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Capital Bar to reopen with ‘good energy’ in 2022 despite co-owner’s death

Nearly a year after the tragic death of a Portland entrepreneur, a bar he owned is reopening Saturday. March 31, 2023. (COIN)

Portland, Ore. (KOIN) – Nearly a year after the tragic death of a Portland entrepreneur, a bar he owned is reopening Saturday.

Last June, 35-year-old Kevin McDowell drowned in the Columbia River after saving a woman who was struggling to swim. The woman survived but McDowell did not, and her body was recovered eight days later from where she had jumped into the water.

On Saturday, Capital Bar and Lounge in northeast Portland, the bar that McDowell co-owns with his fiancee, will open for the first time since his death.

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Doors open Saturday at 11am for brunch with a live DJ.

When Desiree Guy bought the Capital Bar and Lounge just over a year ago, she brought on her fiancé, McDowell, as a partner in the business.

“She was such a beautiful soul. She was so goofy and outspoken and stood out at 6’8″. She just stood out for her presence and energy,” Guy said.

The couple had big plans for the space, but faced challenges before they could open, including major repairs after a car crashed into the front of the building just days after Guy bought it.

Guy is still working through the trauma, but is confident McDowell would be proud of how far she’s come as a young black female entrepreneur who pushed through it all to open Capital.

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“We had a vision for Capitol and I’m trying to live up to the vision that he and I planned together… brunch, comedy shows, live music, so I definitely want to keep that alive.” am,” she said.

Desiree renovated the space but says it still has its original beauty and charm.

There will be a karaoke room, game room and new TVs where people can come and watch sports. She says McDowell would have given his stamp of approval.

“I think he wants people to feel welcome and have a good time, good energy, good atmosphere,” Guy said.


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