Saturday, August 13, 2011

West Seattle gay bar now open

Say hello to Seattle's newest gay kid in town. And this kid is not on Capitol Hill.

OutWest Bar, located in the tranquil district of West Seattle, just opened its doors to the public on August 11. They've unpacked the boxes, but the move-in process continues - parcel paper lines the windows until replacement drapes are put up next week and rainbow banners are the closest thing to storefront signage, for now.

This hasn't bothered the flow of customers to OutWest Bar on either of its first nights of business. Co-owner Bob Lunke stated that Friday's crowd stayed right up through the 2am bell, and already passersby are peeking inside during a leisurely stroll and inquiring about the hours of operation.

Decor is simple. Black tables with chairs and bench seating, dark cranberry walls, and long copper-toned bar counter with stools comprise the interior, but soon TV sets will arrive for patrons to watch local events, such as Seattle Storm or FC Sounders games, or even a guilty pleasure - Project Runway, anyone?

The reaction from nearby straight business owners has been "awesome", says Lunke. Indeed, bouquets of flowers from a few of them, like the Feedback Lounge, are representative of the West Seattle neighborhood's warm and friendly vibe.

OutWest Bar is co-owned by Lunke and business partner Chad Gabelein, and is located at 5401 California Avenue, accessible by public transportation (Metro buses #54 and #22, California and Brandon SW stop). It's also within walking distance of California Avenue stores, cafes and cupcake shops. Current hours are 4pm to midnight (Sun-Thurs) and 4pm to 2am (Fri-Sat). The "grand opening" is planned for next weekend, August 19 and 20.

Beer, wine, mixed cocktails and small food menu are available. Read more about OutWest Bar in the August 19 issue of the Seattle Gay News. Website address:


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