We’re Keeping the Home Fires Burning

Throwback to a McMenamins newsletter article in the December 2007/January-February 2008 issue

With the flurry of excitement about this weekend’s wintery weather forecast, we thought it was time to take stock of our many fireplaces, and in doing so, we stumbled across an old article! Much of what was written in this 2007-8 piece still holds true today – with a few exceptions: the Yardhouse Pub at Grand Lodge was renamed for Brian and Mike McMenamin’s mom as Pat’s Corner; you may know the Grand Lodge “side parlors” as the Billy Scott Bar and the Equinox Room; and the jail at Edgefield has become a repository for antiques, oddities and cool stuff that will find its place in our pubs and hotels, though we still have dreams for a someday renovation of the jail building.

Most notably, we’ve added a few locations in the ensuing years, including, among others: Crystal Hotel, Gearhart Hotel & Sand Trap Pub, Anderson School, Kalama Harbor Lodge and Elks Temple. In a beautiful serendipity, the round table-meets-fireplace at Blue Moon in NW Portland looks remarkably like the one in the Old Hangout, though Elks Temple was just a twinkle in our eye back in 2008. And crackling fires still greet guests at many of our pubs and hotel properties, old and new.

Pour yourself a dram and settle in by a fire to read the original article…

Come Gather ‘Round the Fire, Friends…

McMenamins newsletter, December 2007/January-February 2008

What is it about a dancing flame that draws people together in mesmerized bliss? Warmth? Beauty? Something deeper – an elemental connection of some sort? Who knows – but it’s a helluva lot of fun. To that end, we’ll point out just a few of the fiery touches across the Kingdom.

If a crackling fireplace sets your soul aglow, then how about a rendezvous at the Blue Moon Tavern in Portland? Take a seat around its unique circular fireplace, the perfect spot to dry your rain-soaked clothes, read a book or perhaps make eyes at someone across the way. Head west to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove to snuggle up in front of one of the many fireplaces around the property – like in the Yardhouse Pub, the side parlors, the king suite, the Children’s Cottage and more. Enjoy a bottle of wine while you contemplate the flickering light.

Don’t like being cooped up indoors? We understand – which is why many of our pubs and hotels now have year-round outdoor fire pits. Take the ones in the courtyards at the Old St. Francis School in Bend. What could be more romantic than huddling close around a fire, spirit-laced coffee in hand, while the snow falls down around you? Check out more of these pyramid-shaped fire pits at places like Rock Creek Tavern in Hillsboro, Kennedy School in Portland, High Street Café and Brewery in Eugene and many other spots across the Kingdom.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about Edgefield’s wonderful Little Red Shed. Back when the estate served as the county poor farm, this wee shack was an incinerator in which trash was burned. But today, it’s a fine place to warm your hands, enjoy a scotch and perhaps admire the lovely artwork that you purchased at Edgefield’s glass blowing studio. Talk about hot – these ruddy Gorge Glashaus artisans keep the home fires burning at 2,000°F as they craft beautifully luminous vases, ornaments, sculptures and more.


Don’t even get us started on our woodstoves! Oh – too late. Here we go. We love woodstoves. We’ve got a collection of museum-worthy Round Oak stoves (including two rare examples of the biggest model ever produced – one stands tall at Centralia’s Olympic Club and the other, discovered recently in a barn on the east coast, will grace the forthcoming Edgefield county jail renovation) along with smaller, more compact brands like that found in the Tavern & Pool in northwest Portland. These portly installations radiate a friendly, welcoming heat, beckoning you in from the cold and rain.

There’s just something about the smell of a burning fire that perfectly complements a pint of Terminator Stout – have one this season as you admire the many fireplaces, woodstoves, fire pits and even blazing pipe art at McMenamins. You’ll see what we mean.

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