slides: Sneak Peek: Stag PDX To Open In Old Town
Friday, May 01, 2015
Stag PDX inhabits the space that once was home to Tiger Bar and several other boite spots that have come and gone in a relatively fast succession.
But Hope-Lang believes he has come up with the right combination for Stag PDX to become one of the most popular bars in Old Town, especially amongst the gay community.
Stag PDX is actually more gentlemen's club than night club and has the air of a Northwest lounge-meets-library-meets-executive locker room. Think Explorer Club. Think Multnomah Athletic Club. Except that Stag PDX has the added bonus of dancers, male dancers.
According to Hope-Lang Stag PDX started as a conversation among friends. Business partners Hope-Lang, originally from Alaska, and Abner Romero, a former dancer from Puerto Rico, saw something missing in Portland's gay scene and envisioned a better place for dancers to perform and patrons to enjoy fine Oregon spirits and microbrews.
The idea really took shape when the perfect location was found—a building on Northwest Broadway built in 1912.
Stag PDX featues era-appropriate decor, exposed brick, and leather furnishings in a masculine, lodge-type setting built to showcase skilled dancers. Stag PDX is also a local, gay-owned business made possible by the work of many in the gay community, from the designer to metal and leather craftsmen.
Providing a supportive, inclusive environment for Portland's LGBTQ community is foremost in the minds of Stag PDX's founders. GoLocalPDX talked to Hope-Lang prior to opening the doors to Stag PDX to tell us what to expect at what is sure to be one of the most unique adult entertainment venues in town.
Can you give tell me your background?
Jerrick Hope-Lang: I have worked in Southeast Alaska in the Food and Beverage/Tourism industry for the last eight years. I worked for Hangar on the Wharf/Twisted Fish Co., and Tracy’s Crab Shack for the last two years.
Why did you decide to open a Gentlemen's Club?
I felt that the current model (for nightclubs) no longer felt “current.” I wanted it to be in a lounge environment that had men as an accent. A place where people can come, meet, talk, and enjoy the company of beautiful men in a environment that fosters that.
Why did you pick this part of Portland to open it?
As an Alaskan, anc a Native American, it was important that I stay close to where my people originated. I am intrinsically connected to the Pacific Northwest. My tribe are a coastal people, which was the only sacrifice I made coming here. Although the river is a great substitute.
Who do you hope it serves?
Everyone. Our target demographic is gay men, but we want to be seen as committed to the gay community at large. We are open to all who are part of, or are supportive of our community.
How important was it to you that you work with gay-friendly vendors?
Very. As a transplant to Portland, we reached out to our designer to embrace gay businesses to execute our plan. Our designer owns Christopher David in the Pearl District. We used L&R Design labs for our bar and stage. Colton Helfrecht did our custom upholstery in our VIP area. All of these people are part of the PDX gay infrastructure.
What makes Stag PDX different from other clubs in town?
That’s a difficult question to answer. In order for us to recognize what made us different, we had to realize what our similarities were. We are neighbors with Embers and CC Slaughter’s. We are different in that we want to capitalize on featuring Pacific Northwest style and crafts. Our theme is what Portland seems to have moved towards, which are smaller/intimate environments with club specific clientele. My hope for being near the other gay clubs, on the North side of Burnside Street, is that we create a symbiotic relationship with these clubs to recreate the Stark street energy of "Vaseline Alley" (the nickname for Portland's once thriving gay business community on Southwest Stark Street). Our community is stronger by having communal style business. So, we are different in that we want to cater to a clientele who likes local craft beers, an intimate environment with good looking dancers, and a commitment to being local in as many aspects as possible, both queer and Oregonian. What makes us similar, is that we couldn’t have done it without these other Portland institutions paving the way for us.
Will there be a cover charge?
On weekends and at events. Nothing big enough to deter customers, but to cover entertainment costs.
What kind of food and drinks will you serve?
10 beers on draft, rotating Oregon craft beers, as well as high-end whiskey, vodka, and other spirits and specialty cocktails. Our menu is smaller American pub fare, with a Northwest twist here and there. We will feature some food from Alaskan roots, such as Alaskan crab cakes, and a King Crab bisque, which is also gluten free. We are excited to offer a lunch menu for our (nearby) Pacific Northwest College of Arts students, and anyone else in the neighborhood who is hungry.
What kind of entertainment will you feature at Stag?
Male dancers. We have reached out to some performance artists as well. We are hoping to showcase many talents, similar to the vibe of the Kit Kat Klub, but with men. We are in talks with some Boylesque squads locally, and in Seattle.
Who designed the space?
Chris Giovarelli, with Christopher David. I am very excited with his execution. I had a sense of what I wanted, and gave him some parameters. He took a good idea and made it great.
What was the inspiration for the space?
My passion for Northwest Coastal art, and my Alaskan upbringing. As a mixed race Native Alaskan, my tastes differ from our traditional formline style art, to a more contemporary take on traditional native art forms. My collection of personal art showcases images from my childhood and subsequent adult life. Many of the pieces are stories and legends from my home state, executed in different mediums throughout the bar. It is part tribal, part imagination. Much like my own life.
Is there anything else readers should know about Stag PDX?
We are a grassroots idea and company. We literally started with a conversation about what we wanted for ourselves, and it ballooned into this idea of how we could be a community business and asset. We are learning as we go. We love the support of our social media friends, and the general talk we receive when we go out around town. The overall response was that PDX “needed” something new. We are presenting this to the community with open arms. We want to get tied into events and community support and involvement. Our success relies on amazing service and customer relations, as well as literal customer support from the community. We hope that we can etch our way into the Portland gay scene. We have started our business with the idea that we are dedicated to being a positive energy within the gay community. We intend to continue that momentum and look forward to participating in the overall gay scene in any way we can. We look forward to our new customers, and providing a unique and classy experience.
Related Slideshow: Sneak Peek: Stag PDX To Open In Old Town
Sneak Peek: Stag PDX To Open In Old Town. Stag PDX offers a masculine, lodge-type setting to showcase skilled dancers. Stag PDX is also a local, gay-owned business made possible by the work of many in the community, from the designer to metal and leather craftsmen.
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