Colin Graham and John O’Malley at the space for The Hammered Lamb. Photo Athena Delene.
The Hammered Lamb, a new pub and nightclub dedicated to the queer community, is slated to open this summer at 150 W. Broadway. The space has been vacant for two years and last housed the Lord Leebrick Theatre Company administrative office and HIV Alliance.
Owner-operator Colin Graham, a former senior manager at Skype, recently signed a five-year lease for the 2,770-square-foot space with the option to extend for another five years. Demolition for remodeling began April 13.
“If there is going to be a gay bar in town, I’m going to have to start it,” Graham says, adding that it will be an entirely queer-owned and queer-run business. “I think Eugene is ready for it.”
Early on in the process, Graham hired John O’Malley as event producer and marketing manager. O’Malley runs the monthly LGBTQ happy hour at The Barn Light across from Kesey Square.
The Hammered Lamb will be “an inclusive, empowering and safe space,” O’Malley says.
After looking at properties in the Whit and near the UO campus, the duo agreed on downtown.
“Downtown is very hot right now,” Graham says, ticking off a list of nearby developments such as the new Hilton Home2Suites hotel going in at the southwest corner of West 11th Avenue and Olive Street.
O’Malley says there were several features that attracted them to the spot on Broadway, including the glass-and-stone storefront, the space’s width and a side entrance that will open to the nightclub, aka The Den.
“The separation of space allows for two different experiences,” O’Malley says, adding that there will be two bars, one in the pub and one in the nightclub.
Graham, who lived in London for more than a decade, is using a queer pub he used to frequent there — Two Brewers — as a template. The Hammered Lamb will have a cozy pub feel, but it will be cleaner than its British counterpart, Graham says, laughing.
Shortly after moving to Eugene a few years ago and going through a divorce, Graham found himself struggling to answer the question: “Where does one go to meet other men in this town?”
When he Googled the terms “gay” and “Eugene,” nothing came up, he says.
He has two goals for his new venture. “When you Google ‘gay’ and ‘Eugene,’ I want The Hammered Lamb to come up in the results,” he says. The second goal, he says, is creating a space where “a gay man of any age can reasonably flirt without fear.”
Graham and O’Malley add that while the pub and nightclub are dedicated to the queer community, people of all persuasions and identities are welcome. For more info visit hammeredlambeugene.com.