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McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Not Rated.
McMenamins Old St. Francis SchoolMcMenamins Old St. Francis School
BEER AVG
3.51/5
Based on:
4 Beers
5 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

700 NW Bond St.
Bend, Oregon, 97701
United States
phone: (877) 661-4228

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: freed

On-premise brewing:
Old St. Francis School Brewery, established October 2004
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 18
Reviews by Elimination:
Photo of Elimination
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Probably the best mcmenamins location I have ever been to, hands down this feels more like a separate company all together.

The atmosphere is like some of the other occasion, a building filled with american pickers like signs and decoration.

Quality of beer is better than normal, curly the brewer really turns out some great beers, many are sort of experimental, and not only that they always have a large number on tap.

Service is very good, everyone is always working hard, very knowledgeable, and friendly

Selection is good, there is something for everyone here.

Food is pretty good, the regulars-burgers, pizza, fries, salad, sandwiches.

This location also has a movie theater, soaking pool, hot tub, 3 different bars, a couple different restaurant menus depending on what part of the property you are on, and lots of seating.

More User Reviews:
Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

For some reason I thought this place was somewhere on the outskirts of town, whereas in reality, it's right on Bond Street, a short couple of blocks from Deschutes. As it was around lunch time, we decided to pop into the pub for quick bite and a beer. The main pub/restaurant is pretty decent size, with lots of wood all around, giving the place the appearance of an old, English style pub. As is typical with McM's outposts, there were plenty of plants, the usual artwork, and even a couple of TV sets. There's a horseshoe shaped bar area as you walk up the short stairs in from the street, with the dining area spread out all around, back from the bar. This is definitely a comfortable spot to hang out with a beer or three on a warm afternoon in Bend.

As for the beer selection, there was the usual line-up of Ruby, Terminator Stout and Hammerhead, along with a pils I hadn't seen before, a couple of IPA's, a wheat, an ESB and maybe the black rabbit porter. For a McM's, I thought the pub had a fairly good selection, and I'm guessing having an on-site brewery probably has a lot to do with that. I got the pils to go with my lunch (the nachos with pulled pork), and as is fairly typical, it was a solid offering, but certainly nothing that would make me forget about the Heater Allen version or the Upright pils (the two best I've encountered so far in the NW). In any event, it went well with the nachos.

Service was prettty good. Our orders came fairly quickly, and I felt like our waitress was making an extra effort to make sure we were well taken care of, and were satisfied with our meal. The food here was much like the beer; nothing exraordinary, but decent, satisfying and filling otherwise. The tavern salad the GF got had plenty of veggies, and everything was very fresh tasting. Prices were fairly reasonable. I think my beer, the salad and the nachos came to around $27.

This is a solid place, but there is a lot to do and see in Bend, and frankly the food here paled in comparison to every other place we ate at over the weekend. Likewise, the beer here is decent, but hardly anything to write home about, and it's pretty hard to imagine picking any of the McM stable of beers over what you can find all over town from Boneyard. My guess is that we won't be back any time soon.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.86/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

My wife and I just returned from our second overnight stay at Old St Francis School in as many years: last spring it was for 1 night so we could attend a pair of back-to-back concerts (The Shins the first night, followed by Tenacious D(!) the second) and this time for the Bend Brewfest. I'll revue both as a hotel and as a pub, because we slept, ate and drank on each visit.

We're very familiar with the McMenamins signature quirkiness, given that we live in Portland and often frequent Kennedy School, which is near our home. Old St Francis feels a bit like Kennedy School Lite - a much tinier version of a schoolhouse setting with fewer gardens, a smaller theater and "only" 3 pub options (the main Pub, the Fireside Bar (our favorite) and O'Kanes - in a former garage). As for rooms, the walls are covered in knotty pine and furniture is cushy, bathrooms are tiled and have walk-in showers. TVs and phones are included (something which not all McM hotels have...). Bed was slightly creaky but quite comfortable and the thick curtains kept out both the morning sun and any minor street noise. We stayed in the "Klondike Kate" room this visit and "Delores Friberg" room; all 19 rooms are named for historic/colorful characters in the town/school's past.

OSF does have a brewery on-site and the beers (beyond familiar McM standards like Hammerhead, Terminator, Ruby, etc) are mostly above average. On this visit, my wife favored the Black Zombie Porter and I really liked "Check Yer Coffeepot", a golden coffee ale. Among others they served: Stone Haven English Brown, Wildflower Wheat, Hop Island ISA, Note Taker IPA and a red ale of nitro (Red Beerd). Pints are proper, temps are good... really I've been very satisfied with the beers here. Good job in the brewery, guys!

