For those who aren’t from Oregon or Washington or live under a rock McMenamins is a small franchise.This chain was started by two brothers in 1983. Not only does McMenamins have restaurants/pubs but they also have hotels, movie theaters, and event venues. McMenamins serves quite a diverse variety of food and drinks. At McMenamins the brew their own beer have two distilleries and a winery. As far as food goes they mainly server American food such as burgers fries and tots but they also serve other options. Menus rotate out and change so there may not be the same food all the time. To learn more the McMenamins web address will be linked below and I am happy to answer any questions that I can!
1. Restaurants/ Pubs
Pubs span all the way from Roseburg Oregon to Brothell Washington and there are quite a few of them. Restaurants provide a calm relaxing environment where you can sit down for a meal with a group of family or friends or enjoy some alone time. My favorite locations is call John Barleycorns and it is located in Tigard Oregon. Each restaurant has it’s own name such as; Ram’s Head, Rock Creek, Ceder Hills and so many more. Something that I absolutely love is the coffee at McMenamins they have their own coffee roaster in Portland. Also when going to school or now working on my blog I find it hard to work at home. Due to this I will often go and get coffee as I study or write a post. However they are amazing restaurants that’s not they only type of establishment that is under the McMenamins name.
Along with restaurants the McMenamins also have a number of hotels including but not limited to: Grand Lodge, Edge Field, Anderson School and Hotel Oregon. Each hotel is covered in amazing and unique works of art by many different artist. Most of the hotels also have a soaking pool and those are my favorite! You can use the soaking pools event if you aren’t actually stay at the hotel by paying a five dollar fee for a pass. The soaking pools are all slightly different but typically they are along the same lines of a Turkish bath.
McMenamins hotels that I have stayed in have been more towards the European style where you have a bed and sink in your room but the actual bathroom is located outside of your room and shared. From my experience the hotel staff have always been extremely nice and helpful if we ever needed something or had any issues. My favorite hotel by far has to be Edge Field because it has a massive property. Edge Field offers so much to do between golf, the winery, distillery and many other bars and restaurants. All of the hotels that I have been to also have spas. Some of the Hotels even host concerts and other shows as well as the McMenamins’ Event venues.
3. Event Venues
McMenamins has two different types of event venues they have movie theaters as well as concert/show spaces. One of the more commonly known spaces is the Crystal Ballroom. Crystal Ballroom is a gorgeous 1920’s dance hall that was renovated extremely with a ton of time appropriate touches! There are a number of different events that go one here the most common are concerts.
Party for Pink
Party for Pink is a major concert that is hosted at Crystal every October which is a fundraiser for an organization called Breast Friends of Oregon. Breast friends supports people in the fight and after the fight of breast cancer. Personally this organizations is amazing and hits home because my grandmother fought breast cancer for many years and numerous times. The first time that I attended Party for Pink was in 2015 and Rachel Patten as the opener and Echosmith played an amazing show as the main act! At this event they also had a photo booth set up and a full bar.
In 2016 I went back for a second time to support such a great cause and got the pleasure of seeing the AJR Brothers as the opening show. AJR Brothers were amazingly talented and I would love to see them again. Ingrid Michaelson played the main show for the 2016 Party for Pink and did such an amazing job! She is one of my all time favorite artist and has been for a very long time! Along with concerts the Crystal Ballroom host a number of other events such as the Erotic ball on Halloween and 80’s and 90’s nights each month.
Two main McMenamins movie theaters are Mission Theater and Bagdad Theater as well as others inside of hotels. Personally I have seen Finding Dory at Baghdad and Mulan Rouge at Mission. I preferred the Bagdad theater. The best part in my opinion is that they do 21 and over shows even for kids movies! Often tickets are around five dollars but occasionally they do a ten dollar ticket for a 21 and up show that includes a drink special themed after the movie. Kid friendly showings are available at both theaters but make sure when you book the tickets online to check if its a 21 and up show or all ages. . One of the greatest things about McMenamins is the vast variety of things they offer within their franchise.
One of my favorite things is to fill out my McMenamins Passport. As someone who loves travel and adventure this is a nice way to get stamps in my passport when I am unable to travel abroad and get real passport stamps! Just like your real passport you go around and collect stamps instead of a stamp for each country you get a stamp for each location and some times even multiple per location such as hotels that have multiple bars and spas to get stamps at. Let’s start with how it works there are two different areas you get stamps for the experience and the locations.
Experience stamps are not mandatory to “complete” the passport. For every four stamps you get a twenty dollar gift card. Such as trying a beer, wine or distillery flight are all experience stamps as well as staying at a hotel and soaking or swimming in a pool. Next are the location stamps these are mandatory for the completion of your passport. Most of the locations you can walk into and just ask for a stamp and you shall receive it but some are not that easy and take a little more.
Hotels are one of the locations you can’t just get the stamp for the front desk although you can at the bars and spas. Front desk stamps require a photo scavenger hunt. This is indicated by a small camera icon in the box for each hotel. Photo scavenger hunts are when there is a clue located at the front desk and you have to go around the hotel searching for the picture or piece of art work that matches the clue. Once you have found the photo you must take a picture with it! Please remember to be respectful of the hotel guest and sleeping hours.
Along with the photo scavenger hunts at hotels there is also a small box that says TIX in some of the stamp boxes. TIX stamps are located on the theaters and Crystal Ballroom. TIX means that you have to see a show in order to get that stamp. For Crystal I recommend doing one f the tours that they host everyday at two o’clock. Not only does it get you the stamp for Crystal but it can even get you an experience stamps for a brewery tour if you are lucky enough to go when the brew master is there.
A Little Extra
Personally the photo scavenger hunt is my favorite part of filling out the passport! Lets go into a little more about the passport. Twenty five dollars will get you the passport you can also by and expansion for extra if you so choose. You can by the passports for almost any location. Earlier I stated that experience stamps get you a twenty dollar gift card for every four completed. What do the locations stamps get you? Location stamps are in groups based on their locations and others around them.
For each group typically per page there is a prize. Prizes range from an appetizer to a growler to a t-shirts and so much more. Upon completion of the entire passport you get the grand prizes which include concert tickets, hotel stays and happy hour prices for a year. Over all this is such an incredible deal. This can be an fun activity to do with family or friends and you could even make it into a friendly competition.
Tips from A Regular
McMenamins has been one of my go to spots for over a year and along the way there are a couple things that I’ve learned. First off is that they have their own coffee roaster and that they brew all of their own beers as well has having two distilleries and a winery. One thing that I’ve learned is that McMenamins is a great place to got get a cup of coffee and maybe some food while you study or work on your computer. There are a couple of food tricks that have made it so much better such as dipping tots or fries into their cheese fondue and using McMenamins mustards.
Another great tip is ordering an Rubinaitor which half Ruby Ale and half Terminator Stout and one of my favorite drinks to get. McMenamins also has impeccable seasonal ciders butt depending on your preferences. Ciders can be to sweet to solve this issue just ask for half seasonal and half of the original cider. Many amazing things are offered through the McMenamins brand. Winery, brewery, and distillery tours, restaurants, hotels, spas, golf, movies, concerts and so much more. I highly recommend visiting any location if you are ever in Oregon or Washington.