McMenamins Elks Temple to Start Making Magic in Tacoma

Tacoma had been holding its collective breath in anticipation. The long-awaited McMenamins Elks Temple finally opened for business in April. It is the only McMenamins hotel property in the South Sound. Yes, it’s a 45-guest-room hotel, but so much more is at the heart of the enchanting experience you’re sure to have. The 700-personcapacity Spanish Ballroom is an epic live music venue. Among the five craft cocktail bars are a tiki bar with an “interactive waterfall fountain” and a hidden bar for adventure-seekers.

You can quench your thirst at a seven-barrel brewery with a 16-tap tasting room. McMenamins purchased the historic Elks building in 2007. But construction on the crumbling and waterlogged structure didn’t get into full swing until a decade later. (Tacoma has been holding its breath for a very long time.) An enormous amount of renovation and restoration has transformed the 1915 eye-catcher into an inspiring gathering spot for both locals and tourists.

Prepare to be wowed by the striking architecture of É. Frère Champney that landed the Elks Temple on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides the grand Spanish Ballroom, there’s a spectacular atrium and expansive views of Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay and Thea Foss Waterway. Outside, the adjacent Spanish Steps down the hillside were modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome.

McMenamins enlisted regional artists to bring the seven floors to life. They even preserved large graffiti that had accumulated during the temple’s previous decades-long vacancy. Glistening down from above throughout the temple is quite possibly the best collection of lighting fixtures and chandeliers on the West Coast. McMenamins spent more than five years gathering the collection from far-flung locales like Morocco and New York. There’s also a local beauty from the shuttered Orpheum Theater in Seattle.

So don’t forget to look up! Look for McMenamins’ magic in every corner. Follow the right footsteps or white rabbit and you may even find yourself in the secret bar.


For Additional Information

Texas de Brazil

When you walk into Texas Brazil’s brand new Tacoma location you notice the swanky, striking ambiance. Texas Brazil offer a rodizio-style dining experience, and unique blend of Brazilian culture with generous Texas hospitality.

The vibrantly decorated 5,500 square foot restaurant offers 105 seats and a unique dining experience. Featuring an open-grill kitchen, an expansive salad area, an intimate lounge, and an award-winning wine cellar, Texas de Brazil is a unique dining destination for large and small parties alike.

“We are pleased to introduce our distinct dining experience to local area and we look forward to celebrating with our guest in Tacoma,” says Carlos Restrepo, Corporate Training Manager of Texas de Brazil.  “We want to make it an uplifting experience where guests feel the beauty of the Brazilian fare and genuine service,” he adds.

At Texas de Brazil, the rodizio-style meal begins with a visit to the expansive fresh salad area that also includes hot and cold side specialty dishes. The variety includes artisan breads, imported cheeses, fresh buffalo mozzarella, steamed asparagus with marmalade sauce, Brazilian hearts of palm, spicy shrimp salad, sushi, sautéed mushrooms, feijoada (black beans), jasmine rice, Moqueca (Brazilian Coconut Fish Stew), lobster bisque and much more. Even vegetarians love this steakhouse.

For the main course, carvers expertly prepare mouthwatering cuts of meat grilled to perfection over natural wood charcoal – a gaucho tradition passed down through generations. When guests flip a two-sided disc located at each seat from red to green, gauchos parade by and carve tableside slow-roasted meats including Brazilian picanha (sirloin), lamb chops, filet mignon, leg of lamb, Parmesan-crusted pork loin, bacon wrapped chicken breast and more. When a break is needed from the unending flow of mouthwatering meats, guests simply turn discs back to red. This unique style of dining helps pace the experience to fit any timeframe. 

The expertly curated wine collection complements the varied menu with varietals from acclaimed California and South America vineyards to Texas de Brazil’s exclusive private label selection bottled in Chile. The lounge offers craft cocktails including the traditional Brazilian Caipirinha in a variety of flavors and a full selection of specialty cocktails, beer and soft drinks including the Brazilian Guarana.

Classic desserts served a la carte include Brazilian flan, deliciously rich Brazilian papaya cream and Brazilian Cheesecake plus sweet specialties such as pecan pie, carrot cake, and key lime pie.

Texas Brazil knows how to take care of guest and offers  a high level of hospitality. If you are hosting a party or special occasion they should be at the top of your list.

Texas de Brazil Churracaria

is located at the Tacoma Mall,

4502 S. Steele Street, Tacoma

253-465-3230 or visit