The Old St. Francis School kicks ass!

I got to check out the Old St. Francis School after work for a bit today, and my capsule review is that it totally kicks ass! It’s amazing, classic McMenamins, and I think—no, I know—it’s going to be hugely popular. A giant win for them.

Since they’re doing their “soft launch” right now, you can pretty much go wherever you like to check the place out. So I did: scoped out the restaurant and the pub, wandered through the Fireside Room (a cigar-friendly room with pool tables), gazed in awe at the Turkish-style soaking pool, checked out the theater, picked up a beer (a Hammerhead) at O’Kane’s, the little brewhouse among the bungalows, one of which I toured. The guest house a bit rustic, I’d say; they’re trying to preserve the feel of the 1950s to a large extent. Also strolled through the hotel wing and got to see one of the rooms (all of which were formerly classrooms). All very impressive—like I said, classic McMenamins.

The restaurant was packed. I didn’t ask how long a wait there was, since I wasn’t eating, but I picked up a menu (nothing radical on it though). And the guy who I talked to was really helpful in pointing out all the rooms and features to check out.

The only drawback? Popularity; it’s going to be the hot place to go for a long time, and might be hard to get into (particularly if you want to sit down and eat).

But who cares? McMenamins is finally in Bend! This rocks!

5 Replies to “The Old St. Francis School kicks ass!”

  1. Review of Old St. Francis School
    Well, it’s sort of a review: over on my other blog I wrote about visiting the Old St. Francis School after work today (er, yesterday).

  2. You’re kidding right? McMenamin’s is terrible. The food is horribly inconsistent in quality…they are always advertising for a new chef in the classifieds. And the service is not dependable at all. Watching a movie is fine and sitting outside with a beer is tolerable. But another formula venue for McMenamin’s is not as cool as anyone thinks it is. Fake character isn’t the same as actual character for an establishment.

  3. Well, I’ve never had a bad meal, and the service has always been fine, at all the McMenamin’s I’ve been to. Have you actually been to any of the historic sites? Checked out how they integrated the art and the decor with the history of the place they renovate? The character of their places comes just as much from the place itself as it does from the MeMenamin’s makeover.

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