Old Elks Lodge: New McMenamin’s Hotel

Take a look at this place!

Downtown On The Go put on a tour of the current McMenamin’s Elks site last night for 100 lucky folks. There is a whole lotta scaffolding in this place to access and repair the ceilings, plaster and crown moldings. Syringes and human waste are long gone but a robust collection of graffiti remains to remind us of the recent, dark past. Sitting on a steep hillside, the building spans several stories from Broadway down to Stadium Way. The city owns the Spanish Steps adjacent to the old Elks Lodge and current plans are incorporating them into the renovation project. There will be a bar/restaurant entrance on the landing area midway down the staircase between Broadway and Stadium Way.From what I gather, this entire site has been thoroughly sandblasted. Years in, an unfathomable quantity of restoration work needs to be wrapped up before re-finishing can begin. The ornamental details in the wood and plaster here will put the California Bank building on Pacific to shame. As dangerous as this site is now, it was far more dangerous 10 years ago. What the hell was it like in here when graffiti-happy punks and homeless addicts wandered these halls? How did everyone used to get in here when it was “vacant”? I realize skate punks with spray paint can penetrate anything, but I’d like to know just how easy the access was. Clearly, hundreds of unwanted guests logged time here.

The McMenamin’s brothers should be revered for their efforts. Rumor has it they are also up to the challenge of the Old City Hall Building renovation.

The intricate details of this building are from another time and place. Upon its completion, this will be the premier event space in Tacoma. Multiple bars and restaurants are slated to exist here within the next 2 years. I’m envisioning private suites or luxury boxes around the perimeter of the event space and 22-year-old’s could be overspending on bottle service at bad pop shows before we know it.

McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma

McMenamin's Elks Lodge in Tacoma

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Knapp’s Lounge

Right here in the Proctor District of Tacoma lies an old world community staple. It is a place where legends go to die, and rock stars are born. Or something like that. Just as a mission provideth shelter, a judge provideth order, and a teacher provideth knowledge, Knapp’s doth provide as well. Not unlike any other public trust, Knapp’s is there for any of us to use whenever we should need it. However, we try to use it as infrequently as possible, for the sake of appearances, logistics, etc. The comparisons could certainly go on.

How many of you out there have never been to Knapp’s Lounge after dark? If this is you, please get it in gear and get down there. Watch a little TV, dial up the jukebox, have a couple see-throughs (if you please) and just relax. It’s dark. It’s clean. The bathrooms are nice. What more do you want?

Tacoma residents, I summon thee to partake of the essence. Having been in there a couple times per year for several years, I always expect to see more people. The Proctor area is pretty good size and full of people, so I will be expecting to see more of you out after midnight in support of your best neighborhood lounge scene.

Just my opinion. Let’s hear yours..

2707 North Proctor
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 759-9009