With a TV drag star at the mic, and a series of Seattle LGBTQ chefs set to rotate through its kitchen, Pike/Pine’s Queer/Bar is ready to create a new nightspot and social center on Capitol Hill. And maybe make a buck or two in the process.
Queer/Bar opens Saturday night.
“It’s been 12 years of planning, scrapping, and conceptualizing amongst friends and colleagues,” co-owner Joey Burgess said when the new project was announced this summer. “I’m over the moon to launch in a neighborhood that has felt like home for years.”
Queer/Bar is backed by Burgess and a company that includes Dave Meinert, his partner from the Guild Seattle group that also runs a big chunk of Pike/Pine hangouts including Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s. Queer/Bar neighbor Grim’s is also part of the Guild holdings. That bar’s acquisition in 2014 brought a higher profile role in Pike/Pine nightlife for Burgess as Guild’s director of operations and a change in direction toward dance and table service and away from the group’s usual focus on booze and barstools.
Helping Burgess with a new look for the 11th Ave space is his husband, designer Murf Hall. Expect neon.
Queer/Bar will debut with some additional Capitol Hill LGBTQ bonafides including a new show from drag scene vet and TV celebrity Robbie Turner. Queer/Bar is also promising a rich “Queer/Hall” social agenda:
A meeting place in the heart of Capitol Hill, Queer/Hall fosters an engaged community through civic, social, and educational conversation that inspires empathy, pride, and positive action. All our voices deserve to be heard.
The first Queer/Hall event at Queer/Bar will be an October 15th reception as part of the TWIST Queer Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Queer/Bar also plans to showcase Seattle’s LGBTQIA culinary arts with rotating chefs putting together the venue’s vegetarian and vegan-focused brunch and dinner menus. Q/B’s debut chef is Mac Jarvis — for a time Burgess’s lead in the kitchen at the short-lived Ernest Loves Agnes.
It also comes to the table with plenty of merch — the bar’s website includes a relatively robust t-shirt selection in its “Queer/Shop.”
Queer/Bar opens this weekend on an increasingly straight Capitol Hill, taking over the space left empty when rising rents drove longtime gay lounge Purr from the neighborhood this summer. That bar reopened in Montlake earlier this week. While longtimers R Place and Neighbours continue to hold down the queer fort, relative newcomer Q is an example of a Capitol Hill nightspot that launched with an LGBTQ identity before transitioning to cater to a more straight and mainstream clientele. Queer/Bar, meanwhile, will be the first new LGBTQ-focused bar to open on the Hill since the exit of Lobby Bar from E Pike in 2014.
Queer/Bar opens officially on Saturday at 1518 11th Ave with plans to be open daily 4 PM to 2 AM. You can learn more at thequeerbar.com.