Spectrum, Eugene’s new restaurant, bar and venue “by the queer community, for the queer community” will open in July in the building vacated by the Wayward Lamb. Eugene’s Helen Shepard, the owner of the new establishment, is working to make the place all-inclusive.
After accusations of racism and discrimination were leveled against the Wayward Lamb, Spectrum seeks to highlight the importance of inclusivity.
“Having queer spaces is more than just finding a place where you probably won’t be yelled at in a hateful tone,” Shepard said. “It’s about cultivating a community of like-minded individuals who are creating change in our society just by being themselves.”
The establishment will feature a variety of community-oriented events, including trivia, karaoke and movie nights.
“I am genderqueer/nonbinary and have experienced some hatred or visible discomfort because of that,” Shepard said. “There’s something to be said for the comfort and peace that comes with being around people with a similar worldview to you, built by common experiences and trauma.”
Spectrum’s grand opening will “be a no-cost event” and “will host a couple bands and a DJ.” For the soft opening, the establishment “will be operating fully but [we’re] still working out the quirks.”
Shepard is focused on using “privilege to combat fascism in all its forms.” Spectrum is set on putting people of color in positions of authority, planning multiple trainings for all staff on anti-discrimination practices, and taking incidents of racism seriously.
“Spectrum is for all marginalized folk,” Shepard said. “Sex workers, people with disabilities, indigenous folks, undocumented, people of color, those of you struggling with poverty. We see you, we hear you, we are listening and trying.”
The soft opening of Spectrum is July 15, followed by the grand opening on July 27.