A message of explanation from the owner of the E Room/Weird Bar

There have always been the good times and "weirds" at the E Room

Last week news of the longstanding lesbian bar, The Egyptian, revamping as the more inclusive Weird Bar flared tempers and ignited a storm of discussion. For the most part this was a healthy dialogue and the E-Weird boss Kim took the comments to heart.

Below is a response she wanted me to share with the community. It may not satisfy all the community’s curiosities or concerns but it is a real effort to explain and connect with E Room regulars and other local queers.

With an economy as slow as Portland’s currently is, there’s little room to hire truly crafted wordsmiths and artists to take care of business PR. It’s a DIY promotion atmosphere but even in a DIY-lovin’ town this tactic doesn’t always work. It is important to remember that although the E Room is an institution, those that maintain it are not. They are human.

Still…it may be time to enlist the help of humans that can write a press release, have some marketing savvy and an understanding of how language can offend.

The “e-room” is having it’s closing party on October 9. Please come celebrate the memories we have made on this night. If you have any pictures of your memories on the facbook please tag them with “eroom boss” so that I can use them in a slide show for closing night.

When we first announced the closing we weren’t sure what direction we were headed, we just knew we could not keep doing what we are doing. We were meeting with a developer, and were also involved in conversations with private parties and a business broker. We were weighing all of our options. If our economy was in better shape we wouldn’t have had to make these tough decisions. It seems that so many of our customers are laid off, or have very little work, and this has been very evident over the last couple of years. Please know that we did not come to this decision lightly.

After much deliberation, we came up with a concept which is not completely complete yet. But, we made the decision to go with an all-inclusive venue (not to be confused with a straight venue). But…what to call it? This bar has such a weird layout. It’s such a weird bar. Hey! That’s the name! Weird Bar! We could have some weird drinks, weird promotions…all sorts of weird stuff and nothing would ever have to make sense again! We believe that all people are “weird” in one way or another…our uniqueness is what makes us special…makes us human. So, we would like to invite you to the grand opening of “Weird Bar”, on October 16. Weird Bar will be an all-inclusive space where anyone can be themselves, whatever form of “queerness” that may entail.

Celebrating differences. Enjoying common ground.

Please sign up with your email at for your free pass to the Grand Opening party.

7 comments to A message of explanation from the owner of the E Room/Weird Bar

  • thehawk69

    Maybe they should have hired alley hector to write their press release because she has such a way with words.

  • Sinny

    Wow- this is a great explanation…..thanks.
    (note the sarcasm)
    This statement feels like more of an insult than an explanation.
    * Alley Hector would have done a way better job explaining this. I heart Alley.

  • The Awesome

    Look. you all can be critical or you can choose not to spend your money there. Language can offend. The PR is about as bad as punctuation in this piece. Alley, perhaps you should slow down and proof read!

  • Sinny

    Uh oh- someone struck a nerve in The Awesome…..

  • Crash

    I would like to point out, that in spite of the boo-hooing statements about the economy, and about how hard it is to “keep (their) doors open”, that the bar has not actually closed.

    The owners have just changed the name to “Weird Bar” and made it “not a lesbian bar.”

    So before you assume, as many will after reading these remarks, that lesbians have no money and have forced this business to close, be aware that somehow the business is still remaining open, just in a different incarnation. Without even having won the lottery.

    So those of us, hundreds of lesbians who flocked to what we thought was a closing party, were actually just helping to fund the sellout.

    My friends and I used to go out of our way to patronize the Egyptian, because crappy as it was, it was “our” bar. We will not be going out of our way to patronize the same shitty bar now that it doesn’t even serve us in name.

  • Beth

    It’s a shame the owners felt it was better to serve a larger majority instead of working on what the real problem was. We all know how terribly crappy the environment was. And not to mention the stereo system was poor and the karaoke offerings were outdated (poor selection)- oh, and the binders were scary to touch – but we would stop by any way. Why, because it was our bar, despite the dredge and lack of personality and sophistication the bar offered. It was a dive bar, like all others.

    It lacked finesse, class, and an inviting atmosphere where lesbians from varied backgrounds would want to spend there time. And now with “Weird Bar” as a name, it lacks an identity. None of my gay friends (men and women) can or will want to relate to such a name.

    The bar should have focused on those lesbians that are prosperous and enjoy socializing, perhaps their a bit older than the bar scene crowd. But if the owners’ concerns were financial they should have thought about investing in making the bar more inviting. Look at Kennedy school and the multitude of rooms. Each room has a theme and a purpose. Is the layout really all that weird or did they just lack a good interior designer?

    Ladies, too bad it’s too late for the e-room.

  • Chris

    If they were having a hard time financially, why expand the venue?….the E room had more then enough space already. No matter how many people showed up, it never looked packed (and for perception sake, a good bar is a packed bar).

    I agree the fresh coat of paint and a good mop of the floors did help, but to be honest… it’s still the same old bar, just not ‘our’ bar anymore. Which is whats going to take a while for feelings to heal.

    And, just so everyone is clear on one thing, lesbians HAVE money but they just don’t want to spend it on a disconsolate establishment.