Spectrum is more than just a gay bar, new owner Helen Shepard says. “We are a queer establishment by the queer community for the queer community.” It’s about gender identity, they encourage self expression; they plan on holding a lip-sync battle every Wednesday night.
Spectrum has worked vigorously since the closing of the Wayward Lamb last winter to take over the same space downtown at 150 W. Broadway.
Shepard said they had to completely rebuild the kitchen, adding months to the opening along with endless visits by a half dozen inspectors. It wasn’t until the last week of November that they began to see the reality of this new business come alive with their official opening taking place Nov. 23.
Spectrum, open at 11 a.m. for coffee, espresso and breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner, offers a relatively affordable menu along with creative drinks. They welcome people of all ages until 9 p.m., after which point they won’t serve minors. Their dinner fare includes foodie-bait like Spinach Roasted Pear Gorgonzola Dulce Salad, Spectrum Burgers, Sweet Potato Pork Belly Sandwich and Boudin Balls for appetizers.
Opening weekend proved to be a great success, with a variety of opening acts performed by Pansy Production’s “Mis-Fit Toys Gender F*** Cabaret,” on Saturday night. Jesse Pender, who came down from Portland to help with the performance, said he has been working with producer J. Alanna Giardinelli for over three years. Pender explained how Giardinelli has a way of creating a community of people no matter what they do, encouraging performers to be empowered with the exploration of range in gender expression. He says it’s giving people the space and much needed creative freedom, it’s open ended, “soul-feeding.”
One of the cabaret skits was performed by Max Little and Tommy ChaseMe. This adorable duo performed a skit as two construction workers expressing the need for dismantling. They too came to work with Giardinelli, saying it allowed them to be the directors of their own films and lives. In their everyday lives these two are dedicated educators and members of critical resistance efforts to abolish the industrial prison system.
As stated on their website, “Spectrum is a venue as diverse as our LGBTQIA+ community, offering accessible space for working, eating, celebrating, enjoying art and being part of a revolution. We are committed to proving a progressive safe space, accessible to a spectrum of Eugene’s needs.”