Food has been a little hit-or-miss, with some Cajun Tater Tots arriving inedibly salty/overseasoned last visit and perfectly delicious this time. A burger on the last visit was overcooked, but the pretzel this time was doughy and awesome (although the cheese for dipping was soupy and thin). Best option was the gooey and savory Mac & Cheese, we've ordered it both visits. It's not on the Fireside Pub menu, but they'll fetch you some from the kitchen next door if you ask.

Service on all visits has been solid. McMenamins' places have a somewhat deserved reputation for service issues, but our experiences at this location have been good. Nick took care of us on this visit and he was attentive, quick with food & drink - all you could ask. Same goes for the hotel staff - friendly, efficient, not overly chatty - but certainly on their game.

Worth visiting for a beer or food... or an overnight stay (booking in advance recommended). We'll definitely return!

Photo of forestkcary
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

Great experience a little crowded bartenders could catch up on knowledge,food reasonable for the price. Not a everyday kind of place but a must while in the pacific northwest.The whole catholic school thing is neat but the themes are what make the place if only they didn't have short service

Photo of bradybeer
4.05/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My wife and I stayed here for two nights for our 5th Aniv. The hotel is great and worth staying in if you have a chance. I am not going to say much about this because this is about the beer.

We ate dinner and had a couple of beers the first night. My wife had the Kolsch and I had the IPA. Both were solid and had we not hit two brweries earlier in the day would have a couple of more pints.

My wife had salad and soup which she loved and I had the Elk burger which I really enjoyed.

Since we ate outside I will describe the bar. The bar is very warm and well done in its decoration. This place screams pub and I could see hanging in there during a rainy day with a couple of pints.

The food was good and the service very good.

We would stay the night here again any time.

Photo of Beerasaurus
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

All McMenamins I have been to have been very unique, they are to be commended for their commitment to adaptive reuse with the Old St. Francis School being no exception. Located in downtown Bend, it is a converted school with a garage space with firepits, cozy hotel rooms, theater and of course the Turkish soaking pool. Definitely a cool property.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was good, but nothing innovative like some of their other locations. Service on the other hand was mediocre at best, server forgot items, spilled a beer...and we were there on a quiet night. Beer list was small, just 5 brews, and nothing memorable.

If you are in Bend, McMenamins a quality offering, but there are other places I'd hit first.

Photo of AugiePrimrose
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5

A cool compound in downtown Bend with multiple bars, a movie theatre, a full service restaurant, firepit, and inn.

For the PNW, the beers are average at best with the usual styles brewed.

The worst service in Bend. Chronically understaffed. Unprofessional servers, untrained kitchen...the food never matched the menu description...if it came at all. The few times we ended up here, because the other brewpubs were packed, we left disappointed.

Average. Some of the usual styles.

Inconsistent at best and rarely matching the menu description.

Not overly expensive, but not worth the headache of this place.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This is definitely one of the better McMenamins in the state, the atmosphere is great with the addition of the hotel, theater, and the outside firepit is one of the best atmospheres to be had in bend. As for the quality....its good, not great. McMenamins beer is always a little weak in my opinion and they never do anything too crazy to push the limits. Very standard. The service is good and the waiters are attentive. The food selection is good, typical pub food, burgers, sandwiches etc, but the quality of the food is ok...Overall this place is great for atmosphere and it drops off from there.

Photo of yuriruley
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I love the atmosphere at this place. Haven't stayed in the hotel, but would like to at some point. Their food is pretty good, but I felt it was a little overpriced for what you get. On the other hand their beer and beer milkshakes are quite good. They have events from time to time that are pretty interesting, this summer they had a great scotch tasting event. McMenamins is also set in a very lively part of town which is nice, so there are lots of great restaurant and stores within walking distance if you are staying in the hotel. Not to mention a park and the river right down the road.

Photo of gixxerman
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

This complex is pretty cool. You can grab a draft in the brewpub and meander around the property, this is actually encouraged. Another nice touch is the theater, were you can sip a pint while catching a flick. It was about 6 degrees F while I was there, so the outdoor activities were null.

There selection wasn't that impressive, I think 5 house beers. I stayed with the Terminator Stout - no complaints.

On a Tuesday night, it was not crowded at all at the bar. The bar was about 50% and there was not a wait for a table. We grabbed seats at the bar. there are a few pubs on the property, we were at the ones near the brewing equipment.

