The recipe is simple: Provide a place to check the attitude and often, your shirt. Mix in big name DJs, special events and hunky bartenders. Then you'll know why Heretic is celebrating 25 years of success in gay Atlanta nightlife. 

The Cheshire Bridge Road mainstay is flying in Tony Moran to DJ the 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday. Sometimes, the club marks its birthday with Santa, tasty treats and laid back affairs. But when the milestones come calling, Heretic knows how to amp up the fun.

Moran is packing a hard-pounding new single and other new work when he comes to town this weekend, he tells David Atlanta, so prepare accordingly. 

And as the club parties for its 25th, we considered a few of our favorite reasons why Heretic has been celebrating success for more than two decades.

 

The DJs.

 

It's the DJs that power all of that late-night shirtless dancing. Sin Morera. Roland Belmares. Tony Moran (photo). Abel. Phil B. Joe Gauthreaux. Manny Lehman. Mickey Friedmann. Alyson Calagna. Mike Pope. And so many more.

 

Special events. 

 

Bearracuda. Bear Invasion. Brut. ManShaft. Peach Party. Ready 4 Hope. Pride. When it's time to find a manly dance party, you need to look no further than Heretic. This place can throw a theme party, whether it's for lumberjacks, gingers, leather daddies, bears or boys. 

 

Bartenders. 

 

We said hot bartenders, right? They don't skimp on the sexy when slinging those drinks.

 

Jocks and their straps.

 

Speaking of sexy, the outfits at Heretic range from dance floor bare chestedness to harnesses, masks and so much more. But when it comes down to it, think of Heretic and you think jockstrap.

 

Thanksgiving Eve.

 

If holiday plans include staying in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, Heretic knows how to make it special. A night of dancing at the club's annual party turns Thanksgiving Eve into a night to remember. Every single year. Halloween is totally a Heretic holiday, too.

 

Drag queens.

 

Whether it's hosting Violet Chachki on her victory lap after winning "RuPaul's Drag Race" or Bob the Drag Queen before he takes the crown, Heretic is secure enough in its manliness to party with the queens who perform. They even invite in the do-good camp drag troupe the Armorettes to raise a few bucks, too. On Saturday, Heretic hosts the Armorettes for its Christmas Vacation Show.

 

Bears on a big boat.

 

Even Heretic needs a vacay. So the club packs its bears, partners with Bearracuda and takes the party to a cruise chip each year. The new tradition started in 2015 when the Bearracuda Heretic Cruise set sail from Fort Lauderdale. The third rendition heads for the Western Caribbean on Feb. 19.

 

These folks.

 

None of it would be possible without co-owners Ray Collins (left) and Bev Cook, and General Manager Alan Collins (right).