First Women’s Sports Bar in the Midwest

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by thebeers, Mar 25, 2024.

  1. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,393) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    A bar featuring women’s sports on the TV’s and (largely women-, trans- and nonbinary-owned) craft breweries’ beers has opened in Minneapolis. “A Bar Of Their Own” is reportedly the fourth women’s sports themed bar in the U.S.

    News Article:

    Video of Opening Day:

    Note the Beer Menu and how it spotlights brewery ownership:

    Directly from the bar’s “about” page:

    “In the spring of 2023, we went with a group of our friends to a nearby sports bar to watch the University of Minnesota Gophers Softball team play in the national tournament. After not seeing the game on any of the 20+ televisions, we asked the bartender if they could get it on one of the many screens, which were currently playing everything from football game reruns to a cornhole tournament.

    We stopped to ask ourselves,


    What if fans of women’s sports had a place to come together and cheer loudly for their favorite team on the biggest screen in the bar…with the sound on?”

    • Have you been to a women’s sports bar? How is the vibe similar and different from a men’s sports bar?
    • Do you think there’s a market for a bar like this in your community?
    • And have you seen other bars point out info about the ownership of the beers they serve?
  2. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,656) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    if there is a market for this bar, and it’s not exclusive or makes others outside of their demographic feel unwelcome, then I say go for it.

    as far as the first question “Have I ever been to a woman’s sports bar or how is it different from a men’s sports bar”…. No I haven’t and I didn’t know there was non-membership mens only sports bars. Just sports bars where all genders, preferences and races are welcome and upon my many many visits to sports bars over the decades I’ve never really witnessed any hostilities toward people enjoying wings and beer and watching a game. Not saying it doesn’t happen, just I’ve never seen it.
  3. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,393) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    The language is confusing. “Women’s sports bar” means a bar that primarily shows women’s sports on TV. “Men’s sports bar” means a bar that primarily shows men’s sports on TV. Neither is gender-specific in terms of clientele served.

    What percentage of the time would you say women’s sports games are the “sound on” games at the sports bars you’ve been to? For me, I’d say considerably less than 1%. That is the issue I think these women’s sports bars are trying to address; ie, providing a drinking hole where women’s sports on TV is the norm.
    JMN44, champ103, steveh and 3 others like this.
  4. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    This is where the trusty hyphen comes in, ready and willing to help if only put to use to create a compound adjective. The establishment you are describing here is a women’s-sports bar. Was that so hard? :wink:

    As for the concept, I enjoy watching both men’s and women’s sports (or both—mixed doubles tennis, anyone?) and would probably just rather go somewhere that shows both—but I don’t think this place was opened with me in mind, and that’s OK too.
    #4 Orca, Mar 25, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
  5. champ103

    champ103 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,792) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I tend to avoid sports bars of any kind anyway. Though met some friends at one for NCAA tournament on Friday, this is probably the only time I do go to a sports bar in the year. They had one of the women's tournament games on the big centered tv with the sound for that game and no other. Which might be the first time I have come across that, but again, I don't go to sports bars often at all. Just something interesting I noticed, not that I care about sports bars one way or the other, but cool that this is getting bigger.
    ChicagoJ, Shanex and thebeers like this.
  6. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,771) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
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    Seems like this is well timed with the increase in viewership of women's sports.

    Based on the outpouring of support of KC Current (NWSL, first sports stadium built for a professional women's team), half surprised the first women's-sports bar didn't open in Kansas City. But it seems like viewership is up across the country, so nice to see the love getting spread.
    thebeers likes this.
  7. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Pooh-Bah (1,912) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    It positively doesn't surprise me that Minneapolis would try and accommodate this idea. Sports bar is kind of hedging on the presumption that it will consist of male ball sport. It's kind of reached a peak, and is a well funded ship.
    thebeers likes this.
  8. LesDewitt4beer

    LesDewitt4beer Grand Pooh-Bah (4,876) Jan 25, 2021 Minnesota
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    Minnesota has a very healthy and robust sports scene. The opening of this bar was featured numerous times on pretty much every TV news station statewide. It celebrates the ongoing achievements of female athletes past & present and not just from MN. For a lot of people, not just the ladies, the all-women foundation of this idea seen to fruition totally strengthens bonds within social communities, gives people confidence, and for some even a sense of security. IMHO, in our "Big Guy" world, this is nice to see and I hope A Bar Of Their Own is long term. :beers:
  9. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Another thought. I have no idea how much women’s sports is televised on a regular basis. I did enjoy a few March Madness games over the weekend and I know things are improving, but on average, is there enough live women’s-sports programming to support this idea? Presumably they thought this through before opening the place. Or maybe they’ll just save money on screens and electricity compared to the conventional model…
    LeinenkugelDrinker likes this.
  10. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,393) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Excellent point! (Then again, I read in another thread that style guides are woke — don’t those often touch on grammar?)
    Shanex, BBThunderbolt and Orca like this.
  11. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    Proper grammar = deep-state mind control
    Shanex and thebeers like this.
  12. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,393) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    It’s easier to find women’s sports on TV/cable/streaming than it used to be, but this is still an ongoing issue…

