Graeter Art Gallery
The Merchant Hotel Bar and Graeter Art Gallery are a glorified homage to this historic building's vibrant Old Town past. The Merchant Building and The Merchant Hotel was completed in 1880 by the lumber-baron Nicolia Brothers (Louis, Adolph, and Theodore) as an investment. It was originally designed as a luxury hotel and is one of the city’s best remaining examples of Victorian Italianate cast iron architecture.
The Merchant Hotel and surrounding Old Town establishments once hosted a diverse and rowdy crowd of locals and out-of-towners just off work, the train or steam ship and all looking for familiar common ground: well-stocked barrooms, brothels, good gambling and strong drink. At any given time on any given day, you’d find thirsty businessman alongside charming young ladies, muddy and lustful loggers from nearby skid-row, fishermen, eastern Oregon cowpokes, ranchers and laborers all elbowed up, side to side on a 100 ft. old growth Doug Fir bar top. They were all there for different reasons, but after much of the same game. Today, it’s still much the same place, only the people and rules are a little different.
We host friendly crowds at our thick redwood bar lit by candle wall sconces and our cozy Victorian couches surround old wood steamer trunks adorned with king size chess sets. Our guests are proud of our 100 year-old brick fireplace, the masterful Golden West Billiards table and an impressive collection of contemporary Portland artwork to distract your partner between shots. Western-themed bric-a-brac adorns the wall a-plenty, with old leather saddles, gun scabbards and cowboy boots, oiled horse collars, spurs, tack & elk antlers just about everywhere. Still, we have plenty of room out on the Skid Row Doug-fir dance floor, to give that sweet something a swing under some candle-laden brass chandeliers. Just go ahead & call this place your home, or rent it out with friends for the evening. Kick that trail mud off your heels, belly up to the hotel bar and give this old place a new story. .