All Eyes on Pride Month: Bars and Restaurants Celebrate Pride in June and All Year Long

Caleb Chafin, the director of restaurant and bars at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, which includes Criollo Restaurant and the iconic Carousel Bar, said the LGBTQ+ community has a long history of facing discrimination, and bars and restaurants have often served as safe spaces for them to socialize. “By celebrating Pride, we send a clear message that we are inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to everyone,” he said.

AC Restaurants's Death & Taxes
For Chef Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants, creating safe and welcoming spaces is key. Pictured: AC Restaurants’ Death & Taxes in Raleigh, N.C. (Photo: Lauren Vied Allen)

According to Chafin, Pride Month – which takes place every June – is an excellent opportunity for bars and restaurants to celebrate, demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity, and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

“By engaging genuinely and thoughtfully with your patrons and staff, you can create a welcoming environment that honors the spirit of Pride,” shared Chafin, who noted that the Hotel Monteleone’s mixologist created a Pride Month cocktail, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit PFLAG New Orleans. “Remember, the goal is to foster a sense of community, respect, and celebration that extends well beyond the month of June.”

Rusty Sutton – the founder and CEO of The Green Monkey, a popular bar and gift shop in downtown Raleigh, N.C. – agrees that celebrating Pride and showing support for the LGBTQ+ community must be demonstrated all year long.

Sutton – who created The Green Monkey because he wanted a safe space where everyone could be themselves and hang out with friends – hosts a variety of LGBTQ+ groups and events and collaborates with Queer-owned organizations and businesses, as well as local artists.

“I love Pride Month because there are a lot of celebrations and that's when we can teach people about LGBTQ+ history,” said Sutton. “But it really gets under my skin to see some of these big box stores and other businesses jumping on the bandwagon in June – but then as soon as July 1st hits, it all disappears. I don't want people to think you're supposed to celebrate Pride for just 30 days in the summer.”

pride month in bars and restaurants
Rusty Sutton (right), the founder and CEO of The Green Monkey in Raleigh, N.C., with Drew Temple (left), chief beer consultant. (Photo: The Green Monkey)

Sutton encouraged bar and restaurant owners and operators, as well as other businesses, to work with their LGBTQ+ community and local organizations and find ways to join forces throughout the year. “Collaborate with some of your Queer-owned organizations, your Queer-owned small businesses,” he said, noting that businesses should always support those who support them back.

Miami’s EA Hospitality – the group behind three Latin-Asian inspired restaurants, including Finka Table & Tap, Barbakoa by Finka, and Amelia's 1931 – celebrates by creating a special Pride Month cocktail. “This brings awareness to our community, and it also shows those who don't already know we are an LGBTQ+ owned business that everyone is welcome in our safe space,’ said Chef and Restaurateur Eileen Andrade of EA Hospitality.

“My restaurants are located in the suburbs of Miami, where you won't find many pride flags,” said Andrade, whose team is decorating the establishments with Pride flags and encouraging staff to wear Pride pins. “I am happy that I have three diverse restaurants/bars that can contribute to my community in creating awareness and safe spaces.”

pride month in bars and restaurants
Chef and Restaurateur Eileen Andrade of EA Hospitality in Miami, which includes Finka Table & Tap, Barbakoa by Finka, and Amelia's 1931. (Photo: EA Hospitality)

Also in Miami, R House Wynwood combines artistry, performance, and memorable flavors in the city’s artsy Wynwood District. The fine dining restaurant and lounge serves up Latin-inspired dishes, innovative cocktails, a vibrant atmosphere, and extravagant drag brunches with live music. “We’re all about inclusivity, community, and making sure you have an unforgettable time,” said Owen Bale, co-owner of R House Wynwood, which always celebrates Pride Month, in addition to focusing on Pride throughout the year.

“Celebrating Pride Month is such a blast,” shared Bale. "It’s all about spreading love, embracing diversity, and having a fabulous time. We get to support Miami's amazing LGBTQ+ community, throw epic parties, and make everyone feel welcome. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with new friends and show that we’re all about inclusivity and good vibes.”

