The Cities’ First Women’s Sports Bar Has Found a Home

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A Bar of Their Own, the first Twin Cities sports bar dedicated exclusively to women’s sports, has nailed down a location: It’ll open in the former Tracy’s Saloon space on Franklin Avenue in spring of 2024.

Owner Jillian Hiscock, a self-professed “huge women’s sports fan” with a background in higher ed and the restaurant and brewery industries, launched a crowdfunding campaign for the bar after working at the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball tournament in Minneapolis. At the time, she says, Jenny Nguyen had just announced plans to open the Sports Bra, a women’s sports bar, in Portland. “We were all super geeked out about it,” says Hiscock. “We were like, ‘Who’s gonna do this in Minnesota?’ At that time, I had no inclination that it would be me.”

But the Sports Bra proved to be a hit, and in March of this year, Hiscock and her wife started to seriously consider the idea. They launched their crowdfund in late September — in just two months, they’ve hit more than $137,000 of their $200,000 goal.

Jillian Hiscock, wearing a blue sweatshirt and white baseball cap, smiling next to a chalkboard with the words “Welcome to A Bar of Their Own” written on it in yellow chalk.

The bar’s name nods to the 1992 baseball movie A League of Their Own.
Jillian Hiscock

“It’s absolutely affirming that what we’re doing is hitting a nerve,” says Hiscock. She says she’s had more than 500 donors, their contributions ranging from a few dollars to $5,000. Many send notes: “In Honor of my mother, Jan Nelson, the BIGGEST FAN of Women’s sports!,” reads one. “We can’t wait for a place to watch women’s hockey!!! No more calling around hoping a bar will turn one TV on for us,” reads another.

As she readies to open, Hiscock is working on getting streaming rights from the platforms that air women’s games, since many mainstream channels don’t. “That can be everything from Facebook showing roller derby games to YouTube showing Ultimate Frisbee games — there’s a local station down in the southern suburbs that shows all the Vixen football games,” she says.

As far as food goes, A Bar of Their Own will offer bare fare like burgers and sandwiches, with an eye toward gluten-free and vegan options. (“Making sure that a vegan’s only option isn’t taking everything off of a salad and getting left with a bowl of lettuce,” says Hiscock.) And — in truly momentous news for fans of Tracy’s Saloon — Tracy’s sold her its wing recipe, so those meaty dry-rub and buffalo wings will appear on the menu as well.

If all goes well, Hiscock is shooting to open in time for the Big 10 Women’s Basketball tournament, which will take place in Minneapolis from March 6 to 10, 2024. The crowdfunding campaign, she says, will run through December 15.

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