Boon's Treasury

McMenamins is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about living in Oregon. Dinner at the McMenamins, Boon's Treasury, at 888 Liberty Street NE where it connects with Broadway, is an historic event. In 1860, Oregon's first State Treasurer, John D. Boon, built the two story structure near the first mills in Salem. The buiding served as a general store until the end of prohibition in 1933 where it became a "beer parlor," called Karr's Tavern. In 1998, McMenamins bought the historic site and kept it going ever since.

Boon's Treasury is a sight for sore eyes in a city that's building strip malls and Walmarts faster than you can drive down Lancaster. The parking lot is small but that might be a good excuse to walk from downtown or take a bus. You can relax in a booth inside or sit outdoors in the beer garden. They have your standard pub menu with hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches with only a couple of items just a dime over $10. Try the hummus plate as an appetizer or your main meal. It comes with warm pitas, kalamata olives marinated red onion and squares of feta cheese. It's fantastic. The tuna salad sandwich with a side salad is also very good and healthy. My wife suggests the distillers salad as a meal with grilled whiskey marinated chicken and honey mustard dressing.

Service is a bit slow but that's to your advantage. It gives you time to catch up with friends and family or have a cold micro brew. They also serve Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coor's light for under $2 a glass.



{Links to Museum Tavern (not Boon's Treasury) shooting:
1)Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2) Historical photo one
3) Historical photo two
4) Historical photo three
5) Historical photo four
6) Historical photo five
7) Historical photo six
8) Local author spins tale of fiction from experience
More info in comments below.}

27 comments:

K & N said...

My husband and I, ate there Wednesday night. I had a turkey wrap with a side salad off of their special menu and my husband had a Treasury burger with fries. We shared a pitcher of Dr. Who. What a nice way to relax outside on a summer evening and catch up with each other! Every once in awhile we could hear distant synchronized yelling. ?? Then we spotted the "Karate" sign on a building across the street. Pretty funny!

K & N said...

P.S. Thanks for the building's history.

jonas said...

Every time I've been there it's just been ok. The kitchen seems extremely lazy so they never do every part of an order well.

Jen said...

I think it's part of the McMenamins "mystique" that all their restaurants are painfully slow. ;)

Thompson's (in S. Salem) is nice too, check it out!

Anonymous said...

all their trademark brews are amazing... every person will find one they like.. also, their ahi tuna steak sandwich with pickled ginger and wasabi mayo is INCREDIBLE. it's my favorite sandwich to get in this whole town. they also have my favorite bar fries in town. go mcmenamins!

Anonymous said...

Boon's is fun, the employees however are painfull to deal with. Every McMenamins sucks as far as service!

Anonymous said...

Great place to hang out and have a beer. Food is decent pub food.

Don't go there if you want to eat and are in a hurry. As previously mentioned the service is painfully slow. Not as bad as Thompsons, but still slllloowwww.

I like the Ruby. I like the Ruby a whole lot. Too much at times.

Anonymous said...

Boon's has great atmosphere but Mcmenamin's beer is far too expensive for what you get. Give me a reasonable happy hour pint, say $3, and I'd go in there far more often.

Anonymous said...

McMenanmins in Salem Boons/Thompsons are famous for terrible service. At Thompsons we actually waited for an hour for our food only to have a waitress come and tell us that they just called in a 2nd cook and he would be there in 30 mins - - - it was awful. It think it was over an hour and a half.

Food quality is hit and miss but overall good.

Beer is pretty good, but not cold enough for my taste. Ridiculously expensive. But in Salem, you don't have a lot of choices.

That all said, we still go to both frequently. Not a lot of competition out there.

Alex said...

We get to this place every month or so, for lunch on the weekend. The food is always predictably good, but service can sometimes be slow, even if they don't seem busy.

The atmosphere is nice, this is an old brick building with high ceilings, and one big dining area. There's outside seating too, though it doesn't look like there's a lot of it.

My only two beefs with all McMenamins are: 1) the fries are often limp and greasy and 2) they only have Gardenburgers (yuck) instead of Boca burgers (yum).

Brutemis said...

