By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,296)
“This isn’t a brand hotel,” said Jim Brady, owner of the new Press Hotel. “That fact gives us lots of flexibility,” Brady told a crowd of well-wishers and supporters this afternoon at the white ribbon cutting for the Press Hotel. 119 Exchange Street, at the corner of
The Press Hotel opened as the first lifestyle boutique hotel in Portland this week. Brady’s dedication to the local artistic community, its legacy as a Guy P.Gannett communications center and Portland’s significant culinary reputation were all on display in every niche and corner of the handsomely restored edifice. From the art gallery to the 110 guest rooms and hallway decor on the top floors, Portland is on display at its best. These dedications would not have been possible under a brand name that carefully regulates what can and can’t be done inside one of theirs, hence restricting creativity of location.
UNION is the 65-seat restaurant that Executive Chef Josh Berry will oversee. The name UNION represents the relationship with the community – the local farmers, fishermen, brewers and craftsmen that create the uniquely Portland experience. The restaurant is intended as a place to converse, socialize and share news. As the kitchen is additionally a gathering place for family and friends, the restaurant’s design celebrates social interaction with a residential vibe.
General Manager Michael Strejeck said: “If you want to know what Portland’s creative and independent spirit feels like, “The Press Hotel is the place to stay, dine or meet. From top to bottom our goal is to deliver a thoughtful guest experience that is authentic to the city and will surprise and entertain both Portland residents and visitors. UNION restaurant is the perfect match for our hotel, a social hub that will literally give guests a taste of Portland.”
The former hub of Gannett communications (not connected with the national publishing giant) had been vacant for years until Brady and his wife saw its potential in downtown Portland.