McMenamins announces a Grand Opening date for Tacoma Elks

Back in July, we posted a story about a plan to create a new McMenamins hotel, brewpub, and entertainment venue in Tacoma (read our original post). As we told you then, the plan involves purchasing and renovating the historic Elks Club in downtown Tacoma.

Today we found out a bit more about the plan, which seems to be moving forward. The location will include a spa and hotel with a brew pub, restaurant, night club and meeting space. Renee Rank, McMenamins’ marketing director, told the Daily Journal of Commerce that patrons will be able to work their way up from the bottom. “Swim on the first floor, dance on the second floor, eat on the third floor and sleep on the fourth and fifth floors,” she said.
elks_tacoma1

There were concerns that McMenamins might drop the plan after Russell Investments announced that they would be leaving Tacoma, taking their 900 employees with them. City officials have been scrambling in the wake of the news that Russell Investments would be moving from Tacoma to downtown Seattle where it will occupy the currently-vacant Washington Mutual building. It is, after all, a significant blow for a city the size of Tacoma.

McMenamins is known for being a bit quirky–a bit off the wall. Let’s just say they aren’t a mainstream, Wall Street kind of company. When they were told that Russell was moving to Seattle, McMenamins said, “Who’s Russell?”

Of course these things don’t happen quickly, so don’t hold your breath. The latest word is that McMenamins is still on track and intends to move forward with the project. In a report published today in the Daily Journal of Commerce, McMenamins representatives say that the plan is to open on St. Patrick’s Day 2012. It’s a McMenamins tradition to open on St. Patrick’s Day.

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We will continue to follow this story and keep you posted as things change.



  1. So excited this is happening! I walk by the Elks building nearly every day – this is exactly the jolt of energy Tacoma needs for her historic buildings, especially after we said goodbye to the Luzon building.

  2. any new news on this development? i heard they wanted bike lanes and some other modifications in downtown tacoma, is the city going forward with this?

  3. Funny you should ask. We were just at the Harmon Tap Room and ran into a fella who works with (I think he said) the Tacoma Historical Society. He said the main issue at hand was the lot next to the building. There has been some back-n-forth about who will be responsible for doing what with it. I think the city wants a public parking garage. Likely there are other things holding up the project. Sad to see the building still in its current state knowing what McMenamins envisions for it.