While R House Wynwood is a proud gay-owned restaurant and bar, they want to emphasize that their identity and values go far beyond that one aspect of their business. “We take immense pride in the diverse and inclusive environment we've cultivated, where everyone feels welcome and celebrated, regardless of their background,” explained Co-owner Rocco Carulli, who believes that great dining experiences transcend labels. “While we celebrate our LGBTQ+ roots and are proud to be part of such a vibrant community, we invite everyone to join us and share in what we offer.”

pride month in bars and restaurants
R House Wynwood combines artistry, performance, and memorable flavors in the city’s artsy Wynwood District. (Photo: R House Wynwood)

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Conor McKee, co-owner of Whoopsie Daisy wine bar and co-owner/buyer for FIASCO! Wine and Spirits, also stressed that it’s important for bars, restaurants, and others in the hospitality industry to celebrate Pride.

pride month in bars and restaurants
Brooklyn, N.Y.C.-based Conor McKee, co-owner of Whoopsie Daisy wine bar and co-owner/buyer for FIASCO! Wine and Spirits, celebrates Pride. (Photo: Matt Taylor-Gross)

“Visible support – from cis/straight allies specifically – is of the utmost importance right now as transphobia and homophobia are running rampant around the country,” explained McKee. “Between the drag bans, Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, and hateful commencement speeches, there is incredible urgency to push back against that rhetoric, and it’s going to require everyone to do so, to drown out the most vocal and most hateful voices.”

This June is Whoopsie Daisy’s first Pride Month, and the neighborhood bar – which focuses on natural and biodynamic wine – is excited to showcase they’re a safe space for their customers, where they can be their most authentic selves. “Throughout the month – and always – we’ll be shining a spotlight on Queer producers by the glass and in our cocktail program,” said McKee. “Visibility and financial support of any underrepresented group is the least we can do, and we’re especially excited to do so for our own community.” 

McKee noted it’s been incredibly fulfilling to create a space in the wine and spirits industry that can elevate and put a megaphone to other Queer voices and producers. “Getting a seat at a ‘table’ that for so long has been dominated by grey-haired straight dudes in ill-fitting suits and purple teeth has been immensely gratifying,” he revealed. “It’s also been affirming to hold some importers’ feet to the fire, as well in regard to who they represent – be it more Queer or POC [person of color] producers or, conversely, holding them accountable for those producers that have publicly expressed regressive and homophobic opinions.”

Best Practices and Tips for Pride: ‘Create Safe and Welcoming Spaces’

Raleigh, N.C.-based Chef Ashley Christensen, founder of AC Restaurants – which includes Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Fox Liquor Bar and Death & Taxes – works to foster a culture of kindness and respect at her establishments, something her team focuses on every single day. Her best advice? “Create safe and welcoming spaces,” she said. “Train your entire staff to be welcoming to all guests and hold guests to the standard of being respectful to staff and other guests as well.”

Andrade, of EA Hospitality, said supporting the LGBTQ+ community can be as simple as giving your staff a class on diversity, inclusivity, and how to be a better ally. “I think it's important to let your staff know that their workplace is a safe space, and in turn, they will communicate that to the guests as well,” she said.

Chafin, of Hotel Monteleone, pointed out that it’s important to be authentic and genuine when celebrating Pride Month or showing support for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year. “Use inclusive language,” he advised. “Educate yourself and your staff on the significance of Pride Month. Don’t stereotype and don’t assume.”

Carulli, of R House Wynwood, suggested that bars and restaurants seek input when it comes to Pride and work with local non-profits. “Make sure you talk to LGBTQ+ staff and customers about ideas for Pride initiatives, to get their suggestions and buy-in in advance,” he said. “It’s great to connect with local LGBTQ+ non-profits to arrange a donation, even a small one, of a percentage of sales for Pride events or even for all of Pride Month.”

