November 26th, 2021

Tiny Travels: Stylish party spaces for small groups in McMinnville

The Tiny Travelers learn about how McMinnville is also known as Walnut City.

If there is any specific art born of this era it is the art of gathering in public with friends, family, or colleagues—safely and with a little bit of style. With the holiday season on the horizon, the Tiny Travelers sought out the best places to accommodate your crew in McMinnville without having to do all of the work yourself.

The Secret Room at the Atticus Hotel

Tucked to the left of the front desk at McMinnville’s luxury boutique hotel the Secret Room at the Atticus will make guests feel like they are in a swanky, secluded space. A fire roars alongside a generous table, classic games sit at-the-ready, and a gallery features a chorus of local dignitaries and town characters cheering you on. Order a seated, multi-course meal from Red Hills Kitchen, the hotel restaurant, which celebrates local bounty through its inventive dishes.

Nick’s Back Room

Casual, elegant, James Beard Award-winning fare in a storied Oregon wine country locale? Yes please. You and your group can reserve the entire Back Room at Nick’s Italian Cafe right on 3rd Street*. From there, you can go two ways: Throw the best pizza party in the history of parties (with pool, maybe, and signature cocktails) or design something more formal, maybe a multi-course meal from the restaurant’s lauded Oregon-inspired takes on traditional Italian staples. Guests can enter through the restaurant or as the locals do— through the secret entrance off the alley on Evans Street.

*Editor’s Note: We just want to make clear that Nick’s Back Room is only available as a reserved event space. They are not open for dine-in or drinks as they have been in the past.

Mac Market Ivy Room and Courtyard

Yes, you can take your small crowd to Mac Market for dinner at the Collab Kitchen, where Chef Kari Shaughnnessy works with nearly 100% local ingredients to make small plate dishes and picnic fare. But you can also book a private space to make it more holiday-ready. The Ivy Room on the Mezzanine level has a TV (in case you want to show those old home videos with family) and the back courtyard would be perfect for a festive meet-up with hot drinks.

Bistro Maison

Some things never go out of style—including celebrations with French fare and bubbly. The Tinies like Bistro Maison for all occasions, but especially for a winter gathering, when the cold wet air pairs so well with braised and slow-cooked French favorites like Coq au Vin. Host Deborah Chatelard and her husband, Chef Jean-Jacques have hospitality dialed in and know their menu in and out. You can host as many as 24 guests in the upstairs Paris Suite (with its accompanying reception area) of the restaurant’s historic building—eat off the regular menu or design your own.

The Balcony at Hotel Oregon

Extra large groups are the norm in dedicated event locales at McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon, but the pub can accommodate groups of up to eight in its regular downstairs space. For a truly special moment, an open-air room overlooking 3rd Street from the second floor seats six people, but must be booked well in advance. From there you have your choice of the regular menu of burgers, tots, substantial salads, house-made brews and cocktails, and your view of the action. 

Illustration of writer, Emily Grosvenor

Emily Grosvenor is the Editor of Oregon Home magazine and is sustainability coordinator for #mcminnvilledentist.