It's true, the service is notoriously slow at all McMenamins locations. However, I think for the quality of the beer (especially since many of their seasonals are made with local ingredients and environmentally friendly practices) they are quite reasonably priced. If you think their microbrews are expensive, you clearly haven't been to a lot of brew pubs. Their prices are pretty much in line with other brew pubs in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

went there the other night. our server was great! he was very charming and gave us just the right amount of attention without being overbearing. however, the music was too loud. music is nice, but have to scream to your dining companions is not. it would be much nicer if the volume was turned down. the menu is too expensive for not that amazing food. also, there are VERY few vegetarian options. I love their tots, but i do wish they had a smaller serving size available.

Anonymous said...

Typical McMenamins, so-so pub food, slow service, pleasant atmosphere. Speaking of the buildings' history, a friend of mine who's a Salem-lifer told me (while we were sitting there eating) that someone went into that building about 20 years ago and opened fire on people.


check please!

Salem Man said...

Can any Salem "lifers" out there confirm that the previous post is true. I've been searching the sj website, oregonlive and google with no luck yet.

KandN said...

I wonder if this is what they're thinking of?
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19810509&id=cwcOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=020DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4412,1701862

Salem Man said...

holy smokes, how did you find that?

Salem Man said...

Here's another link

http://photos.salemhistory.net/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=any&CISOBOX1=%22oregon+museum+tavern%22&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=all

The address listed in this info is 2300 Front street which is not the address of Boon's. This shooting did not happen at the Boon's Treasury. Good work K.

KandN said...

I had no idea that google news had clips like that, did you? I guess Larry Tokarski used to own the Oregon Museum Tavern. Isn't he big in real estate around here?

Anonymous said...

No that is not the building we were shoot in,

I was looking on the internet and saw this post, so I thought I would respond.

I was one on the shooting survivors.

KandN said...

That must've been a horrible experience, but I'm glad you survived! I'd never even heard of the Oregon Museum Tavern until I began looking for info on the web.

Anonymous said...

It was the Oregon Museum Tavern where the shooting took place. I was one of those lucky people that was supposed to go to the ladies night that evening, but decided to stay home instead. I too have had to dispell the rumor that Boone's was the site of that tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I had been a "regular" at the Museum for a long time prior to this incident, but had not been there for quite awhile.

I decided to go down and play pool that evening and was standing at the bar when the shooter came in and opened fire.

The person standing next to me was shot and I jumped over the bar into the service area. It was a very traumatic experience.

Anonymous said...

Between when it was Karr's Tavern and purchase by the McMenamins, it was a delightful tavern called-- Boon's Treasury--with much the same feel as today. It became Boon's in the mid-70s. The place had, for the time and place, innovative pub food (Scotch eggs as snacks), a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, and was my favorite tavern in western Oregon.

I appreciate and enjoy the McMenamins chain, but I miss the old Boon's.

Anonymous said...

Boons was great back in the early 90's. No booths, just a mishmash of tables that got shoved out of the way to make way for rock n roll bands and dancing. That was back when a curtain of smoke was pretty much standard fare in a bar, but it added a certain mystique to Boon's. Rough service. A huge selection of beers from around the world when most bars had three taps of Bud, Oly and Schlitz.

I still like Boons, and think McMen do a great job for a chain, but prior to McMen ownership it was the coolest bar around.

Chuck Bradley said...

I've eaten at a number of McMenamins locations in the valley. I agree with others here that the service can be spotty. In fact, I've pretty much given up on Thompson’s. But today we won the lottery for servers. We had a young lady named Lindsey who was just great. She even had a Sandwich made for me which wasn’t on the Menu. The food came quickly. It was very good, but I've never had an issue with food quality at any of their establishments. My friends Bill and Marsha Hoskins and I had a very nice time, thanks, in no small measure, to Lindsey's competence and friendliness.

Anonymous said...

I( was a regular patron of Boon's Treasury in the mid to late 70s. It was the best place in Salem to hang out. We had both mens and womans soccer teams. I moved out of state in 79, and would love to find some of those folks that hung around there in those days and played soccer for Boons. -Hermann in Washoe Valley

Anonymous said...

It is no secret McMenamins are masons, I have been to several properties over the years and they all have the same illuminati symbles EVERYWHERE! Look at the benches and all seeing eye, interesting? The liquor beer and wine are good so they do not need to improve the quality of food, just increase the prices to keep it coming.