A former product management executive at Amazon, Iulia Bejan hopes to open a Belltown bar called Connect Lounge by late summer or early fall. As the name suggests the establishment would encourage people to put down their phones and connect with one another; perhaps even — gasp — talk to strangers.
Bejan is already calling on the kindness of strangers to support her Kickstarter campaign, which ends tomorrow. As of this writing, she’s raised a little over $17,000 of a $50,000 goal.
The idea behind Connect Lounge is to draw people from “the world of finance and IT” who “need to take a break from their long and hard days at work...and connect with each other,” according to a press release.
Conversations with strangers aren’t exactly standard in Seattle, home of the infamous “Seattle freeze.” Bejan is planning to outfit her space with communal tables and display “conversation starters” to get people talking to each other. She also intends to host an occasional “phone free happy hour.” And as for the menu? Bejan will honor her heritage with some Romanian food as appetizers, plus a few comfort food dishes. Cocktails will range from original to classic.