(At OutWest Bar: Holly, bartender Josh, co-owner Bob)
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Though butcher paper is still on the windows, the sign on the front door of OutWest Bar reads, “Yes, we’re open!”
By 4:00 today, patrons such as Glenn Bafia were already seated at the copper-topped bar and in the booths for OutWest’s “soft open” in the former Westside Pharmacy space at California/Brandon. He said, “I’m very excited that the gay and lesbian community has a bar in West Seattle that we can hang out in.”
Co-owner Bob Lunke greeted guests with “Welcome to your gay and lesbian bar in West Seattle!” and then proceeded to figure out how to use the cash register.
Another patron, who followed OutWest Bar’s journey via Facebook, said he came “all the way from Magnolia” to check it out.
Neighbor Lisa Laughlin says she’s been watching it “come to life. I’m very excited that it’s now open—it’s good to have a bar I can walk home from!” while Dawn Leverett, West Seattle Windermere agent, added, “West Seattle loves to support restaurants and bars and we’re excited about new venues. In this economy it’s great to see a small business open — these are the backbone of the economy. We’re very happy to have the OutWest Bar in West Seattle.”
Co-owners Lunke and Chad Gabelein still anticipate a grand opening sometime in the next two weeks. (Per their FB page, Happy Hour is 4-6 pm, Tuesdays-Fridays.) For more backstory about OutWest Bar, see our stories from May (here) and December (here).