Carulli pointed out that supporting the LGBTQ+ community can be a year-round activity:

  • Inclusive Hiring: Bring diverse voices into your team.
  • Ongoing Training: Keep your staff educated on LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Safe Spaces: Create an environment where everyone feels welcome.
  • Community Events: Host fundraisers and events that support LGBTQ+ causes.
  • Advocacy: Use your platform to champion LGBTQ+ rights.

According to The Green Money’s Sutton, bar and restaurant operators should also take gender identity and pronouns seriously, in addition to educating staff about how to handle pronouns properly (not just during Pride Month, but throughout the year). “Do take pronouns seriously,” said Sutton, who explained that using the correct pronoun of a customer can make them feel stronger or feel like they belong. “This is not a passing fad and it's not an attention getter… so, if we can make a person feel accepted, do it. It's stupid not to, it ain't about you, it ain't about me – it's about them.”

McKee, of Whoopsie Daisy and FIASCO! Wine and Spirits, said his best advice regarding Pride Month and the bar and restaurant industry is that Pride goes beyond June. “Allyship is every day of the year,” he said. “Showing up and showing support, even if it’s just a decal in a window, is huge. Also, hiring LGBTQ+ staff is very important. Providing opportunity, financial security, personal and professional growth, and a visible showcase to your guests of what your values are is equally important. It’s less about the one-off grand gestures and more about being consistent and steadfast.”

pride month in bars and restaurants
LGBTQ+ business owner Blake Warman, founder of Miami-based The Blakery. (Photo: The Blakery)

Chafin, of the Hotel Monteleone, agrees that Pride should always extend past June. “Beyond the usual Pride Month celebrations, bars and restaurants can integrate inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community by diversifying their workforce, providing ongoing training and education, supporting LGBTQ+ vendors, partnering with LGBTQ+ businesses and organizations, and implementing supportive policies and practices,” he said.

For LGBTQ+ business owner Blake Warman, founder of Miami-based The Blakery, it all comes down to community. This is one of the core values of his business, which offers gourmet six-ounce cookies that are Instagrammable, edible works of art. Throughout the year, the cookie business emphasizes philanthropy, charity events, and community service. And for Pride Month, the brand has a special “Taste the Rainbow” cookie. “I think it's extremely important to bring light to the community as a whole and to celebrate diversity,” said Warman, who appeared on the new season of Gordon Ramsay‘s Food Stars television show on FOX. “Pride Month is great, but it should be celebrated every month, so I think if there are ways to incorporate Pride throughout the year, why not? Who doesn't like rainbows anyway?”

Pride Month 2024: A Selection of Offerings and Activities from the Industry

Curious about what some businesses in the bar, restaurant, and hospitality industry are doing this year for Pride Month? Here are just a few highlights, which could offer some inspiration.

  • At the historic Beacon Grand in San Francisco’s Union Square, they’re featuring a special Pride room package and cocktail throughout the month. Available at the hotel’s bar and restaurant, The Post Room, the “Simply Complicated” cocktail will be served with an oversized Pride cookie from local gay-owned Hot Cookie, and a portion of proceeds will directly support San Francisco Pride. The property also unveiled a 3,000-square-foot Pride flag, which flies alongside the building for all to see. Jill Plemons, director of sales and marketing for the Beacon Grand, said, “We’re excited to celebrate Pride Month because our property’s values align with San Francisco Pride: ‘We believe that everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and valued for who they are. We are committed to creating a world where LGBTQ+ people can live, work, and thrive without fear of discrimination or violence.’”
pride month in bars and restaurants
The historic Beacon Grand’s Pride flag flies high in San Francisco. (Photo: Beacon Grand)


  • Grubhub partnered with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), and they’re offering LGBTQ+-owned and allied independent restaurants $1.5 million in grants to boost their business. Funds can support updating security, purchasing equipment, engaging PR and marketing services. “At Grubhub, we focus our community impact on three key areas: helping close the hunger gap, creating more opportunity in the hospitality industry, and supporting independent restaurants,” said Brianna Morris, senior manager, community impact for Grubhub. “Our partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is one of the many ways we partner to support local restaurants.” Details on the NGLCC Community Impact Grant Program – made possible through continued support from the Grubhub Community Fund – can be found here.


