By now, I am sure that those who have read my articles from Portland's west-side suburbs are decently disappointed that there have been minimal reviews on cigar enjoyment locations closer to the Beaverton/Hillsboro area. The hard truth is that the vast majority of cigar clubs and bars with cigar privileges stretch from downtown to the east side with only a few offerings west of Knob Hill. Luckily, this article finds me at one such establishment.
Down Highway 26, off of Cornelius Pass Road, sits McMenamins Historic Properties. What was once a small historic house on farm land known simply as "The Road House", has turned into a gigantic sprawl of multiple period-style buildings and gardens. The compound plays host to numerous goings on. Weddings are common place all around the campus on any given day. Imbrie Hall is the main dining facility for the public to come in for local pub fare and McMenamins signature microbrews and spirits. More importantly to this writer however, is the small whitewashed cottage on the west end of the property. In this small shanty, sits a wood stove, 1 large group table, two small tables and a modest corner bar. Welcome to McMenamins White Shed.
The shed itself is the definition of modest. The shed is small enough to be down right hot in the middle of winter with just the wood stove burning. The real charm of the White Shed is a combination of the fine collection of spirits in the bar and its outdoor fire pit offering cigar indulgers a wonderful smoking atmosphere. Another wonderful plus is that McMenamins has absolutely no issue with outside sticks being smoked in their establishment. This offers those with an extensive private collection, an alternate location to enjoy their own procured smokes. Don't worry if you forgot your favorite stick at home though, they have a modest but thoughtful collection of fine smokes available at the bar to help out.
In general, true Oregonians are familiar with the "McMenamins Aesthetic" - so many of McMenamins' properties are repurposed buildings- from abandoned elementary schools to institutions for the mentally ill, McMenamins has found its identity in converting all of these buildings and grounds into something out of a Mumford and Sons music video. The White Shed and its surrounding grounds are no exception. Old-fashioned rope lights line the pathways from building to building and paths leading to large grass openings used for weddings, corporate parties and family reunions alike. Bark chips are the ground covering of choice for anything not covered in manicured grass or shrubbery and the entire locale lends itself to a summer getaway rather than a micro-pub on the side of a main thoroughfare.
As the summer begins to wind down in the next few weeks, it is reasonable to assume this location will be a popular location for brews, cigars, conversation and all around relaxation. Sitting at one of many picnic tables surrounding the impressively large fire pit, with the summer breeze just enough to keep the temperature comfortable, one would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable location in which to invest one's time and cigar.
The White Shed and all of Mcmenamins Historic Properties are located at 4045 N.W. Cornelius Pass Rd. Hillsboro, OR 97124