Boon’s Treasury – Salem

McMenamins Manic Mondays – Episode One.  I wanted to start a new series and thought a good idea might be to write about some of the success stories from the Willamette Valley – one of those is how the McMenamins organization has turned many historic buildings into successful restaurants, hotels, pubs, and theaters.  Since I was going to be in Sale this weekend I decided to start with a great historic building there.  Boon’s Treasury started out as a building built by John D. Boon who was Oregon’s first treasurer.  The treasury building served as a general store and a meeting place for state business.  In the early twentieth century future president Herbert Hoover was a frequent guest of the establishment as he was a childhood friend of the owner’s son.

Where is Boon’s Treasury?

Boon’s Treasury is near downtown Salem.  It’s a quick drive from Interstate five and has decent parking out front.

Arriving at Boon’s Treasury

There is a decent parking lot next to the treasury on the north side.  I arrived about thirty minutes after opening, and there were several spaces still available.  The outside is all brick and definitely has an old downtown feel, though there aren’t any other buildings like it within sight.  Perhaps there once was, but now Boon’s Treasury stands as a reminder of the fantastic architecture of the mid nineteenth century.

Boons Treasury name on overhand
McMenamins does a great job of keeping the vintage esthetic of these places – It’s wonderful that historic building are being preserved so carefully

I wandered around for a few minutes outside and found the rear entrance.  There’s a beautiful little sitting area near the back door and I took a few minutes to enjoy the peace there.

Near the side entrance outside sitting area
The sitting area is very nice and has some small lights and Chinese lanterns.  There is also a fire pit that had a couple pieces of wood in it that I enjoyed sitting near for a new minutes
Firepit outside
On this cool Saturday morning there was a nice cheery fire in the fire pit
Chinese Lanterns in the outdoor seating area
Trees provide excellent shade outside Boon’s Treasury and the lanterns and other lights make for a lovely setting at night

The side door to get into Boon’s Treasury is massive and imposing – there doesn’t seem to be any architectural changes in the brick around the entrance, so I can only surmise this was a side entry for the original building.

Side entrance
This large reinforced door is the side entrance to the Treasury

Inside Boon’s Treasury

Boon’s Treasury was a bit smaller and intimate than I thought it would be – but that doesn’t take anything away from the charm and intimate setting there.  The first thing I noticed was the large carpets and wall hangings.  The floor is a very old wooden floor that is very well preserved.

Looking inside from side entrance
The large wall hangings and carpets can be seen from this view which is the side entrance

On the way to my seat I got a chance to check out the specials – all of them looked pretty good and the fact that the brews side changes often is a benefit as far as I’m concerned – that means there are several delicious drinks that can be had at Boon’s Treasury.

Boon's Treasury daily specials
Several f these sounded absolutely delicious but I had to get to other places that night and didn’t have an opportunity to try any of them

Along the wall from the specials is a vintage stove that has an amazing brassy look and patina.  I can imagine folks gathering around it on stormy cold evenings in the late nineteenth century.

Vintage wood stove at Boon's Treasury
I’m not sure if the stove is used any more, but hopefully it is lit on cool days
Boon's Treasury jukebox
I’m not sure if the jukebox works either, but any jukebox that is opened to both Reverend Horton Heat (Rockabilly) and Daft Punk (Techno) has to be alright

Inside  Boon’s Treasure there are seats for about sixty or seventy customers.  There is a large bar area where folks can saddle up and enjoy a nice beverage.

Bar area
There’s a nice area with high for folks to enjoy cool beverages
Small tables at Boon's Treasury
Many of the seats opposite the side I was sitting on are smaller tables where folks can have somewhat private conversations

Boon’s Treasury Menu and Food

Rear of the menu
I really liked the stylized picture of Boon’s Treasury on the back of the menu
Boon's Treausry menu
The menu has some great selections, from the very fancy (in my opinion) to the ordinary (tater tots!!) which I ended up ordering.
Tater tots
I’m a sucker for tater tots and had plans later that night so just ordered a small order – there was at least a pound of them there – cajun flavored with garlic sauce – excellent and super tasty

Rating and Summary

I’ve always enjoyed visiting McMenamins venues and have been to quite a few, I’m not that interested in some of the newer venues but I really enjoy these historic places – it’s a fantastic idea to turn older buildings into Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, and Spas.  This is a great start to our journeys through the historic spots McMenamins has retired and managed through the Willamette Valley and this one definitely deserves the four and a half Heywillamettes I’ll award it.  I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who has an opportunity to visit Boon’s Treasury.




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