The Real Frankie Baker

Frankie and Johnny were lovers O Lordy, how they could love Swore they’d be true to each other True as the stars up above He was her man But he done her wrong. – From the song, “Frankie and Johnny”   Frankie Baker sat by the window, playing a nonstop game of solitaire with a…

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12th Annual Running of the Brewers

On September 8th, McMenamins brewery district managers arrived at Willamette Valley’s Sodbuster Farms as trucks overflowing with just-harvested Mosaic hops rolled in from the fields. 30- and 50-pound bags were packed, and the managers were off, racing to each of their breweries with the freshest of hops. Within minutes, these beautiful, fragrant Mosaics were added…

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The Desert Room’s Delight: Miss Toni Elling

The Desert Room was one of the hottest nightclubs in Portland during the 1950s-60s. Today this space is occupied by Zeus Café within McMenamins Crystal Hotel. If the walls could sing, they would belt out a tune for the vivacious entertainer, Toni Elling. She was a frequent performer in the Desert Room during the 1960s,…

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Senator Patty Murray, from Anderson School to D.C.

Painting of US Senator Patty Murray by Carol Meckling

This painting of US Senator Patty Murray by artist Carol Meckling is displayed at McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, Washington, where there is also a guest room named in Senator Murray’s honor. This patriotic piece envisions Patty as Rosie the Riveter—the WWII icon that celebrates the power of women’s work and equality. Patty grew up…

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Julie Montaigne and the Barony Ball

Happy Pride Month! To celebrate, we spotlight the Barony Ball, a drag queen pageant that was a groundbreaking event for the LGBTQ+ community in Tacoma, WA, from 1975-1985. It was held in the grand spaces of what is now McMenamins Tacoma Elks. These days, all visitors are welcome and encouraged to peruse artwork, photos and…

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Happy Juneteenth!

Mural of Clara Peoples

In 2021, Juneteenth was designated a federally observed holiday. And this year, on June 19th, Juneteenth will officially be recognized as an Oregon state holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the abolishment of African American slavery in the United States. But attaining that freedom was not as simple as President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. Even after…

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Exquisite Meals & Decadent Desserts

Black Rabbit Dessert

Winter at the Black Rabbit Bar & Restaurant at Edgefield is everything you dream of – cozy, warm, full of creative cocktails, delicious comfort food and extravagant-yet-homey desserts. We sat down with Executive Chef Jaime Shultz and Executive Pastry Chef Chuck Dugo to taste and talk. Black Rabbit Executive Chef Jaime Shultz After a stint…

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Seeing the World at 15 Miles per Hour

Bike Blog

Stephanie and Merrick McGinnis have ridden their bikes from Key West to Nova Scotia, Boston to Seattle and up and down the West Coast. Now these two-time Cosmic Tripsters are taking McMenamins by bike on a quest to fill their third Passports in a ride that may not be their longest (Boston-Seattle gets that honor…

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