written by Jen Stevenson
The sweet old-fashioned wine country hamlet of McMinnville has plenty going for it—the thriving main street, vibrant farmers’ market, up-and-coming Granary District, uniquely beautiful AVA and abundance of first-class restaurants, from venerable Nick’s Italian Cafe to romantic Thistle. Now, with the opening of downtown’s swanky Atticus Hotel, it has all that and room service.
After successfully collaborating on the Atticus’s neighboring sister property, 3rd Street Flats, McMinnville hoteliers Erin Stephenson and Brian Shea were ready to pursue their next project—a design-forward luxury hotel with strong ties to local artists, artisans and makers. Joining forces with Ben Perle, a seasoned hospitality executive turned beekeeping part-time McMinnville-ite, they brought that vision to life as a thirty-six-room luxury hotel, complete with wine-savvy concierge, restaurant by renowned Portland chef John Gorham, posh particulars like Tesla charging stations and locally crafted artwork, furniture and sundries.
Beautifully positioned midway between Portland and the Oregon Coast, the hotel offers a high-end home base for adventurers eager to explore the region. For those equally eager to explore the local liquid bounty, just pack a picnic (or ask the kitchen to), and go. Should you prefer to wine taste on foot, no problem—darling downtown McMinnville has nearly twenty tasting rooms. Sip the day away, then head back to your suite, bundle up in a Pendleton robe, and order room service … because you can.
375 NE FORD ST.
Splash out on the luxurious two- bedroom fireplace and butler’s pantry- endowed penthouse, snuggle up in one of the tiny house movement-inspired “micro studios,” or gather the girls or guys and whoop it up in the luxury bunkhouse, a 600-square-foot suite with bunks for four, a king-size bed
for the sleeper who needs his space, luggage cubbies and a bathroom artfully designed for six.
With nearly 500 wineries in the Willamette Valley, plotting your itinerary can be daunting, which is where the Atticus’s full-time concierge comes in—whether you’re into pinot or riesling, sleek or rustic, tried-and-true or brand new, in-town or the next AVA over, they’ll point you toward the perfect tasting rooms. If you can’t agree on who has to be the designated driver, ask the concierge to help you book a tour, be it by limo, trolley, horseback or helicopter.
The Atticus will be anchored by the second iteration of Bless Your Heart Burgers, a collaboration between Portland chefs Drew Sprouse and John Gorham—whose portfolio includes Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, and Mediterranean Exploration Company. The menu is a nod to Sprouse and Gorham’s Carolina upbringings, which means big, drippy chili, onion and coleslaw-topped burgers on Martin’s potato rolls, and Down ’n Dirty fries with griddled onions and beer cheese sauce. There’s also lighter fare, like the signature radicchio salad. Not to be outdone, the bar program, designed by co-owner and bartender Jamal Hassan, will include draft cocktails, throwback slushies and top-notch whiskey.
Wrap up in a Pendleton robe, flick on the fireplace (there’s one in each room), take a flying leap onto your locally made king-size Restonic mattress and relax with a movie and room service. Or, get out and about—ride one of the hotel’s Dutch-made Gazelle bicycles to the McMinnville farmers market, cross Third Street to R. Stuart & Co.’s darling downtown tasting room or graze the historic Granary District. Craving the coast? Power up your Model S on one of the hotel’s Tesla charging stations— the beautiful beaches of Pacific City are only an hour away.