LGBTQ Atlanta gets first look at Midtown Moon during soft opening

A new chapter in LGBTQ Atlanta nightlife began on Tuesday as Midtown Moon hosted a soft opening for the venue taking over the space that was once home to Burkhart's. 

Onlookers sipped cocktails and roamed the new space throughout the evening as owners Chris McDonald and Marco Penna played hosts for the new bar.

"Everybody is welcome at this bar, no matter who you are,” Penna told the crowd at one point.

It was a fitting message considering how Midtown Moon came to be. It replaces Burkhart's, the once-popular Ansley Square bar whose business imploded in January during a controversy over racist social media posts from former owner Palmer Marsh. The bar's entertainers quit, a public forum showed that racism at the venue ran deeper than just its owner, and its general manager was fired. Burkhart's closed its doors in February.

Penna and McDonald announced during the annual Easter Drag Races event that they had closed on a deal to buy the bar, and they've been instituting changes and updates ever since.

The bar will host an event for Hotlanta Softball’s Big Peach Softball Tournament this weekend and will have an official grand opening sometime after that.

Photos by Russ Youngblood