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McMenamins Kennedy School

5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211
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  • 98%
    Local Culture
  • 86%
    Family Travelers
  • 81%
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 78%
    Wellness
  • 70%
    History Buffs
  • 66%
    Luxury Travelers
  • 66%
    Trendsters
  • 65%
    Foodies
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Member Reviews (24)Write a review

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    + 2
    • Family Travelers
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    It's probably trite to love this place, but they have the goods.

    There is something deliciously subversive and chronologically displacing about wandering the halls of an elementary school with a cocktail in your hands, years after it should all be a vague memory.

    Adding to this temporal shift is the theme bars in the honors bar and the detention room bar, perhaps mirroring my experience with school, which were my favorites. The working water fountains, and various other genuine details of the school induce a really vivid and fun temporal rift. All one needs to make the nightmare perfect is to suddenly notice you are wearing bunny slippers or are naked.

    I didn't stay in the hotel, but I will as soon as I can.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    + 4
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  • McMenamins Kennedy SchoolPro 2014
    Member of
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    + 4
    • Vegetarian
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    I'm a big fan of the Kennedy Theater and its comfortable vintage couches and chairs, table room for a pitcher of stout and my personal pizza. I have been to every other part of the school though, having had friends who worked there and taking every single person I ever knew to see it. From the heated pool, hotel rooms, restaurant (with great outdoor seating), detention bar, boiler room..., the entire school, even its hallways is a treasure trove of strange and interesting art, good beer and great food. Exploring it and checking out all its features makes you feel like a free mason at a secret special lodge built just for you. I moved away from Portland but this is one of the things I miss the most about it.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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  • McMenamins Kennedy SchoolPro 2014
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    + 7
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Art & Design Lovers

    If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in a converted school, you'll love the Kennedy School. This hotel and restaurant is inside an old schoolhouse and is a great place to visit even if you don't plan to stay the night. They serve decent pub fare and McMenamins' signature microbrews, but many people come simply to soak in their hot outdoor soaking pool, which can be used by non-guests of all ages for a small fee.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesLocal CultureWellness
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  • McMenamins Kennedy SchoolPro 2014
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
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    + 2
    • Foodies
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    The Kennedy School is a series of pubs and bars based in a building that formerly used to be an elementary school. McMenamins, the owners, kept some of the hallways and school pictures intact, so instead of entering a classroom, you'll enter a pub or cigar bar. It's very cool.

    Recommended for:Nightlife Lovers
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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    + 11
    • Business Travelers
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    The McMenamins are a small chain of concept hotels refurbishing historic buildings and creating a fun pub scene.

    I love looking at old buildings and seeing how they are restored and brought back to life this alone makes this hotel an experience. The school auditorium is converted to a movie theater and multiple rooms are bars.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy SchoolPro 2014
    Member of
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    + 6
    • Business Travelers
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    • Green Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Spiritual Seekers

    11/2012 - UPDATE

    My Son and I had Dinner at the Courtyard Restaurant on a recent Friday evening. I did not begin well. The friendly greeter informed us that there would be at least a 15 minute wait and suggested that we go across the hall to the Cypress Room, as we could expect the same service and menu.

    Wrong! The Cypress Room was understaffed and to the point that we had to bus our own table and wait and wait, as did other like minded folks. Actually, there were a few that skipped to the head of the line, as the harried Cypress Staff had little help or clue what was going on, and were just trying (unsuccessfully) to make order from chaos.

    We left and I headed back the the Courtyard where another employee bluntly told me that of course we weren't going to get good dinner service at Cypress! After all, it's only a Bar!. In other words, I was bearing witness to a common Portlandia idiosyncrasy (with thanks to the Animal House Movie): You Fucked Up, You Trusted Us!

    I immediately asked to speak to the Manager, as it was better to get out my frustrations regarding unacceptable service now instead online later. My Son took off down the hall out of embarrassment. :)

    The Manager listened well to what I had to say. I made it clear that all I wanted was fair treatment and to wait my turn, knowing that it would come. She then got my name on the wait list, gave me a light buzzer, and within the originally stated 15 minutes (which I should have done in the first place), we had our seat. No Comps were offered, of which I didn't ask or want.

    Once seated, service was fabulous and the food was very good. The Kid had Mac and Cheese (with Chicken) and I went for a Sausage Calzone. We washed all that down with Root Beer and Triple IPA respectively. The acoustics here were also much better than the Cypress Lounge, which was great for intelligent Father-Son conversation.

    The Cypress part of the evening was easily a 2 Star experience, which redeemed itself to 4 Stars at the Courtyard. I suspect that McMenamins has a great business model here, especially judging by the happy crowds, not only at the Courtyard and Cypress, but at their other bars at the Kennedy School. But that's not really an excuse to let the hordes overwhelm the service model, is it?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After a recent Sunday breakfast, my son and I took the walk from NE Alberta and 33rd, and proceeded up to McMenamin's Kennedy School to play hookie. We walked the halls without a pass and ended up in the Principal's Office for Detention (and the gift shop). Maybe that was because we didn't raise our hand indicating "Number 1 or 2" before we went to the bathroom.

    My son and I didn't eat or stay here, and our visit was pretty much limited admiring the architecture and buying a nice tile bowl at a Holiday Art event in one of the rooms. Places like this also bring back fond memories of childhood misbehaviour and awkwardness, past friends (some who I have reconnected with on Facebook or sadly not), and Teachers of who you could not utter their first names.

    So now that I know the School Bus route to the Kennedy School, I'm sure that I will be "attending classes" here again. And that will probably include a sleepover.

