Sunday, April 13, 2014

M is for Mountains, Multnomah Village, and McMenamin's (Portlandia from A to Z)


We are blessed by the view of two mountains from Portland: Mount Hood (11,249 feet, as you can see in the blog photo above) and Mount St. Helens (8,366 feet).

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, when I was 15 years old. I remember everything being blanketed with ash, and we wore face masks to protect ourselves. The explosion killed 47 people and destroyed 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway. On the 30th anniversary of the explosion, all of us were recounting what we were doing when the volcano blew. I wrote about my memories here.
Mt. St. Helens now

On a clear day you can see both mountains clearly, towering over the city. Just as residents of the Puget Sound say about Mt. Rainier, we say "the mountain's out" when we have a clear view.

Multnomah Village

Portland's neighborhoods have tons of character and charm, and none more than our own Multnomah Village. I wrote about why I love the village back in 2007, about trick or treating in the village in 2007, and about attending Multnomah Days in 2010 (more village love). I just can't get enough of this little gem in the middle of the city, and I feel blessed that we live within walking distance of such a wonderful, historic spot.

Each time I go into the village, it never fails...I always see at least one person I know, making Southwest Portland feel like a small town. I love to support its small, independent personal favorites are Topanien, Annie Bloom's, Thinker Toys, Marco's, Medley, and Journey's. And of course we have the wonderful Multnomah Art Center, too!


As I mentioned on B is for Bookstores and Breweries, McMenamin's is a chain of 65 brewpubs, microbreweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs, mostly in Portland but also elsewhere in Oregon and Washington.

Mike and Brian McMenamin grew up in northeast Portland and opened their first restaurant (the Produce Row Cafe) in 1974. A decade after that, they opened the first post-Prohibition brewpub in Oregon: the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House (just a few miles from our house) in 1985. They also became the first brewery in the  U.S. to legally use fruit in the brewing of ales (raspberries). My usual--and favorite--McMenamin's brew is a "Rubinator," not on the menu, a combination of Terminator Stout and Ruby Ale (with raspberries).

The first pub, Hillsdale
They opened their first theater pub, the Mission Theater, in 1987. Their business really took off when they converted a 74-acre site that had once been the Multnomah County Farm into Edgefield, a hotel/restaurant/pub/winery/brewery/golf/concert venue.

Now the brothers have 65 different locations in Oregon and Washington, many of which are renovated historical properties. Nine of their sites are on the National Register of Historic Places. They have cultivated a reputation for converting properties full of history into commercial enterprises, full of funky art and eclectic charm.

Ram's Head in the Pearl
It's hard to find someone in Portland who doesn't frequent a McMenamin's somewhere! Just a few nights ago, I took my seven-year-old, Nicholas, to see "Frozen" at the Kennedy School (which used to be a school and is now a hotel with restaurants and a theater pub). The theater has wonderful easy chairs, and you can order your food and beer to eat in the theater. It's great! I had fish and chips, and he had cheese pizza. (And I had my Rubinator.)

The funky Kennedy School
Over the years, we've frequented McMenamin's establishments all over town. When we were first married, we'd walk to the Raleigh Hills Pub (still an old favorite). Then when we moved to SE Portland, we'd walk to the Bagdad Theater for movies and dinner. I hosted a few business meetings at Edgefield back when I was a staff manager, and I've also been to a few church meetings at the Grand Lodge. We've spent the night at the Grand Lodge and also gone there for girlfriend getaways. We've gone to the Rock Creek Tavern after getting our Christmas tree. I've also done girlfriend getaways at the Edgefield (including my mom's 70th birthday), and in June Mike and I will spend the night there and go to a concert with Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls! We've also frequented Edgefield after visits to the Columbia Gorge with visitors or friends. We've also visited the Barley Mill, the Ram's Head, and a few in Beaverton and outer SE Portland.

The art in the McMenamin's establishments is quirky and fun. I love McMenamin's hotels and pubs and am really excited to go to Edgefield again in June!

Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for tomorrow: neighborhoods and Nike.

1 comment:

  1. If you are in the right part of Portland, sometimes you can see Mt. Adams.