HERMISTON — Downtown Hermiston’s iconic RoeMarks building will be back in business this week with the launch of the Union Club.
The coffee by day, bar by night gathering space has slated its grand opening celebration for Friday and Saturday.
Justin Doyle, owner of the club, said they tried to preserve as much of the 113-year-old brick building’s history as they could. Where parts of the wooden floor had to be removed, those slats were repurposed to line the stairs. Shelving was built out of posts from the building’s former dressing rooms and wood that was replaced with glass in the upstairs window wells.
“We did a lot of things like that,” Doyle said.
The building’s names are also historic — Union Club is actually a former name of the building, which served as the Union Club bar from the 1940s to 1960s. Two small meeting rooms available for free use upstairs are the Newport and Skinner rooms, named after the building’s original owners, who helped found Hermiston. And the large Gardner Room is named after Roe Gardner, who ran RoeMark’s Men’s and Western Wear there from 1974 to 2012.
The Gardner area upstairs, lined with comfortable couches and chairs, will play host to a variety of events, from wine tasting to readings to goat yoga. Doyle said he wants to build a “community rhythm” there, where, for example, people who love coffee might know that every Monday they can gather for some sort of coffee-related event and get to know others with the same passion.
Doyle promised the Union Club’s coffee will be very good.
“The coffee is formed around the quality of the coffee itself,” he said. “This is the top 1% of the top 1% of coffees. The farmers are doing everything by hand, in a very specific way, so that the coffee is very nuanced and sweet and flavorful.”
The bar will focus on “the best of the local producers” for craft beers and wines, as well as a large selection of spirits, particularly whisky.
As for food, there will be fresh pastries and savory pies baked on site every day by Magpie Baking Company. The individual-sized pies will draw inspiration from around the world, including Southern BBQ, Latin American cuisine and Thai curry.
The grand opening weekend for the Union Club at 201 E. Main St. will kick off Friday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. with a ribbon cutting by the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce. Live music on the adjacent festival street will begin immediately after and continue into the evening before picking up the next day from 3-10 p.m.