It’s difficult to navigate one’s way through the Pacific Northwest without stumbling (perhaps literally) across a McMenamins property.
The purveyors of no fewer than 65 hotels, brewpubs, and local entertainment venues have peppered the region with their quirky, hometown charm, lightly renovating historic properties into low-key tourist attractions throughout the country’s northwest corner.
Known to locals simply as “McMenamins,” the dozens of glorified rest stops can be easy to mentally transpose with one another, as most share the same salt-of-the-earth feel, welcoming weary travelers with a pint of beer, a warm meal, a bit of entertainment and blessed respite from the elements.
A fitting example of the brand’s look and feel is the Olympic Club Hotel and Pub in Centralia, Washington. Nestled into a small town at the midpoint between Portland and Seattle, the pub provides the perfect roadside meal for those making the trek from one metropolitan gem of the Northwest to the other.
Replete with pool tables, movie shows, a full menu and bathrooms that must be seen to be fully experienced (read: vintage feats of plumbing), the Olympic Club is both a favorite of locals and passers-through alike.
Lest you think the whole concept sounds contrived, pretentious or overthought, know this: tater tots comprise a prominent space on the menu.
Let’s just say “The Accidental Hipster” could also be an appropriate name for any or all of these hospitality spaces — their genuine charm and unabashedly dated quirk factor are not to be missed.
For a full listing of McMenamins properties, click here.
Photo credits: McMenamins