McMenamins, the company behind 54 pubs, restaurants, and hotels in the Northwest, is currently undertaking a $32 million renovation of downtown Tacoma's 100-year-old Elks Lodge. When it's complete in 2017, the property will include 46 hotel rooms with private bathrooms (a feature that's not a given at McMenamins); a ballroom for live music, events, and weddings; three restaurants; several small bars; a McMenamin's brewery; a garden for the restaurant; and an outdoor cafe and patio.
The Tacoma project has been in the works since McMenamins purchased the Elks Lodge in 2009; the company later acquired the adjacent annex building. The six-story property was built in 1915-16 and is designated as a "certified historic structure" by the National Parks Service.
McMenamins is hot off its eighth Washington state property, Bothell's Anderson School. The converted school building is now a 5-acre-wide, 78,000-square-foot constellation of bars, restaurants, event spaces, and hotel rooms (converted from classrooms). There's also a movie theater and a heated saltwater pool that are free to overnight guests and available to others for a fee.
The Elks Lodge property was in a serious state of disrepair when McMenamins purchased it, with peeling paint and graffiti. As the company continues its renovations, the building's original architectural details will no doubt be brought back to life.