The Sentinel Hotel in SW Portland is one of our city’s most historic and prominent buildings. Originally constructed in 1909 and named the Hotel Seward, the art-nouveau structure is a Rose City landmark, and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Renamed the Governor Hotel in 1931, the building fell into a state of disrepair through the 90’s and 2000’s, until it was sold and renamed in 2012.

Upon reopen, the Sentinel’s new owners wanted to give the hotel a new breath of life. And missing from the building’s amenities was perhaps the most classic fixture of a classy hotel: a lobby bar. So the Sentinel team turned to Portland’s best. Working together with both the owners of The Sweet Hereafter and Dig A Pony, Jackknife was born, and the team reached out to Band for assistance with aesthetics.

The bar broke ground in late 2013, and Band was signed on as the brand builders for the bar. As construction progressed, we were blessed with the opportunity to explore the beautiful historic building, gathering inspiration. Our friend and colleague, Kris, accompanied us on one of these trips, taking some process shots of the build-out and the hotel’s hidden secrets.

Check out his shots in our blog, here.

Aesthetically, we wanted Jackknife to skate between new and classic, harkening back to the hotel’s history and it’s new life. Inspired by the duality of the word Jackknife, two distinct icons emerged.

To see some of our process, check out our Dribbble Bucket, here.

Once completed, Jackknife knocked everyone’s socks off; even ours.

From hundred-year-old stained glass to brand new gold leafing to our twenty-foot neon sign, Jackknife turned out absolutely beautiful.

Jackknife opened in the summer of 2014 to much fanfare.

We were fortunate to attend the opening party, and we snapped some shots that you can see here:

Since opening, Jackknife has established itself as a fixture in Portland’s downtown bar scene. When Eater PDX conducted its 2014 Restaurant Awards, Jackknife was selected as Portland’s Most Beautiful New Bar.

We couldn’t agree more.

So remember, When In Portland, stop by Jackknife, and don’t forget to Sing With Your Heroes.

Jack Knife

Project categories: Case Studies, Identity, Josh, Signage, Space, Web, Work, Zach

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