Bay Leaf Bitters Co., a new cocktail delivery service that operates through DC incubator EatsPlace, is planning to turn into a women’s sports bar, Eater DC reported.
The business started “as a response to the question – why aren’t there any women’s sports bars anywhere?” according to its website. Because of the pandemic, it opened for limited cocktail delivery service and pickup in DC and a “virtual women’s sports bar” featuring watch parties, trivia, and interviews.
“Women’s sports, unlike men’s sports, are typically given tokenizing TV time, particularly at sports bar,” says Laurel Oldershaw, General Manager of Bay Leaf Bitters Co. “Servers would put them on, when you asked, the bartender might change one small TV screen out of the 20 featured on a single wall, and every once in a while, there would be a TV in the corner with (casually) the fifth game of a major WNBA championship series.”
“Well, what if you never had to ask to change the channel? What if there was a space where you could always rely to be featuring women’s sports – excuse us, we mean sports, just sports. And perhaps, yes, we will show a couple men’s sports on one TV in the back,” she adds.
Oldershaw is a lifelong athlete who “has played everything from softball to rugby to basketball to soccer to baseball to cross country,” the website explains. She currently is an elite ultimate frisbee player and coaches the George Washington Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team.
Oldershaw moved to DC from San Francisco. Prior to opening Bay Leaf Bitters Co., she learned to bartend at Founding Farmers DC on Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest. She says during her time there, she was inspired to try her own infusion recipes at home.
Oldershaw was working on her new project, opening a women’s sports bar in the District, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic hit the region and the country.
“When I say women’s sports bar, think about: you walk in, there’s TVs everywhere and on game nights we pull out a projector and 95 percent of the time, it’s playing women’s sports,” she said in an interview with Eater DC.