    “You can't just turn on ESPN and put on whatever’s there. You have to really think about it,” says Jen Barnes, owner of Seattle’s Rough & Tumble. … “You need a master’s degree in streaming services to be able to be a women’s sports fan. It’s really frustrating how difficult we make it for people to watch women’s sports. And we’ve had incredible progress.”
    Shanex and Orca like this.
  13. jonphisher

    jonphisher Grand Pooh-Bah (3,436) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    That quote is not accurate in my experience, for me it’s quite the opposite, we’ve streamed exclusively for close to 10 years now. ESPN +, open app pick sport and up pop all, a ton, of streamed college games.

    It’s not difficult at all and it’s how I watch all my sports. I’ll give an example other day I wanted to see what lacrosse games were on, picked sport, endless list of all the Saturday games I’d say 50 50 split between men and women’s, click OK and watch your choice.

    Now if we could only do away with blackout restrictions on games, thanks cable companies :angry: that’s where it does sometimes get complicated to explain to people why they can’t steam certain games.

    Now we’re off on a tangent but oh well, thought it was relevant.
  14. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,058) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    It's worth pointing out that things aren't so black and white regarding the distinction between the identities of the athletes and the identities of the viewers... and how this plays into the concept. Owners of similar establishments also comment that they have a space for women fans to watch male teams in an environment "without the more toxic masculinity" - which illustrates the ability for an inverse in meaning. When you name an establishment "A Bar of Their Own," who does "their" refer to - the athletes or the viewers? I would assume that the owners are well aware of the fluidity of meaning in that choice (and probably appreciate the choice for that reason) even if there's a hierarchy of meaning in their intent. I'm just pointing this out to add some complexity to the picture.

    This can be a problem that has seen different solutions from establishments: replaying games, showing male team sports, or putting on dead air to highlight the gap and need.

    The menu states: "woman/non-binary/trans owned, made, or led brand" for certain beverages.
    I'm not trying to deflate their effort... or be overly critical with something that generally deserves praise, but this seems like a case of taking something with loads of potential to be inherently inexplicit, vague, private, or optics/leadership focused; and framing it in the opposite way by making these clear, concrete distinctions on their menu. Who "made" the beer? I can appreciate the good in a reward system of providing a star of distinction, but I also wonder if things are better off being presented as a mission statement instead of categorizing the beverages on a menu like gluten-free or vegan options.
  15. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,393) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I agree something like “majority owned by” or “head brewer” would be more specific. At least it’s better than “served by.” I’ve seen bars list “local beers” before — and I guess organic beers, too — but don’t recall seeing other ownership details.
  16. gatornation

    gatornation Grand High Pooh-Bah (9,502) Apr 18, 2007 Arizona
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    Maybe ESPN will launch a channel called ESPN- Women, Right now there is tennis and golf every week, WNBA starts in about 2 months , softball , soccer. There are plenty of sports IMO to support this sooner than later. May boil down to how much content they can get that is televised .
    Shanex likes this.
  17. MrOH

    MrOH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,331) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland
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    Good for them. There's all sorts of establishments that cater to specific clientele, whether or not they actively exclude others or are welcoming. There's plenty of bars that aren't exactly places where many women would walk into outside of a group. Unless they actively discriminate, who cares? I wish them nothing but success.
  18. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,862) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I hope this works out for them, I've often found that I enjoy women's soccer and women's tennis as much or more than I do the men's game. Basketball is the opposite. Mixed curling is where it's at.

    Another grammar/syntax note I'm not clear on; is it the first women's focused sports bar and it's in the Midwest? Or is it the first women's focused sports bar that is in the midwest?
    Shanex likes this.
  19. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,282) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    I thought that ESPN W was already a thing?
    gatornation likes this.
  20. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,282) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    There's been a womens sports bar in Seattle for at least a couple years now, so I'm assuming that they mean first in the Midwest.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.