Gay Atlanta bar closes to change into restaurant

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The scruffy, attitude-free zone known as gay bar Cockpit in southeast Atlanta is no more. The fun space that paraded burly ManShaft men in front of firemen stationed next door is closed and transforming itself into a restaurant.

From Cockpit to Gravy Kitchen & Bar in little more than three years.

The bar from owner Michael Winfield offered 1,900 square feet of space inside a compact strip shopping center on Boulevard, just south of Interstate 20 yet light years away in the minds of some from gay Atlanta’s traditional nightlife spots. Winfield hoped to add to the growing cluster of LGBT bars in south Atlanta – hey there, Mary’s and My Sister’s Room just a quick drive away in East Atlanta.

And Cockpit enjoyed early success after a big opening weekend in May 2011. It offered a home to the popular ManShaft party series from DJ Diablo Rojo, hosted gay jocks, offered gay comics a place to do stand-up, and had a penchant for celebrating its anniversary with boys in their underwear dancing on the pool table.

Winfield described the crowd he hoped to snag during an interview with Project Q Atlanta in 2011:

“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 says.

Cockpit also went smoke-free indoors from day one, before gay Atlanta bars made that a thing.

But now, the industrial Cockpit sign is gone, no longer hung over the front door. A small sign in the window promises that Gravy is coming soon without offering a launch date. We’ve reached out to Winfield and will update the post if we hear back.


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