Oh bring it, Bothell. It's been a year and a half since McMenamins first announced it would convert an old school in downtown Bothell into a hotel, spa, and brewery, expanding its empire of 50+ pubs, breweries, hotels, and eateries in Oregon and Washington. Five months ago, the team named an opening date of Thursday, October 15 for the new McMenamins Anderson School at 18603 Bothell Way NE, and now they share details of three days of opening festivities.
First off, most everything about the Anderson School is the same as when we last spoke, except that this will not be McMenamins' biggest property yet, which is the company's sprawling Edgefield space in Troutdale (70+ acres). McMenamin's Anderson School will, however, be the crew's biggest spot in Washington at 5 acres, 90,000 square feet, and $30 million.
And again, it's mad creative. The school's original woodworking shop has been turned into a brewery and game room bar. The old cafeteria has become Tavern on the Square, a local-leaning, seafood strong restaurant and lounge headed up by chef Mike Davis, formerly of Walla Walla's now-shuttered 26brix, Oakland's Joie de Vivre Hotel and Restaurant Group, and more.
Seventy-two former classrooms are now hotel rooms, the former school gym is a movie theater, and there is a "Principal's Office" wine and coffee bar. And Eater's own favorite touch (save the drinks and food, of course): the original pool is now filled with salt water and has a tropical vibe.
Speaking of drinks, expect a 10-barrel system pouring Hammerhead, Ruby and Terminator Stoutas, and other beers, including small-batch and one-time brews. McMenamins bottled beer, spirits, and wine, along with artistic glassware, growlers, apparel, and other merchandise will be on sale at the gift shop.
The three-day grand opening festivities run Thursday, October 15, through Saturday, October 17, and include tasting stations aplenty dotting the property with beer, wine, spirits, hard cider, and coffee. Reggae, bluegrass, brass band, and even bagpipe music will play throughout, and there will also be the chance to learn about Bothell's history and share your own Anderson and Bothell stories. Find a full schedule of events and more details on the McMenamins grand opening site.
Stay tuned for more details about the restaurant menu and more as they're firmed up, as well as photos of the finished space as opening gets closer. Doors open at 7 a.m. on Thursday, October 15, for breakfast at the restaurant. Bothell or bust!