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Celebrating Pride: Queer-owned Bebop Waffle Shop

Bebop Waffle Shop is a queer and woman-owned café on the corner of California and Admiral in West Seattle. Corina Luckenbach opened the shop (originally called Admiral Bird Café) with her business partner, Heidi Herr, in 2014. Now in sole ownership of Luckenbach, and named after her beloved wiener dog, Bebop, the café has grown into a hub known for its exceptional breakfast sandwiches and coffee, and welcoming atmosphere for all neighbors, especially LGBTQ+ folks looking for a safe space and social community.  

We recently chatted with Luckenbach about what it means to be a queer business owner and what’s on her mind during Seattle Pride. 

What do you want people to know about your organization/business?  

I want people to have a respite here, be fulfilled, feel good and feel safe. Feeling safe is really important. I have one customer who tells me, this is my sanctuary I’m not gonna tell anyone! Of course, I want to invite new people into the shop but I love that it is a sanctuary to them. 

How does your work help champion the LGBTQ+ community in Seattle?  

It is important to me that people, especially queer and trans folks, feel seen and safe. One of our trans youth that works here was told by five different people that this was a safe employer or place to work. That is exactly what we are trying to achieve and I am so happy that our reputation reflects that. 

Why is your work so important and needed right now?  

We all need community. This is a place where strangers talk to each other. Customers who come here like to talk to each other and hang out as well as meet new people.  

What are some ways people can get involved to support the LGBTQ+ community? 

People can help the LGBTQ+ community by redistributing their wealth to support trans, queer and people of color communities. Also, they can make sure the spaces that they occupy, especially if they are in charge of something, are safe and inclusive for all people. And, fly your pride flag right now! Actually fly it all year! 

What’s on your mind as we celebrate Pride this year? 

I just want Ms. Briq House to get her queer bikini barista stand, so support her GoFundMe! And I want people to know that I am looking for a site to open an additional location. 

What is the best part of owning your own business? 

I get to do whatever I want!