I have been talking about opening a bar since as long as I remember. I come from a long line of bartenders, it’s in my blood. When my dad died I inherited his bar, but because I was only 19 I couldn’t run it. In hindsight, thank fucking God because I’d probably still be living in Worcester, broke, with a cocaine problem. Anyway, up until very recently I always thought that if his building would ever sell (shitty building, depressed market), I would open a queer bar here in Portland.
Recently his building sold and I came into some cash and was faced with what to do with it. It was emotional for me, and end of a giant era in my life. I met with a bar broker, looked at a lot of dives, and came pretty close to pulling the trigger on a couple. But something just didn’t feel totally right and it nagged at me in the wee hours of the night. I don’t know if it was the riskiness of putting all of my money into something that may or may not succeed, or my propensity towards whiskey and all things addictive, or just where I’m at in my life. I still bar tend at Sloans, but my full time 24/7 job is real estate. I have a wife and a baby on the way, it’s not just about me and my hangovers anymore.
Simultaneously Teri and I sold a house to some clients in Cully. I was sick with jealousy over this house. I made my clients promise me that if any of those granny ranches look like they are coming up for sale, they better call me. And they did. First for the yard sale, then when the sign went up. I got obsessed and had my favorite lender, Jen Bell, get me pre-approved asap. But because I’m a shiesty little squirrel and hide cash in coffee cans and lie to Uncle Sam, the amount I was pre-approved at was a joke.
I needed a co-signer, that was the only way. Actually I needed two. My mom was easy, she barely blinked at it cuz she’s good like that. The hard one was my wife, Brie. She was not thrilled about adding the stress of buying a house onto her pregnancy. I begged and pleaded and promised a retirement in Mexico and eventually wore her down and got my way.
Super long story short, there were 2 other offers. My offer was weak but Teri Toombs is a friggin genius and put some super creative perks into my offer. The other small miracle was that Katie Sullivan showed up at Sloans that night and I remembered that she’s good buds with the listing agent, Karim, and put in a good word for me.
I have a lot of people to thank who worked super hard on the most impossible deal to keep together. Jen Bell, you are the best lender in the biz, I can’t believe you pulled that off. Amy, you worked so hard and put up with my tantrums. Thank you so much. Teri, you have changed my life in a million ways, and you have gotten me two houses I would not have otherwise gotten. I love you. Kim, thanks for meeting me with no notice at Sweedeedee so I could hurry up and sign and close this, you rule! Rushie, good looking out dude, stoked to be neighbors eventually. Katie, I owe you huge bud, thank you! Karim, thanks for trusting that we would get this thing closed, you were great to work with. Mom, thanks for always having my back and trusting me with your credit again. And Brie, I know I drive you nuts, I love you the most.