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McMenamins Bothell project exceeds expectations – opening now scheduled

For a long time downtown Bothell, WA was cute, small and adorably outdated. Compared to just a few years ago, downtown Bothell is rapidly growing unrecognizable. Well, except for the old Anderson School. We reported a long time ago about McMenamins and the plan to save and re-purpose the old school and create a multidimensional community space. (See our previous posts about this project.)

Today we report that the completion of that project is now in sight, and we’ve got more details about what you should expect. The scheduled opening in October 15th. They’re now accepting reservations at the hotel. They will soon begin hiring.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to tour the property with Mike and Brian McMenamin. I took some pictures, learned some stuff and I share it here. Below, some quick highlights, followed by the complete details from McMenamins. This is a bigger project than I’d realized and the plans are outrageous, even by McMenamins standards.

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A Mini Edgefield

This is the grandest McMenamins project to date in Washington: 5 acres, 90,000 square feet, $30 million. Have you been to the Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon? If not, you should go. It’s like Disneyland for drinking adults. Anderson School is going to be like a slightly scaled-down Edgefield.

It will include a 72-room hotel, a brewery, restaurants, bars, a first-run movie theater, meeting spaces, and even a swimming pool. The old gym, the old lunchroom, the old shop, all of it. New life!

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A Very Cool Pool

Not just any swimming pool, this will be a near-Olympic-size, heated-saltwater pool, with an overlooking tiki bar. It will not be your typical swimming pool. Expect fountains that randomly open fire on bathers. Expect thunder and… It’s gonna be so cool!

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Beer, Food, More

The brewery will be a brand new, copper-kettle, 10-barrel system. They’ll produce all the McMenamins standards, plus some small-batch, one-off beers. If you’re like me, you love McMenamins more than you do the beer, so let’s hope the “small-batch, one-off” beers exceed our expectations.

The main restaurant is in the schools old lunchroom. Think of the cafeteria you had at your middle school. High ceilings, big windows which will include glass art that will fill the room with color. Food-fights discouraged.

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Art History

Maybe you’ll be spending the night in the Mrs. Krabapple Room. In typical McMenamins fashion, the company’s team of historians is busily researching the Anderson School and digging up stories and personalities from its past. This will be incorporated into the artistic design, which McMenamins nails better than anyone.

And speaking of art, they are working not only with the team artists they’ve used in the past, but also a number of local artists. Again, this is pretty typical for McMenamins when they take on a project like this.

More details and more information straight from McMenamins can be found below the photo gallery.

McMenamins Anderson School to Open October 15

– Historic Bothell Junior High Transformed into Hotel and Community Hub –

BOTHELL, Wash. – April 22, 2015 – McMenamins revitalization of the historic Anderson School in downtown Bothell is well underway, with a scheduled opening date of Oct. 15. The property will feature a 72-room hotel, McMenamins’ first in the Seattle-area, and will serve as a gathering place for friends, neighbors and out-of-town guests.

In keeping with McMenamins’ creative approach to business, the school’s original woodworking shop is becoming a brewery and game room bar and classrooms will be converted to hotel rooms with private baths. The former gymnasium is being repurposed into a first-run movie theater and meeting space, and the cafeteria will serve as a restaurant with a lounge. Guests will also be able to relax in a South Seas-inspired version of the school’s original pool, which will be filled with salt-water and have a tropical feel with indoor botanicals and natural light.

“For us, it’s all about community. By bringing fresh ideas forward while honoring the past, we hope to create a place where everyone feels welcome,” said Mike McMenamin. “With beautiful buildings in such a great location, our goal is to create unique, memorable experiences for our guests. After years of planning, it’s rewarding to see the Anderson School vision become reality.”

The five-plus-acre McMenamins Anderson School property will include many features, including:

• The statuesque 1930s art deco school building converted to a three-story, 72-room hotel. Drawing from local history, each room will have a unique name and theme. Stories of local people and events are being hand-painted on walls and hotel room headboards by McMenamins’ team of 20 artists.

• The bright and naturally-lit family-friendly community pool will be three- to five-feet deep and surrounded by tropical landscaping for a South Seas style swimming experience. The facility will be open to the public and hotel guests. Bothell residents will have free use of the pool and a community meeting room.

• A market-fresh restaurant serving locally sourced ingredients will be in the School’s former cafeteria. The properties five other dining locations include a Principal’s Office wine and coffee bar, a jungle-inspired balcony pub on the second floor overlooking the pool, The Shack small bar located in the center courtyard, the Woodshop bar & game room including shuffle board, darts, pool and pinball and the movie theater.

• First-run movies will be shown in a 134-seat theater featuring food and beverage service.

• A wide variety of indoor and outdoor meeting, wedding and other event space – adorned with treasures and antiques that have been collected by McMenamins over the years − will be available for small and large groups throughout the property.

• The on-site Anderson School Brewery – a 10-barrel system – will serve up a variety of handcrafted beers including Hammerhead, Ruby and Terminator Stoutas well as small-batch and one-time brews.

• McMenamins handcrafted bottled beer, spirits, wine, plus artistic glassware, growlers apparel and merchandise will be available for purchase at the gift shop.

• Gardens and additional community green space will connect with the newly restored Horse Creek.

The Anderson School property is a part of the city’s long-term redevelopment plan, which includes a new City Hall and city center. Located just 20 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, the city is ideally located to take advantage of the burgeoning tourist draw of the Sammamish River Valley and Seattle’s booming high-tech industry.

Anderson School hotel rooms can be reserved online now. Event space bookings are also now available online or by calling (425) 398-0127.

McMenamins will begin accepting applications for more than 150 full- and part-time Anderson School positions in May. Job listings will be posted on McMenamins website as they become available.



One comment

  1. I am the grand daughter of WA Anderson. I have some photos I would like to share of my grandpa. I also went to Anderson 7-9th grade. My dad is still alive (George Bosley) WA’s son-in-law. He is 93 and could share some stories also. I will be in Bothell in August for my class reunion.

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