  • Hard Rock International is celebrating Pride Month with the annual “LOVE OUT LOUD” campaign, including celebratory offerings and special events across its hotels, casinos, cafes, and Rock Shops around the world. Properties will show their local support during Pride Month by donating to LGBTQ+ organizations in their communities through Hard Rock Heals Foundation, to commemorate this month of reflection, celebration, and action for the LGBTQ+ community, according to the company.


  • At N.Y.C.’s Urban Cove Society & Kitchen, which recently opened at 33 Seaport Hotel, they’re offering a specialty Pride cocktail in addition to hosting a Pride Brunch. Seaport is also partnering with celebrated muralist Lisa Marie Thalhammer and students of neighboring Peck Slip School P.S. 343 to install a “love” mural at the Seaport – all timed to N.Y.C. Pride.


  • At Atomic Cowboy, home to Denver Biscuit Company by day and Fat Sully's by night, they’re offering their annual Pride shirts (only available to purchase in-person) with a portion of the proceeds going to The Trevor Project. Also, exclusively at the Atomic Cowboy Westport location in Kansas City, Mo. and their Colorado Springs, Colo. location, the ice-cream brand Frozen Gold will have a new flavor for Pride Month – The Majestic Beast, featuring vanilla soft serve, unicorn sprinkles, rainbow sugar cookie dough, and a cotton candy soft core, topped with a white chocolate dipped cone.


  • For Pride, Athletic Brewing Company, America’s largest non-alcoholic brewery, released the Rainbow Wall IPA for the fourth consecutive year. Rainbow Wall is part of Athletic Brewing’s IMPACT Brew Series, which includes four limited-time offerings. Every IMPACT brew purchase supports organizations that make a difference for marginalized communities, with up to $100,000 of IMPACT Brew Series profits donated annually to these causes. The 2024 release of Rainbow Wall will support The OUT Foundation, a non-profit organization for the LGBTQ+ community. Rainbow Wall, a slightly hazy and citrus-forward Blood Orange IPA, will be available to purchase while supplies last at and


pride month in bars and restaurants
Athletic Brewing Company Rainbow Wall IPA celebrates Pride Month and is part of Athletic Brewing’s IMPACT Brew Series. (Photo: Athletic Brewing Company)
  • Kennebunkport, Maine’s Kennebunkport Resort Collection restaurants are offering Pride Month cocktails inspired by the colors and spirit of the rainbow. Each drink is meticulously curated, featuring seasonal ingredients. At the Boathouse Restaurant, for example, they’re featuring the “Loud and Proud” cocktail, a festive, purple concoction that combines vodka, limoncello, lavender syrup, simple syrup, and lemon juice. At Rosella KPT, The James Baldwin is on the menu for Pride. The cocktail brings together Tito’s Vodka, pineapple juice, sweet vermouth, and fresh mint.


Aaron Kiel is an editor, writer and public relations professional in Raleigh, N.C. He’s worked in the beverage, tea and coffee industries for two decades, as well as hospitality and technology. He’s a journalist at heart, but he also wears a PR and communications hat through his consultancy, ak PR Group. Aaron is a contributing writer/reporter for Questex’s Bar & Restaurant News, and he recently worked as the editor of World Tea News with Questex’s Bar & Restaurant Group. In 2023, he was a finalist and honorable mention in the “Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards” for Range of Work by a Single Author – B2B,” for his work at World Tea News. And in 2024, he won a Gold Northeast Region Award in the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ (ASBPE) Azbee Awards in the category of Editorial Excellence for DE&I, recognizing his 2023 article on Pride Month for Bar & Restaurant News. Aaron also received a 2024/2025 ASBPE Diversity Fellowship Award, which supports and recognizes diversity in the field of B2B journalism. Connect with him on Instagram: @adventurer_explorer.


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