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|Atlanta's new gay bar Cockpit is open and pouring|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|April 19, 2011 11:58|
The Cockpit, Atlanta's newest gay bar, opened Monday night in a soft opening as it prepares for its official grand opening this weekend.
Located in Grant Park just off I-20 on Boulevard, the bar is tucked into a strip mall located next to a fire station with parking in the rear of the building.
At about 9:30 p.m. Monday, the bar was filled with more than a dozen men sitting at the bar having cocktails. A patio outside is for the smokers and those who want to chill on a warm evening.
Michael DeGuzman, 39, lives in West Midtown and was there with friends, and partners for 12 years, Lee Pitts, 37, and Marc Legaspi, 37.
"They live down the street ... so they think it's great because it's very close to them," DeGuzman said. "For me, living in West Midtown, I have to admit I'm very pleased and will probably be back."
Pitts and Legaspi moved to Atlanta from Washington, D.C., in 2004.
"The moment we moved here all the bars started closing one by one," Pitts said. "Since we moved here there's been a huge loss of the gay scene. It's nice to see a business opening and have something different and new."
Legaspi also said he is happy the bar is a local establishment. He's also very happy the bar is non-smoking.
Cockpit opens at 5 p.m. and, because it has a full kitchen, will be open on Sundays as well.
The owner, Michael Winfield, was on the phone on hold with Comcast and wasn't able to speak to GA Voice on Monday night. But he's said that his mission is to have a "neighborhood gay bar."
“It’s a neighborhood gay bar. I’m definitely trying to let it define itself. Most of the people in this side of town are guys in their 30s and 40s and more established. Definitely the demographic is going to skew that way. [But] by labeling myself, I am cutting off a lot. I am cautious on putting a very specific label,” Winfield said.
The bar does have a special interest in a certain kind of man, according to its Facebook page: "Scruffy, no attitude, thrill seeking men who desire the company of other men for friendship and fun."
Adam May, who lives in Grant Park, said he is glad to see Cockpit open because, "I believe in supporting local businesses no matter what."
His partner, Todd Vierling, said Cockpit provided an alternative to other bars.
"This one is much closer to home," he said.
From Cockpit's website:
"Being a part of Southeast Atlanta and Atlanta gay nightlife is going to be awesome. We are looking forward to providing you a speak easy space to meet with friends, your local chapter, group, sports team or cause. Consider you local watering hole and gathering spot."
Check out photos of the guys we interviewed and the bar space here.
Top photo: Cockpit Atlanta, the city's newest gay bar, is now open in preparation for its grand opening this weekend. (by Dyana Bagby)
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