I would consider it a must see, and if I go back I would try to stay on the property in one of the bungalows.

Photo of flexabull
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Yet another well restored and unique location from the McMenamis bros. This one is a great old Catholic School with numerous bars and pubs scattered around, a theater, lots of outdoor seating, and a soaking pool.

Quality is above average. I've never thought that their beers were all that great. But they always tend to be solid and above average.

Service was good, a bit slow, but the girl that tended to us let us play an hour of pool for free.

Selection was good. About a dozen taps. A few losers and some wine sprinkled into the taps, but there were at least 8 good on site brews represented.

Food is good pub grub, at a reasonable price. Had a tasty personal pizza for about $7.

I'd definitely come back, just for the atmosphere. The beer is just icing on the cake here.

Photo of LittleA
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

First off, I like what the McMemanim brothers have done in the PNW. They have restored many architecturally and historically important places in Oregon and Washington. Come on, how many microbreweries have a historian on staff? Hats off to them for this.

Now for the review. The Old St Francis school is great. Typical McMen's style, but with unique touches. O'Kane's bar is a converted garage with 3 outdoor firepits and the Grateful Dead playing - very nice after a long day of hiking or skiing to sit outside and look at the stars. The Turkish soaking pool is just right too - with a skylight that open directly to the elements. One recommendation would be to add a second entrance to the pool so soakers have the option of not walking past the music hall and smoky pub if they choose.

Hotel staff were great. We stayed in the Art House and it was nice, nothing fancy, but a good value. Comfy beds, a confusing TV system, good coffee and plenty of glasses.

All in all a nice place in a great location in the center of Orange County North (i.e Bend, OR)

Photo of Hollenbeck2
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

My wife an I went here for our first wedding anniversary. We actually just randomly found it because we saw people sitting outside eating. We stopped and were pleasantly surprised by what we found. The place is really really cool. It’s a converted school that is now a bar/brewpub. It has a very old feel to it but also maintains a almost hippy-ish (for lack of a better description) atmosphere.
The food was pretty tasty and the wait staff was really friendly. When I went in to buy a couple bombers to go the bartender had to run to the basement to get the beer. After he ran down and got my beers I decided that I should grab a couple more for friends. He was very busy but very promptly ran back down and got my dumbass a couple more.

This place is great but let me let you know in the summer when it can be 100 degrees outside, there is NO air conditioning in the hotel, so be warned.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Oh McMenamins, how you love to spread across the Pacific Northwest.

I mean that in the best way actually!

The Old St. Francis School is a converted Catholic school, built around the turn of the century. Now it is a restaurant, bar, hotel, movie theater, turkish bathhouse, an acre of outdoor patio, and we in Bend sure love it!

The movie theater is my favorite part. They play three movies a day, usually a rated G/PG one around noon-3, a good R movie around 6, then at 9 they usually do another playing, or they play a cult/horror/independant movie.

Tickets are $3. But thats not the good part. They have couches there for sitting in. Very comfortable! But thats not even the good part...
...the good part is that they have a full bar inside the theater. The 6 and 9 shows are adult only. They offer half a dozen of their microbrews, as well wine, mixed drinks, and a limited food menu.

So you can enjoy your movie with a pitcher of IPA by your side.

Aside from the movie theater, they have no less than 5 bars. Two allow smoking and have pool tables and such. The other is in the main dining area, and another two are outside and during the warmer months, patio dining is where it's at in Bend.

Their food menu is identical to every other McMenamins across the PacNW. Good steaks, burgers, pasta dishes, etc. Never had a bad meal, though ive gotten kinda bored with their menu years ago.

Photo of younger35
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My girlfriend and I stopped by here on our way to Newport, Oregon for a long weekend. We actually just randomly found it because we saw people sitting outside eating. We stopped and were pleasantly surprised by what we found. The place is really really cool. It’s a converted school that is now a bar/brewpub. It has a very old feel to it but also maintains a almost hippy-ish (for lack of a better description) atmosphere.
The food was pretty tasty and the wait staff was really friendly. When I went in to buy a couple bombers to go the bartender had to run to the basement to get the beer. After he ran down and got my beers I decided that I should grab a couple more for friends. He was very busy but very promptly ran back down and got my dumbass a couple more. One thing that my girlfriend and I noticed in Bend was that most people we ran into in restaurants and other businesses were pretty unfriendly. Maybe it was just bad luck but that seemed to be the trend until we went here. Everyone was very friendly and very nice.
Until I checked there website, I had no idea how big this place was. It sounds like it would be a great place to spend a weekend.