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFamily TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    This review is for the general grounds, restaurants and auditorium, and not as a hotel guest - I've never been in one of the rooms.

    The Kennedy School is a neat little place that I often take guests for a quick bite or a movie and a walk around. It's a 1920's schoolhouse that has been converted into a number of Euro style hotel rooms, a soaking pool, an auditorium with movie projector and a bunch of smaller bars and restaurants. It's a great place to watch a movie and have a slice of pizza (or a pint).

    McMenamins has a number of properties in the Oregon & Washington - Kennedy School and Edgefield are certainly my favorites. It's know among locals that you go to these places for the vibe and the history - not the service, and usually not the food. It's solid pub fare, but it's not going to win any Michelin awards - and the service is notably, laughable, consistently slow and strange.

    But the buildings are fantastic, with odd little paintings all around, historical architecture and atmosphere, and usually decent to - good pub fare & bar options. Just don't expect fast, or sometime even friendly service, and go to enjoy the day.

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversBudget TravelersHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    Wellness

    One of a small chain of family-owned quirky brewpubs, this multi-media experience is perhaps my favorite. Located in an old elementary school, this McMenamins locale features hotel rooms (in old classrooms), several bars serving McMenamins microbrews (including one where you can throw peanut shells on the floor), a movie theater specializing in second runs for cheap, and a better-than-average restaurant with an outdoor patio. It's a great place to stay, or just visit for the night. (Plan time to wander the halls, where photos of historic students and faculty line the walls.)

    Recommended for:Family TravelersLuxury TravelersTrendsters
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  • McMenamins Kennedy School

    McMenamins has definitely got it down. These guys know what they're doing when it comes to making a place cool to hang out. This one in particular may seem creepy at times but is really cool. I went there to watch Hangover 2 and the theatre was great! Cool seats, ordering menu, just a great place to have a good time overall. Definitely recommended it.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    I could write a small book on how much I loved the Kennedy School. Let me tell you, after you stay here you might wonder why other brothers haven't done this before. The Kennedy School was once a real elementary school. The McMenamins remodeled the school into a wonderful hotel/restaurant/micro brewery. What could be better than that. Not only will you be able to sleep in a guest room fashioned from your second grade schoolroom. You'll be able to eat dinner and have a great brew in the converted auditorium while you watch a first run movie. Guest watch FREE. Afterwards take a soak in the heated soaking pool. This could be a reason to take your first trip to Portland. Let me know how you enjoy it. BOOK NOW .

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    Such a cool place to stay when you are in Portland. It is away from downtown so not the most convenient location for exploring the city. Nonetheless this place was soo cool. Its an old elementary school that has been converted into a hotel. Administrative and rec space has been converted into restaurants, bars and a movie theater (free movies for guests). The classrooms are now hotel rooms. Check-in is the old principals office.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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    Luxury Travelers

    I love this place. I think it is so cute they turned the detention room and principal's office into bar areas as well as the amazing boiler room. Not only is it way better for the environment to keep the original building intact but it is such a cool experience. Whenever anyone talks about Portland I always talk about how awesome the Kennedy School is and that they need to go.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School

    This hotel / school has a lot of interestingness to it! You will not find another "resort" like it. Inside there are lots of bars, a pool and bathing area, movie theaters and classrooms that are actually hotel rooms! I loved how the entire building felt so historic. McMenamins did a fabulous job with Kennedy school.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School

    After volunteering one morning at the Oregon Food Bank, I decided to treat myself to lunch. I ate at McMenamins' Courtyard Restaurant. While the weather was not nice enough to sit outside, the indoor venue was cozy and inviting. The menu offered a lot of tempting choices, but I was in the mood for a burger. Since they offer burgers with good quality meat from County Natural Beef, I decided this was the time and place to indulge in my guilty pleasure. I got a green salad on the side, which had a very nice basamic dressing on it. I plan to go back and try some of their beers, which are made on the premises in their Concordia Brewery. While I was there, I struck up a conversation with two ladies sitting at a nearby booth. It was nice being in such a friendly environment. Whether you are staying overnight at the Kennedy School or just stopping by for a quick visit, I definitely recommend eating at this restaurant.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School

    A repurposed elementary school turned into a hotel and entertainment complex.

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  • McMenamins Kennedy School
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  • McMenamins Kennedy School

    Pretty hilarious brew pub in an school building. Good beers.

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Description

Located in Northeast Portland’s artsy Alberta district, McMenamins Kennedy School is a pet friendly hotel that used to be an elementary school. The quirky and magical atmosphere is a mildly irreverent version of the original scholastic environment. What were once classrooms are now 35 guestrooms, complete with original chalkboards and cloakrooms. Drinking fountains for half-pints are in the halls, and draft beers for full-pints are in the multiple small bars. There is a restaurant, movie theater, heated soaking pool, gift shop and even a brewery. Funky artwork and historical photographs cover the walls, ceilings, doorways and hallways. The Kennedy School is located about 15 minutes from downtown Portland.

OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
24 members' reviews
1,434 people visited McMenamins Kennedy School
Very Good! - 84% of guests recommend
  • Phone:

    +1-888-271-2681

Amenities:

  • Restaurant
  • Free Parking
  • Free Hi Speed Internet

Reviews Summary

Very Good!53 reviews across the web.

    • Ambiance
      100% enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.
    • Location
      90% enjoyed the restaurants & bars nearby.
    • Hotel
      80% thought it was clean.
    • Grounds
      Pool was lovely, according to 79%.
    • Restaurant
      75% found the breakfast to be wonderful.
    • Hotel Building
      Building is pleasant.

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