Party time as Atlanta gay bar Friends on Ponce turns 10

Friends on Ponce is turning 10 years old, and they’re throwing a bash on Sunday to celebrate hitting double digits.

The Ponce de Leon gay bar is going to have a free buffet, door prizes and giveaways, as well as some surprise guests who Lewis Covington, one of the managers, says will be “readily recognizable.”

Covington says the early years of the bar were trying as they worked on building clientele.

“It is just very difficult to get established and conform to the many, many rules and regulations that the city and county place on new businesses, especially bars,” he says.

But they stuck through it and have attracted a following that keeps coming back for the darts, pool, pinball, poker tournaments and more, including the monthly New Faces Talent Contest hosted by Regina “Boom Boom” Simms.

“We’ve got a wildly diverse crowd here and it’s just a wonderful mix of everything,” Covington says. “What’s so special about it is everybody gets along so well. That’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.”

And the Friends team isn’t worried about new development in the area, like Ponce City Market, causing gentrification of the neighborhood and pushing out bars like Friends and Model T’s.

“No, we’re looking forward to it,” he says. “It will bring in new customers. We’re not worried about getting pushed out.”

Friends On Ponce 10th Anniversary Party
Sunday, August 3, 2014
6 p.m. to midnight
Friends on Ponce
736 Ponce de Leon Ave. | @patricksaunders