New Digs Spruce Up Hotel & Pubs at McMenamins Old St. Francis School
More than 80 years ago, the newly-constructed St. Francis School in downtown Bend became a beacon of traditional parochial education for the growing town’s Catholic community.
McMenamins is known for taking iconic buildings and repurposing them into beautiful lodging and dining properties. The PNW group renovated and reopened the landmark as the McMenamins Old St. Francis School in November 2004. But all the charm and history of the Catholic school remains intact.
According to the hotel, “McMenamins honors the property’s former life by featuring extensive artwork that pays homage to the history of the school and the surrounding community. Photos, memorabilia, artists’ renderings and students’ artwork adorn the walls, making the hotel a unique gallery of sorts.”
The lodging options at the Bend campus expanded to 60 guestrooms in 2016 with the opening of two additional buildings – the Art House and Ed House.
The 24-room Art House features hand-painted scenes from McMenamins locations, lore and beyond. Guestrooms feature televisions, telephones, internet access and private bathrooms with showers. As with all Old St. Francis School lodging, overnight guests can also enjoy complimentary use of the soaking pool. (Take a walk and you’ll discover secret hallways, secret rooms and a secret bar.)
The Old St. Francis School campus is truly an all-everything lodging property – conveniently located at the edge of Bend’s thriving downtown featuring dozens restaurants and shops. Here’s some more info on the unique amenities at the hotel.
Tucked away in the former parish hall of the old Catholic school is a place much more comfortable to sit than a hard wooden pew. The Old St. Francis School Theater, with seating for up to 120, offers visitors the chance to settle into an overstuffed chair or sofa and watch a recent release, cult classic or sporting event while enjoying a slice of pizza and a handcrafted McMenamins ale.
The Old St. Francis Theater offers pizza, snacks and, of course, popcorn. The full-service bar offers a wide variety of liquid refreshments to quench your thirst – including McMenamins own ales, wines, cider and spirits. So sit back, relax on our cozy couches and chairs and take in all that the big screen has to offer in this unique movie theater in Bend.
The Old St. Francis School soaking pool is a sparkling gem – semi-enclosed in shimmering turquoise tile work, one is reminded of tropical locales, even while the central Oregon snow or rain falls in through the open ceiling! Admire the luminous stained glass window by David Schlicker and the tiles that were handcrafted, fired and painted by Justyn Livingston and installed by Boyer Tiles into a beautiful mural depicting St. Francis and others harvesting grapes.
The pool is filled with soft, buoyant water, which makes for a more environmentally friendly soak. You can feel a difference.
Set in the schoolhouse’s former garage, O’Kanes is now adorned with church doors – one of which dates back to before the turn of the 20th century – and natural light flooding the numerous stained glass windows. The rare, historic Povey stained glass windows were salvaged from a former Elks Lodge in Portland. Cigar smoking is allowed.
Outside, the pub’s large patio, festive lighting and inviting fire pits make it a go-to spot for beers and dining year round.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the pub’s deep booths and original artwork make for a comfortable spot to linger over any meal. Set in the former Catholic school’s main building, our Bend brewpub offers hearty pub fare, handcrafted ales brewed right downstairs in the onsite brewery and seasonal weekly specials. On-site bakers also craft homemade breads, pastries, cookies and desserts, available daily in the pub and at the hotel front desk. The fresh-baked goods are the perfect complement to a cup of McMenamins roasted coffee.
On warm days, guests can sit in the outside courtyard to enjoy their food and drinks al fresco. Or perhaps order some pizza to go for a picnic anywhere.