A new bar set to open in Chattanooga will be one for the girls.
Broads is slated for a January opening on East 10th Street, next to the Dwell Hotel.
The bar began as an idea tossed around for years between Bailey Cole and Kristiana Mallo, owners of the North Chattanooga vegan restaurant Cashew. They plan to serve drinks and small plates, with an emphasis on women-led businesses and historical women.
"We're always dreaming up different business ideas ... and a lot of them are terrible, or really silly," Cole said in an interview. "But this is the one that, every time we've talked about it, we're like, 'No, this would actually be really cool.'"
With Cashew, they said, they wanted to create something that didn't exist in Chattanooga at the time. Now, Cole and Mallo hope Broads can fill the need for a non-"dude-y" bar that doesn't only cater to a young college crowd.
"We just really want it to be a place where women are celebrated and to celebrate the women that came before us and paved the way," Mallo said in an interview. "Because there's so many things that are owned by men and so many things have been run by men ... We really wanted to do the opposite — create a really feminine, sexy place."
At first, the pair said, they tried to find space on Broad Street — to make the bar "Broads on Broad" — but no suitable spot was available. When they first visited the storefront on 10th in October 2022, they said they knew it was right. The spot previously held a stained-glass studio and an appointment-only vintage shop, Mallo said.
"I really wanted to be as accessible to the downtown area as we could be," Cole said.
Nearly everything from the bar will come from brands owned or operated by women — about 95% by Cole and Mallo's estimate. That includes Chattanooga-based Lass & Lions vodka and Uncle Nearest whiskey, made in Shelbyville by a female distiller and founder.
All of the bar's beer and wine will come from women-led companies, Cole said.
"We wish we could say 100%," Mallo said. "It's a little tricky, because there's a few things that we just cannot get that is women-owned."
Cole and Mallo have been raising money for Broads with an online fundraiser and are also using an online platform that lets people put up small investments that will pay dividends once the business starts making money. One of the fundraiser's perks is a chance to submit a photo of a powerful woman in the donor's life, which will all be displayed in the bar.
They've already gotten plenty of support from Cashew fans and others in the community, they said.
The bar's small-plates food menu won't be entirely vegan, but any item can be made vegan and gluten-free, Mallo said.
"It's really important for us to have an inclusive menu, so that anybody can eat here," Mallo said.
Inclusivity also means the bar menu will include low- and no-alcohol drinks, Cole said. The bar will keep two cocktails on draft at all times, and $1 from each pour of those drinks is set to be donated to a charity supporting women, the owners said.
Drinks will be named after notable women, and the owners plan to decorate the bar with art and portraits honoring remarkable women.
"We're going to have lots of ladies on the walls," Mallo said.
Mallo and Cole initially hoped to open Broads' doors this fall, but construction delays pushed the opening into 2024, they said.
Once the space is finished, there should be room for about 85 guests across soft-seated booths and bar seating.
The pair hope Broads can become a community hub, especially in a time when more people are working from home and looking for ways to get out of the house. As Chattanooga grows, Mallo said, it will need more cool places to go.
"What exactly is going to make it worth going out and spending your money somewhere instead of staying home?" Cole said.