I love McMinnville. I grew up outside of Dayton and whenever my friends and I wanted to do ANYTHING we would drive over to Mac to get coffee, watch a movie, or spend our tiny allowances on dinner.
Since I’ve gotten older though, I’ve appreciated Mac for other reasons, one of them being that downtown McMinnville has a stellar nightlife scene. The one downfall is that there is no awesome live music venue (Hotel Oregon has a few good acts every once in a while but if you really love live music, you’re sorta outta luck for the most part).
Nevertheless, McMinnville is a great place to go out on a Friday night. Here’s my list of Top Five Places to “Hit” on a Night Out in McMinnville, Oregon:
Number One: McMenamins Hotel Oregon (McMenamins Pub, 310 NE Evans St.)
There are three parts to Hotel Oregon: the rooftop, the restaurant/pub, and the cellar bar. Personally, I prefer the rooftop. It’s less busy in the winter months. But even when it’s crazy busy in the heat of summer, it’s a great place to catch up with old friends and enjoy the McMenamins atmosphere. Plus, the Cajun tots are pretty great when you order them during Happy Hour. We went to the rooftop for our 10-year high school reunion and, at least for me, it was a total smash (as in it was awesome).
Number Two: The Old Oak (The Old Oak, 326 NE Davis St.)
My friend loves this place. She and her friends start every night out at this classic wood-furnished establishment. There are dead animal carcasses hanging around on the walls, which is weird, but also acceptable if you don’t work for PETA and actually grew up in McMinnville or whatever. The Oak has pool tables, nice lighting, and a plethora of great beers on tap.
Number Three: The Cabana (Cabana Club & Grill, 425 NE 3rd St.)
Some people hate this place. In fact, many people I know refuse to set foot in the Cabana. This probably has something to do with the bad decisions they have made there and the regret and frustration they feel when remembering said decisions. For me, the Cabana has never been that kind of place. I’ve gone to the Cabana all of three times (mainly because every time I want to go here, my friends refuse) and each time was hilarious and memorable for me. Sure, some people get trashed and make idiots of themselves here; that’s why they call it the Hobana. But if all you want to do is dance, this is definitely your stop.
Number Four: The Blue Moon (Blue Moon Tavern, 310 NE 3rd St.)
Bleh. I was not a fan of this place when I went for the first time. We took my sister here for her bachelorette party because this is the sort of place you go for a bachelorette party. There are old, gross chairs and bench seats. There are slot machines and there’s a jukebox. This is really just… the place you go for a less classy evening…
Number Five: The Deluxe (Deluxe Billiard Parlor, 711 NE 3rd St.)
Wow. This place reminds me of the FFA guys I was friends with in high school. They’re the guys who hang out there when they move back to Mac once they finished college, bought a house and got jobs. There are pool tables. This is the place a lot of people come to drink PBR. You get the picture, right?
There you have it folks. I would walk you through an actual pub crawl in downtown Mac, but it’s been years since I’ve been able to make it to five bars. I’m too old for that sort of thing. But I do know that given any particular mood or event, any of the five places I mentioned above are perfect for a Friday night.