COLORADO SPRINGS — June is Pride Month, which means it's a time to celebrate inclusion and diversity in Colorado Springs and El Paso County.
Icons, an LGBTQ+ owned and supported piano bar in downtown Colorado, is among one of the newest businesses to open in the area and also one that is celebrating pride month.
Josh Franklin and John Wolfe both co-own the bar on Bijou, which they opened in October 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.
"We were in quarantine and we figured out there was this huge LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs and the downtown area, but they didn't have a place to go and meet each other," said Wolfe.
"It was the right time, in the right city, and the city was ready for a place like this," said Franklin.
They told News5 it was a blessing in disguise because it allowed them to learn about being a business owner in the bar industry. They also decided to open the bar in a location that they know there was a growing gay and queer community.
"When you come through our doors, you're signing a social agreement that you're supporting this community, you're an ally," said Josh Franklin.
Despite the challenges the pandemic presented, the two say since opening they've gotten overwhelming support from the community.
"I think that says a lot about the city and where they're going. It's getting younger, it's getting really inclusive, and diverse and artistic and it's really exciting," said Wolfe. "Being in such a niche market as far as who our demographic is, they've been supporting us back the entire time. People are proud, especially in the month of June, and I'm thrilled they're showing up here and other queer-owned establishments."
"Icons has been thriving in the past couple of weeks. To be 2021, downtown Colorado Springs, opening up an apologetically gay happy celebratory space, it's just the right time, right plan, right community," said Franklin.
Reservations are encouraged because the demand and support is so large.
For more information about Icons, click here.