How could it be that Erin Stephenson and her new Third Street Flats – which are four apartments, available for nightly or weekly rental s on the top floor of the 1885 McMinnville Bank Building – have anticipated my every lodging mood? Erin and her husband, Travis Easterday, have created the most original and eclectic lodging in McMinnville – if not in all of Oregon – by having four different local teams design four unique and utterly different units.
Erin says that they were trying to recreate the feel of the pensiones that they visit in Europe, where you rent an apartment in the heart of a city or town. But I know better. They obviously did it by reading my mind, and I wish they’d cut it out.
Example: I often like to pretend that I’m Ernest Hemingway, swanning around 1920’s Paris and enjoying a gay café society that revolves around a chic little pied-a-terre apartment of my very own. NOBODY KNOWS THIS! (until now). And yet, Flat Number One at Third Street is named the Pied-a-Terre, and is a gorgeous little boite of brown velour furniture, a kitchenette, watercolors on the walls from local artists and a chandelier hanging from an upholstered chain. Formidable!
“The girls from La Bella Casa knocked it out of the park [when they did the design],” says Erin. No, they merely read my mind. Like Hemingway himself, I could write some gripping prose from that unit, believe you me, but only after getting through a bottle or two of the Third Street Flats wine that is offered to guests alongside a plate of Honest Chocolates. And maybe a late visit to the bar at La Rambla, downstairs.
But wait, on other days I dream of having a big, Italian farmhouse, with a large kitchen and table from which to scarf great volumes of pasta with sundry friends and family. Which brings us to Flat #2, named Olio e Aceto (which either means Oil & Vinegar or is the full name of Popeye’s girlfriend, I’m not sure which). This Italianate gem has a full kitchen with a beautiful, farmhouse table and bench made from recycled wood, a cutting board reclaimed from a massive stump, Kim Hamblin’s paper art on the walls and shelves stocked with pasta, flour, sugar and bottles of the namesake olive oil and vinegar. And a colander, of course, for draining all of that pasta. When Sophia Loren comes to town, this is where she would stay.
But then, every couple of weeks I need to feel like a Portland hipster, so I’d stay at The Pearl (Flat #3), with its bright blue and green walls, low-rise king bed and Asian accents. I would do very cool and hip things there. How did Erin know this? I thought I kept it to myself.
And finally, The Retreat is a big, expansive urban apartment with red-brick walls, tall windows looking out onto Third Street and oversized photographs from Sandi Colvin (who also runs the Hidden Treasures gallery) of Farmer’s Market produce and Third Street scenes. When my options vest, when my personal Board needs to convene, when the tassels on my loafers need a break, I would retreat to The Retreat.
With such lodgings available, who needs therapy? (I’ll leave that to you to decide.) Third Street Flats rent for $165-$245/night, with discounts for weekly stays; make reservations on-line or call 503-857-6248.