A cloud series from oil painter Zach Hixson. A gold leaf poetry installation in the drawing room. A study series devoted to artists' IRL dreams. A commissioned four-by-six-foot Carmen Borrasé work mounted behind the welcome bar composed entirely of McMinnville elements—the Spruce Goose, walnuts and hazelnuts, even thistles, in reference to the beloved local restaurant.
At the brand-new Atticus Hotel, opening April 1 in downtown McMinnville, details are key, from the mattresses made in nearby Newberg to the vintage-look Marshall Bluetooth speakers in its 36 guest rooms. Aiming to attract both wine country tourists and business travelers, the luxury hotel offers a gym, room service, and even lendable Dutch bikes and picnic blankets in the lobby. The Atticus also claims the first extra-Portland eatery from restaurateur John Gorham: a second outpost of Bless Your Heart Burgers.
Why the dressed-down burgers-and-fries concept—especially when Gorham originally intended to install, as we reported back in September, a third Tasty 'N Sons location? Co-owner Jamal Hassan says that well-executed simplicity felt right for the environs.
"After a long day in wine country, tasting wine, there’s nothing better than a burger prepared really well," says Hassan (the brains behind, among other things, a new Oregon liquor). Also on BYH's expanded McMinnville menu: soft serve floats, a Cobb-like radicchio salad, cocktails on tap alongside local wines and beers (naturally), and a "Tasty" fried chicken sandwich that Hassan raves about.
Not that there's any shortage of dining options outside the hotel. Thanks to McMinnville's growing appeal with chefs, makers, and high-end food producers, Atticus guests can head to 35 restaurants, along with 18 wineries and craft beverage producers—all accessible by foot, says co-owner Erin Stephenson.
"I think one of the things that's such a draw for tourists is that when you go to wineries around the Willamette Valley, by and large that winery is somebody's dream," she says. "You're at a small producer—not all, but most. And even the ones that have grown large started as somebody's passion, and you can feel that."
For Stephenson, who is also part of the team behind "fusion" lodging option 3rd Street Flats, the Atticus represents an extension of what she calls "the McMinnville way." That means a community-wide functionality (things get done here, she says) that stems from a population that tends to invest in long-term dreams—from opening a winery or brewery to running the local government. McMinnville's mayor has been in the job for 25 years, Stephenson says. The city manager, 30 years.
Those passing through McMinnville can't help but feel that unusual mix of friendliness and focus, Stephenson says. That's exactly the vibe she's aiming for at the Atticus.
"When you're at Nick's Italian Cafe, Nick's daughter Carmen is cooking," says Stephenson. "If you're at Thistle, Emily Howard, the owner, she's serving your meal. With the Atticus, our passion is travel, hospitality, and for our community. This hotel is our dream, and we hope that people feel that same quality that comes from any product that has somebody's full, undivided attention."
The Atticus Hotel opens April 1 on 375 NE Ford St in McMinnville.