When McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell opened one year ago, it earned bragging rights as the largest McMenamins property in Washington State.

Known for its pubs, breweries, and historic hotels, McMenamins restores historic buildings—often working closely with local historical societies and fine artists to tell the story of a place—and transforms them into lively destinations the whole family can enjoy. At five acres and 90,000 square feet, the Anderson School property’s four buildings house a 72-room boutique hotel, three restaurants, two small bars, a brewery, a movie theater, and an indoor saltwater swimming pool.

The Anderson School is an Art Deco building constructed in 1931 that originally served as Bothell Junior High. Today, guests can “sleep in class and drink in woodshop.”

Classrooms are now hotel rooms; the principal’s office is now a hotel bar; the indoor swimming pool is now a tropical, South Seas-inspired saltwater pool with a lagoon bar; the old gymnasium is a hall for concerts, weddings, and other events; and the woodworking shop is a 10-barrel copper kettle brewery and pub. The three ancillary buildings, which originally served as the gymnasium, woodworking shop, and other multi-purpose educational spaces, form a sort of quad at the heart of the property, which is furnished with iron fire pits, patio tables, and glass-blown lanterns.

Panels, murals, paintings, and stories located throughout the hotel tell the history of Bothell. Each hotel room is named for local legends, including former schoolteachers and administrators; pioneers, settlers, and, historical figures from Bothell’s storied past; accomplished alumni in the arts and scientists; and even celebrities, like Room 101, named for Chris Walla, co-founder of Death Cab for Cutie, and Room 307, named for Roger Fisher and Steve Fossen of Heart.

Last month, McMenamins Anderson School celebrated its one-year anniversary with the release of a special anniversary brew, the Class of 2016 Wheatwine, which is an American Strong Ale. Similar to a barleywine, the beer features a rich 10% ABV body, and flavors of toffee, vanilla, coffee, brown sugar, and banana. A two-day anniversary celebration included live music by Hot Damn! Brass Band, Massy Ferguson, and The Rusty Neils, as well as a Brewers First Birthday Dinner and other activities.

If you haven’t stopped in yet at the Tavern on the Square for dinner or The Woodshop Brewery and Pub for a beer, what are you waiting for? Better yet, consider booking a staycation. A weekend at McMenamins Anderson School is just the thing to beat the winter blues.


"A weekend at McMenamins Anderson School is just the thing to beat the winter blues."