What was your inspiration for creating your bar?
I have been a women’s sports fan my whole life. So when I got to an age where I could go out, I wanted to go places where sports were being played — places I could eat, drink and celebrate with my friends! But so many times, women’s sports was either not shown or those spaces didn’t feel comfortable and/or safe for me. The more people I talked to, the more I realized that it wasn’t just me and my friends; that it was a universal experience for many, many people. I felt the need for spaces MEANT for us, that represent us and celebrate us — a place where we belong.
What impact has the bar had on the PDX hospitality community?
Over the last 20 years, there’s been a dramatic and tragic disappearance of queer spaces. I think one of the most drastic impacts the bar has on the PDX community that I didn’t anticipate, was the acceptance as a safe, queer place. I had always intended for the bar to be for everyone, but I had initially opened it to address the lack of representation, access and culture of women’s sports in bars. Becoming a queer Mecca has been a pleasant bonus!
How do you maintain balance as a business owner in this industry?
Oh isn’t that the holy grail for everyone?! At first, it just wasn’t possible. I was eating, sleeping, breathing and dreaming about the bar and was spending 20 hours a day here. But now with a well-trained and dedicated team, I am able to go for walks, meditate and get back to a few of my hobbies. Finding that time and space is so beneficial. It not only strengthens me as human but also as a boss, leader, mentor and friend.