Jan 17 2017

Who is Bernadette Bascom? Students' music teacher and vocal coach, gospel/R&B singer, Vegas stage performer, Emmy Award winner, pal to Stevie Wonder....

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Jan 10 2017

How often does one get to write about a possibly extraterrestrial skull in one's job? I will tell you: not that often. So here we go...

At this year's 18th Annual McMenamins UFO Festival (May 18-21, 2017) at Hotel Oregon, we are pleased to host guest speaker Melanie Young, a former neonatal nurse and co-founder of the volunteer organization called the Starchild Project.

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Jan 3 2017

Just one of the fun aspects of gathering McMenamins history is when it comes from out of the blue. We recently received an email from a guest at the Kennedy School inquiring about our Draaiorgel het Blauw Frontje. (Great name for a beer, right?)

Have a look...

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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 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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