Tacoma’s historic Elks Lodge has called downtown Tacoma home for over 100 years. McMenamins has worked hard to restore the building that has been empty for 20 years, bringing one of Tacoma’s diamonds in the rough to life once more. The public can experience the magic of McMenamins Elks Temple firsthand when its doors open on April 24, 2019.
The long-awaited arrival of McMenamins in Tacoma has had locals holding their breath since the company purchased the old Elks Lodge back in 2009. The eclectic family-owned chain of 55 pubs, breweries and music venues famous for housing their locations in historic buildings throughout Pacific Northwest is a regional hit. Slowly but surely, the McMenamin family carefully researched and restored the building over the course of last 10 years. With the finishing touches being wrapped up, the final reveal of Tacoma’s much-anticipated new addition is sure to wow the South Sound.
“The whole process has involved a lot of dreaming and hard work, but we are now seeing the finish line,” Brian McMenamin tells us. “It’s an exciting time for everyone involved.”
The new McMenamins Elks Temple is home to 45 hotel rooms, a brewery, grand concert ballroom, multiple bars and a slew of surprises. Start on the lower level to experience McMenamins’ 27th brewery, featuring 16 taps of beers and ciders. Visitors are welcome to tour the seven-barrel brewery, and enjoy drinks including spirits and wine, as well as canned beer and merchandise available to purchase in the adjoining bottle shop.
In what was once home to the Elks fraternity’s locker room and swimming pool, you can now find yourself with a cocktail in hand at The Old Hangout Bar, an impressive tiki-inspired lounge featuring a custom bar crafted by bamboo artisans, a dramatic rock feature and waterfall from the original Elks building, and endless drinks derived from exotic locations across the world. The Old Hangout Bar’s long list of 18 signature cocktails features boozy classics ranging from Old Fashioneds and Mai Tais, to Singapore Slings that are sure to transport guests from Tacoma to the tropics. Bar food will include items such as sliders, wings and a number of old favorites with culinary twists.
Did we mention there’s a secret bar? The hidden bar, The Vault, is concealed within the hotel only to be found by those up for a true challenge. Seating only 15 guests, The Vault is located deep below the streets of Tacoma where patrons can watch the shadows of passersby walking overhead. Those lucky enough to stumble upon McMenamins’ mysterious bar will find it located somewhere literally within the wall paneling of the building.
Grab a bite to eat at McMenamins Pub, located on the third floor, which will feature a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with seating for up to 250 guests.
For more craft cocktails and small plates including tapas and charcuterie, make your way through the building to visit the Spanish Bar, which showcases a beautiful 100-year old antique wooden bar sourced and handcrafted in Tacoma at the turn of the century. Play a game of shuffleboard and enjoy the sounds of music coming from the building’s Spanish Ballroom, which features a lively lineup of concerts by local bands and national touring musical artists.
Dedicated to the historic restoration of the original building, the McMenamin family has worked tirelessly to ensure that every unique detail throughout the Elks Temple was given new life – from the Spanish Steps that cascade from Broadway to Commerce Street, to the extraordinary Renaissance revival-style friezes, moldings, and woodwork dating back to the early 1900s. In preparation for opening their new location, the McMenamins collected more than 1,000 dazzling light fixtures and chandeliers from historic buildings across the globe, also acquiring some of the original artifacts connected to the old lodge’s history along the way.
McMenamins’ 45 hotel rooms are now available to book online and each pays homage to different Tacomans who contributed to the city’s colorful history. From Thea Foss and the Puyallup Tribe, to Nirvana’s bassist, Krist Novoselic, and blues legend Robert Cray, McMenamins’ salute to the men and women of the City of Destiny also highlights the names of those that most won’t recognize – former Elks Lodge employees, leaders in Tacoma’s minority communities, various local individuals, and even the graffiti artists who once occupied and vandalized the building, who McMenamins found and hired decades later to help design one of hotel’s rooms appropriately named The Graffiti Room.
The arrival of the new Elks Temple has generated hundreds of jobs in Tacoma, and while crews are still working diligently to ensure the establishment opens on time, Brian McMenamin confirms the doors will open on April 24, 2019, even if they work down to the very last minute.
McMenamins Elks Temple is located at 565 Broadway in Tacoma and more information can be found on their website.