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Lesbian Bar Doc Marie’s Is Reopening Following Its Troubled Start

Plus, Whitney Burnside announces her new project Grand Fir Brewing, and more news

A sign reading Doc Marie’s with a rose hangs from the exterior of a bar.
Doc Marie’s
Janey Wong
Janey Wong is Eater Portland's reporter.

Earlier this summer, Doc Marie’s, the hotly anticipated self-identified lesbian bar “for everyone” opened its doors to Portland’s queer community before closing the very next day. Following the grand opening, two managers quit and a group of anonymous employees formed a workers’ collective, the Oregonian reports.

Employees alleged mismanagement from the bar’s owners, Olga Bichko and Nikki Ferry, both of whom did not have prior experience in the food industry or running a business. Among their concerns: a building leak which affected patrons, employees being underpaid or not compensated, “unprofessional and unsafe behavior,” as well as ownership’s failure to address the issues. Via Instagram, the collective demanded Bichko turn over ownership. In response, Doc Marie’s issued a (since deleted) statement, asserting they would take steps as part of an action plan to be a safe and inclusive space for the community.

News of the conflict was picked up and further inflamed by the conservative website Libs of TikTok, which led to threats and online harassment towards the bar’s owners and former employees. Nearly a month-and-a-half later, Doc Marie’s is ready to reopen on August 13. “We survived it. We’re still here,” Bichko told the Oregonian’s Shane Dixon Kavanaugh. “We’re reopening, and just want to move in a positive direction.”

The workers collective Instagram is now set as private; it’s unclear if the collective is still active.

Portland’s first female brewmaster plans a new brewery and restaurant

Grand Fir Brewing, a new venture from wife-and-husband team Whitney Burnside and Doug Adams, will take over the West Coast Grocery Co. space this November. Grand Fir will brew a variety of beer styles in its 15-barrel house, including multiple West Coast IPAs, a Northwest pale ale, seasonal stouts, and more. On the restaurant side, the beers will be complemented by a menu emphasizing fresh seafood, smoked and barbecued meats, seasonal salads, and more. Burnside, an award-winning brewer, will leave her position as brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing at the end of August. Adams appeared on season 12 of Top Chef, and co-founded the Holler Hospitality restaurant group, which he parted ways from last year.

Salt & Straw is now making ice cream for dogs

The ice cream purveyor will introduce Pup Cups, a human-safe treat for dogs, on August 19. Salt & Straw founders Kim and Tyler Malek have developed a flavor tailored toward canine tastebuds: A smooth coconut ice cream with apple and carrot bits and swirled with ribbons of sweet potato. To celebrate the launch and National Dog Day, Salt & Straw will host “yappy hours” in-store from 2 to 4 p.m. August 22 through August 26, during which time customers can bring their dogs and receive a complimentary pup cup with an ice cream purchase.