Two bars opened recently in the Gayborhood that are owned and operated by people of color, marking a big culture shift for the LGBTQ enclave in Center City, where racism has been documented for years.
One of the new establishments is Level Up Bar & Lounge, a Black-owned club that took over the old Boxers space at 13th and Walnut. It opened right before the lockdown hit last year, but is now making a name for itself by offering an honestly ridiculous number of performances, meant to cater to a diverse variety of people.
Just a few blocks away is Cockatoo. The Miami-style cocktail bar, opened in February on 13th Street between Walnut and Locust, is run by Ram Krishnan and Akshay Kamath, who also own Writer’s Block Rehab.
Krishnan believes Level Up and Cockatoo opening within a year of each other is no coincidence.