Sports bar highlighting the opening of women’s sports in Portland

The Sports Bra, a sports bar dedicated to women’s sports, is set to open at NE 25 and Broadway in April.

PORTLAND, Oregon – There’s a new version of the typical sports bar coming to northeast Portland and the focus will be on women.

Jenny Nguyen is the owner and founder of The sports braa women’s sports bar that will open on Northeast 25th Avenue and Broadway in April.

“I want people to walk in the door thinking it’s a regular sports bar and feel very comfortable. And then when they sit down they realize all the TVs are showing women’s sports. They do the flags on the wall or the women’s teams, the WNBA or the Seattle Storm or the Thorns flag,” Nguyen said.

But the witty name isn’t just a pun.

Nguyen said her business is not just about building a fandom around women’s sports, but also about supporting women in general.

“I will try to open all the breweries created and owned by women. You know, the beef is gonna come from Carman Ranch, [run by] a rancher in Wallowa, Oregon,” Nguyen said.

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The idea for a sports bar dedicated to women’s sports came to her in 2018 after she and her friends watched an incredible women’s basketball championship game.

“It was Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State, I think it was, and it ended up being one of the best games we’ve ever seen,” she said.

They watched it in a sports bar with no sound because the other games took precedence.

“I had made a joke about the only way we could watch the game and fully immerse ourselves in it is that we had our own place.”

Fast forward to 2020 amid a pandemic and social justice movements, Nguyen found herself wanting to push for change. She said when his girlfriend brought up the idea, Nguyen said what started as a joke started to become a reality.

“It was like […] maybe it’s a way of using what I’m really good at to make a difference,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen is a trained chef with 15 years of culinary experience. She said the food will be very similar to what’s typically offered at a familiar sports bar, such as burgers, wings and salads. But there will be some differences.

“Almost everything will be done from scratch. Me and my girlfriend try to be gluten free, dairy free and we have vegan friends [or] vegetarian,” Nguyen said.

She said menu items will be easily changed to meet dietary needs or there will be something for anyone in those categories.

Nguyen combined his love of food with his love of sports. It’s a love she’s had since she was a child.

“I think having a place that normalizes women in sport would have helped me feel a greater sense of belonging,” she said.

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In The Sports Bra, her loves are associated with values ​​such as inclusion, representation and fairness. In addition to sports team flags, LBGTQ and Black Lives Matter flags will also hang in his sports bar.

Now, thanks to the financial support of his friends and family, Nguyen has been able to make great strides towards his goal. The space is hers, as are the essential equipment for a bar and a restaurant. Nguyen said she was also approved for a loan and is in the process of participating.

In the meantime, she still needs to buy things like pots and pans, glasses, food and have enough money to pay the staff she hopes to start hiring in March.

Nguyen launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help. Just over a week after launching the campaign, she has received more than three-quarters of her goal of $48,700. She said she was grateful for all the support.

“It was really amazing and just to see the community embrace this idea and the concept and really come out in droves to show their support, was awesome,” Nguyen said. “People have been jazzed up, which is great.”

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