Photo of xoqx
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Amongst the many great McMenamins pubs, this entire Old St Francis complex is truly amazing. My wife and I stayed at the hotel that’s part of this mini urban resort and I must report on its [count them] FIVE pubs on site.

First of all, this is a converted Catholic school in downtown Bend, Oregon that has been turned into part of the internally consistent, otherworldly mcmenamins universe which is sort of half David Lynch and half Jerry Garcia. Every inch is adorned with some hand pained detail, carefully hung ornament, or dim colored bulb of some sort. The old school classrooms have been converted to hotel rooms, there is a restaurant, 5 bars, a movie theatre, two outdoor terraces, a Turkish soaking bath (with 104 degree saltwater) and one of the bars is a steak and cigar bar that plays nothing but grateful dead.

The food is the typical McMenamins pub fare which is never over the top great, but is also almost never disappointing. The waitstaff is friendly and on top of things, but it’s unfortunately hit or miss whether they know their beer. However, this isn’t such a big deal since McMenamins beers are pretty standard from pub to pub.

One warning, the bar in the theatre tends to get backed up before a show and not getting there early enough to secure your draft might cause you to miss the beginning of a movie.

Neither the food nor the beer at MeMenamins is really *superb*, but they have so entirely succeeded at creating a very fun nearly-alternate-reality that I keep going back to see their various 55 pubs throughout Oregon and Washington. I highly recommend dropping in on this tiny slice of the McMenamin brothers’ world.

Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I gotta say I admire what the McMenamin brothers have done; while there is a "formula" to their places, it's a good formula, as they strive really hard to create a different atmosphere in each place. Whenever I'm out in Orgeon I try to hit one or two, and I think this one, second only to the Kennedy School (which is so well done as a restored elementary school to be almost creepy) has the best atmosphere. Kind of a weird mishmash between British Colonial India and a Jesuit mission, the place definitely has it's own strange edge, with crazy light fixtures (no two look alike) and all sorts of strange antique signage. The restaurant-brewery is nice, but the little separate fireside pub (that seats about 30) with adjacent billiard room is the best. There's also a small hotel in back, and a soaking pool. And lots of patio space (for the summer anyway, even though they kept a fire going in the brazier out back for anyone crazy enough to sit outside in a Central Oregon winter.)

They brew on-premise, in the basement. The beer is good but is the usual standard McMenamins stuff. A wheat, a pale, an IPA, a red and a (good) stout (on tap or on nitro.) They had a seasonal nut brown as well as the Christmas Ale, which was really worth drinking. Their beers aren't cutting edge or anything, and it's always the same selection, but they are consistently good. Plus each McMenamins that says it's a brewery actually is a brewery, as opposed to the growing trend among restaurants of calling yourself a "brewery-slash-restaurant" but brewing off-premise or contract stuff. Yeah, it's your own beer, but you don't have a brewery unless your tanks work.

The food was good, the chicken skewer appetizer was especially nice, but it's not much different than their other places. Service was decent and friendly, and it was totally affordable (dinner for 3 with 3 beers and an appetizer for under $60.) Worth another visit for sure.

...oh, and check out all the painted iron globe post-caps on the theatre marquee, in the bar area, or on the stair railings, or anywhere else where there is a wrought-iron fence or rail. Someone made creative use of their spare time.

Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.63/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

The McMenamins in Bend, which is the newest one, at least at the time of me writing this.

The atmosphere of this place stands out above the crowd, even for a McMenamins location, which - say what you will - is almost always a unique and interesting venue well kept and decorated. The quality of the beer is what you would expect. I tend to find their offerings slightly pedestrian. Their porter is too often on the nitro tap, and their attempt at a raspberry beer - although I understand the motive behind it - is simply not something that pleases my palate. The terminator stout is a safe bet, and one the one that I find myself turning down. A pretty darn tastey brew, and one that is consistent.

The selection at this site was the expected, with the above beers, two seasonals (the holiday spiced ale actually very well balanced and without being overly spiced) and Pilsner Urquell and a macro of some sort as well.

Overall, this place, with it's wood work and exceptional cleanliness and upkeep sets a standard for atmosphere, but the beer selection qne menu, if one has been to previous McMennamins locations, is nearly identical or is to the other places.

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McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend, OR
87 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.