Work Begins on McMenamins’ Tacoma Elks Lodge

The day that some in Tacoma thought would never come has actually come: McMenamins chose this wet and blustery week to begin work on its long-anticipated renovation of Tacoma's historic Elks Lodge.

It's just small stuff for now, but The News Tribune reports that we can expect to see the Portland-based company get into the project in earnest next spring.

In a video posted on YouTube, the McMenamin brothers and others talk about the direction McMenamins is taking as a whole, and the potential they see in the Elks Lodge - and in Tacoma.

We've heard a bit about the plans in the past, but new details are always fun.

  • 46 hotel rooms
  • 3 restaurants
  • Small bars and on-site brewery
  • Live music
  • Rooftop garden
  • Meeting and event space

The plan is to have the Elks building open and serving by summer 2017. We'll be waiting. Eagerly...

P.S. If you've got at least $150,000 lying around that you've been wondering what to do with, you can be an investor in the Elks project. Learn more at

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This would be so much more exciting if their food and alcohol were better. The restorations that McMenamin’s does are often amazing, but their food is Applebee’s quality, their beer is mediocre, and their wine is abysmal.

November 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 16

DeeBee Cooper

I love Tacoma! We are such a tough crowd.

November 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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If you’ve ever been to a McMenamins, their regular bar food is really good but not great - It’s not top tier, I’ll give you that.  But, when you have a location like the Elks, that holds several restaurants, some of them can be top notch.

Here’s a link to McMenamins Black Rabbit restaurant dinner menu at their Edgefield location.  It’s wonderful food and a great atmosphere.  Top tier all the way.

November 18, 2015 at 8:27 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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There are reasons that the McMenamins are having to go to the internet w/hat in hand to secure “non-conventional” financing. 

McMenamins is little more than a gussied up Red Robin or Mitzels.  That plus the brewpub as destination shtick is quite long in the tooth at this point, in fact it is about a decade past currency.

At this point in history what these two shysters business model revolves around is getting the taxpaying public, through their elected officials, to underwrite their business ventures.

November 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 32


Thumbs up if you think JD’s shtick is long in the tooth.

November 18, 2015 at 3:12 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Note that the video talked about the ballroom having “cabins” to stay in instead of being built out as hotel rooms like originally planned.  I would assume that they want to restore the ballroom to original so that their larger capacity hotel at Old City Hall can accommodate these people when it opens as a McMenamins and the ballroom at the Elks can turn into a major music venue like the Crystal Ballroom in Portland.

I have seen first hand what these guys can do with a neighborhood.  They have a very successful history of making great things happen - it’s all very exciting and… “short in the tooth.” 

Be excited!

November 18, 2015 at 8:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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linda morrison

Having a retail biz on Broadway I can tell you I am over the moon. 

December 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Tanner Olson

Hello! My name is Tanner and I am a Project Engineer working for Andersen Construction who is the general contractor on the Tacoma Elks Lodge for the McMenamins. I am reaching out to you to see if we can get a copy of the rendering you have on one of your “McMenamins Elks Lodge” videos to put on the back of a construction shirt that we will be ordering for our team out in the field. Please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thank you!

July 23, 2018 at 10:08 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Tanner Olson

I apologize, my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thank you.

July 23, 2018 at 11:38 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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