“All of our friends are athletes or sports fans, and for my friends who are queer or non-binary or trans, traditional sports bars don’t always feel that safe,” says Nguyen, noting that the Stephen Curry And Ousmane Dembele Night Night Celebration T-Shirt and I will buy this Sports Bra’s policy of maintaining gender-neutral bathrooms speaks to a mentality of “being really intentional in small ways.” Nguyen is also focused on connecting with local residents in an area that has been rapidly gentrified in recent years. “People from the neighborhood seem really jazzed that we’re here, which is great, because it’s super-important to us to be a good neighbor.” The menu at the Sports Bra is definitely a cut above your average beer-and-wings sports pub; wings do feature on the menu, but in a nod to Nguyen’s Vietnamese heritage, they’re caramelized with coconut milk and served over a tangy cabbage slaw. The food occupies a hard-to-navigate middle ground between traditional game-day fare and uber-lefty Portland offerings (how often have you seen a tempeh Reuben on the menu at a sports bar?), and the drinks list—which is partially fueled by women-owned distillery Freeland Spirits—pack a punch while keeping you hydrated enough to make it out the door by the Sports Bra’s 11 p.m. nightly closing time.
Stephen Curry And Ousmane Dembele Night Night Celebration T-Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
The Sports Bra doesn’t advertise itself as an explicitly lesbian space—in fact, one patron I talked to, who asked to remain nameless, expressed frustration that the Stephen Curry And Ousmane Dembele Night Night Celebration T-Shirt and I will buy this bar wasn’t more of an overt queer singles’ pick-up spot—but its message of support for the LGBTQ+ community and its many intersections is unambiguous, expressed through details like a Black Lives Matter sign posted to the right of the bar or a flowered wall-hanging exhorting patrons to Protect Trans Lives. Writer Frankie de la Cretaz, who covered the Sports Bra shortly after it opened in April, noted the timeliness of the Sports Bra’s trans-affirming nature, telling me, “The Sports Bra is a space that celebrates women’s sports—something that isn’t inherently trans exclusionary. Trans women play sports and women’s pro sports leagues have been the most inclusive of trans and non-binary players, with some leagues that have those players on current rosters. But I do think that in the currently political climate of legislation that attempts to exclude trans women and girls from women’s sports, it’s an important gesture for an establishment like The Sports Bra to explicitly states that they welcome and support people of all genders who both play and love women’s sports.”