friday, July 11, 2008McMenamins Hotels, Pubs & Breweries has purchased the property at S.W. Stark & 12 Streets from Gerding Edlen Development and has begun renovation on a hotel to open in early 2009. The project realizes visions of both Portland-based companiesan extension of the Brewery Blocks across Burnside for Gerding Edlen, and a full-service downtown establishment for McMenamins.

“Having a full downtown property with all of our offerings in one area has been something we’ve thought about for a long time now,” said Renee Rank, McMenamins marketing director. “This project is the perfect complement to our adjacent Ringlers Annex Pub and the Crystal Ballroom, and will be a great connection between the Pearl District and the West End.”

The building itself has an incredible history since its inception in 1911. Throughout its near-century, the site changed hands and names many times, offering a hotel (Hotel Alma, Hotel Georgian, Hotel Tait, Majestic Hotel), men’s bath house (Club Baths, Club Portland) and night club (Club Mecca, The Desert Room, Stark Street Station, Flossie’s, Silverado), among other uses.

Interestingly, connections between the new hotel site and other McMenamins properties abound. For example, the land on which McMenamins Edgefield hotel now stands was owned in the 1850s by Hiram and Hannah Smith, who lived in the same block as the new hotel lot. In another uncanny example, a child named Grace Connelly lived in a home on the site of what is today known as Ringlers Annex pub, adjacent to the new hotel site; Connelly later taught elementary school for 43 years at what is now McMenamins Kennedy School hotel.

The new McMenamins downtown hotel (as of yet unnamed) is scheduled to open in early 2009 and will have 50 hotel rooms on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the building. This project is McMenamins’ first full-service establishment in downtown Portland. The company will commemorate, through original artwork and historic photographs, the property’s evolution from pioneer residence to a tire shop along the city’s original Auto Row to a live jazz club tomost recently and significantly—part of Portland’s gay triangle.

The first floor of the hotel will house a full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that celebrates fresh, seasonal ingredients abundantly available throughout the Pacific Northwest, and will feature outdoor seating along S.W. Stark and 12th Streets. The basement will offer a heated saltwater soaking pool and spa-like massage rooms, along with a Subterranean Cellar Bar that will connect with McMenamins Ringlers Annex pub next door.

Perhaps most exciting is the new hotel’s one-block proximity to the legendary Crystal Ballroom, another of McMenamins’ properties, that has offered live national music acts since the 1920s to the present, ranging from Rudolph Valentino to the Grateful Dead to Modest Mouse. The Crystal Ballroom also serves as an elegant event and meeting space for celebrations and gatherings of all types. The new hotel is envisioned as the ideal partner to the Crystal for concert-goers, wedding parties, business retreats and more.

McMenamins purchased the property from Gerding Edlen Development in June 2008. “We couldn’t have imagined a better use for this property,” said Patrick Wilde, project manager for Gerding Edlen Development, “We purchased the building—with its unique triangle footprint and location at the gateway to the West End—with the idea that the right business could transform it into a great location that invites people across Burnside and augments the history and character of this neighborhood. McMenamins can certainly do that.”

Reservations for the new hotel will be accepted prior to its openingsee for updates as they become available.

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