Bar promises a new home for Seattle's Bear community
 

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posted Friday, June 10, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 23

Bar promises a new home for Seattle's Bear community
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The bear community is BIG - no pun intended.

Mike Reis, of Luxor Bears fame (a Seattle area private poker club for Gay and Bi bears, cubs, and admirers - cigar and pipe smoking encouraged), has taken notice and, along with his partner Mark Hurst and operations manager Mark Engelmann (with over 20 years experience in Seattle Gay bars), has decided to open a new den for bears to inhabit: 1413 14th Avenue, where the old Martin's off Madison and the here-today-gone-tomorrow Greg's Profanity Hill used to reside.

Reis and company are remaining tight-lipped about the details (SGN was permitted an interview sans photos and agreed not to print the name of the new bar) but say they will make announcements as more aspects of the bar are put into place. In short, they are still in the planning stages, and construction has just begun.

Reis told SGN that although he is associated with Luxor Bears, the new bar is a separate venture from the private club. 'The bar will exist in the public domain and, as such, will fully comply with all state liquor laws.'

There is no due date for the bar's grand opening. 'We don't want to promise anything,' he said. 'There is a lot left to do before we can open our doors.'

From the outside, the building shows little to no change. But it's what's inside that is going to be a shocker, said Reis. 'We are doing a complete overhaul of the inside. It's going to be very Motor City meets industrial blue-collar. In a sense, we are going to under-promise and over-deliver. I think people will like what they see. There will be surprises and twists.'

First and foremost, it will be a bar, Reis explained, but food will be offered. 'Our agenda is to steer away from doing 20 things and do 10 things well. We have a fully equipped kitchen and we intend to use it to that capacity.'

Reis said that the bar is something that he put a lot of time and thought into. 'This is not a fly-by-night venture. It's been one year in the making,' he said.

According to Reis, the bear community 'has experienced a loss of identity. There is no 'home' feeling.' He said that for every sub-group of our community, there exists a bar they call home. While he acknowledges that the re-opening of C.C. Attle's is a good thing, he'd still like to see a place that bears can call home. So, he decided to create one.

'We [bears] are here, and we are highly visible members of the community,' said Reis. 'But nothing is assigned to us where we are the main attraction.'

Although the new bar will cater to the bear community, Reis promises it will also be 'inclusive, not exclusive.'

'The bear community started out of inclusivity,' he said. 'We didn't fit in anywhere. We are bigger guys and we don't look like twinks or gym bunnies, or any other group. We got tired of going to exclusive bars, which only cater to one type. So we created our own group but have always been inclusive, so everyone is welcome.'

Still, said Reis, the bar will be a 'bona fide offering - we will be a bear bar in good faith.'



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