- Portland welcomed the city’s — and possibly the country’s — only sports bar that exclusively shows women’s sports on its TVs.
- Founder and owner Jenny Nguyen told CNBC the business made nearly $1 million in its first eight months.
- The bar has gone viral online and received the attention of WNBA stars and more.
Portland’s first-ever bar to exclusively play only women’s sports celebrated its one-year anniversary this month, after a successful first 12 months open to the public.
Jenny Nguyen, 43, used her entire savings of about $27,000 to found The Sports Bra in 2022, and so far business has been good. Nguyen told CNBC that the Oregon bar raked in $944,000 in revenue during its first eight months, despite her fears not many would share her love for women’s sports.
“Me, personally, I thought the idea was brilliant and that (it was) what the world needs,” Nguyen told CNBC. “But I had no idea that the world would want it. I just wanted to give it a shot.”
The Sports Bra’s walls are donned with signed photos and memorabilia from famous female athletes, and its menu features women-owned spirits, beer, and wine.
In an interview with CNBC Make It, Nguyen said she was inspired to found the unique bar after having a hard time finding somewhere to watch an NCAA finals game in 2022. She looked to funding platform Kickstarter for financial help in February 2022, and raised the $49,000 she needed in only nine days.
“It turns out, it’s pretty universal — that feeling of being a women’s sports fan and going into a public place, like a sports bar, and having a difficult time finding a place to show a (women’s) game, especially when there are other men’s sports playing,” Nguyen said.
In March, WNBA stars including Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Nneka Ogwumike visited The Sports Bra, and the New York Times published a feature on the bar’s March Madness finals watch party as the venue’s status continues to grow.
“We’re all here to just enjoy women’s sports and have a good time,” Simi Mann, a 30-year-old occupational therapist, told the New York Times about her first trip to The Sports Bra.