As part of the McMenamins Pacific Northwest brewpub
empire of 116 venues,
they have two locations with the word ‘crystal’ in the name, one block apart on West Burnside Street
in downtown Portland,
Between SW 13th and 14th Avenues is McMenamins’ historic (built 1914) Crystal Ballroom
building, which also houses Ringlers Pub, Lola’s Room,
and the Crystal Brewery.
One block east, occupying an entire wedge-shaped block between Burnside and SW Stark Streets, and SW 12th and 13th Avenues, is the historic (built 1917) Ringlers Annex,
and the historic (built 1910) Crystal Hotel,
which also houses the Zeus Café
and Al’s Den.
Together, these two locations and multiple venues make up the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom / Hotel complex. So that is why I named this album with the word ‘blocks’, because photos from both of these sister locations will be featured (eventually) in this album.
As part of my McMenamins Passport adventure,
I had breakfast at the Zeus Café in June 2016, which resulted in the first sixteen images in this album. In my McMenamins Passport
there is a page for both Crystal locations combined, which requires seven stamps to complete. As of now I have only the Zeus Café stamp, so I know I’ll be back to get the other six stamps and, of course, take a lot more pictures. Those future photos will be added to this album.
Some Passport stamps require that you buy a ticket — usually one of their nine theaters,
but also for the Crystal Ballroom itself and for Lola’s Room on the floor below. It is doubtful that I would ever attend an event in either of these venues, but fortunately McMenamins offers a daily 2:00 PM tour of the building, which takes you through these two rooms, and allows you to get your stamps without buying tickets. That is very accommodating and I really appreciate it! The tour is on my list of things to do in Portland.
For further details about the stories behind the photos in this album, see the related articles: