Seattle venue “Rough & Tumble” recently opened as a sports bar that celebrates women, prioritizing female sports on its 18 television screens.
On its opening night, the venue celebrated the release of Brittney Griner and gay marriage rights on its Instagram page.
“It was a monumental day. We woke up to the news of Britney [sic] Griner coming home, and later, marriage #equality was again protected under law. Then, we got to open our doors to so. many. amazing. people,” the post reads.
After garnering a bounty of positive press in the summer of 2022, the venue opened its doors in December with messages of equality.
On its about page, the owners boast that they “carry the flag for female athletes. We stand for equality in sports–in play, in pay, in everything.”
“We play women’s sports on big screens with full sound, served up with good food and good friends,” the home page reads.
“That’s how we level the playing field, cheering for women and athletes everywhere who sweat for and swear by what they believe in,” it proclaims.
Local Seattle radio station KNKX reported on the launch, showcasing the local professional teams that will be promoted at the bar. In particular, they mention a women’s football team, which they claim “has been around for 20 years and they have a winning record. But still, most people don’t know they exist.”
According to the outlet, the venue had an hour-long wait to enter on opening night, which saw athletes from women’s professional teams attend. Cat Morazano, who plays for soccer team OL Reign, told the radio station of her troubles finding a venue that would put her team’s game on its screens.
“I got so much backlash just asking for them to play the game and I think that’s insane and it was a regular sports bar!” Morazano said.
Morazano’s team is also represented by players such as Megan Rapinoe, who went on a national media tour to promote equal pay for the women’s national soccer team and recently came out in support of transgenders playing in women’s sports. Also on the team is Quinn, a woman who goes by just one name while identifying as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.
Despite Quinn being the only member of the team who uses irregular pronouns, the preferences are listed for the entire roster.
Rough & Tumble is housed in a historic Seattle sawmill, the idea for which was spawned when owner Jen Barnes found herself unable to find a venue that would play an OL Reign game in full, when broadcast at the same time as a Seattle Seahawks NFL game.