Backward Flag Brewing is an ode to those who served
Torie Fisher opened Backward Flag Brewing in 2015.
As her military service began to end, she began to plan her next step.
She used all of her retirement money to fund the Backward Flag Brewing Company, just off Long Beach Island.
The space became a haven for veterans and members of the service industry who supported Torie and she repaid the favor.
The walls are decorated with hundreds of patches from visitors who have served, representing a range of industries from prosecutors to foreign governments to Torie’s own Hooligans patch from his military years.
His uniform hangs on the wall next to the uniform of his wife, who is currently active in the army. There are tables donated by the former Navy and a wooden Backward Flag logo created by someone from his unit. Although she did not create the brewery as a veteran space, it grew organically due to the special bond created by military service.
The beer menu appeals to all beer lovers, with stouts and IPAs named mostly with military nicknames, but some just for fun.
The brewery has grown from a two-barrel system in its early days to the 10-barrel system it operates today.
The brewery also gave Torie the opportunity to start a non-profit organization called Arms 2 Artisans.
It is aimed at post-9/11 veterans looking to transition from military service to craftsmanship.
She remembers the struggles she went through to take that same leap and hopes her nonprofit organization can ease the transition.
Backward Flag Brewing Co. | Facebook | instagram
699 Challenger Road, Forked River, NJ 08731
Weapons 2 Craftsmen | Facebook | instagram
Vintage Wine Bar and Bistro spilling a rainbow of wines for Pride
In Midtown Village, the classic Vintage wine bar is a great place for patrons to expand their palates.
Traditional wines sit alongside New World offerings and the choices are vast with over 30 wines available by the glass or bottle.
General Manager Gillian Encarnation has worked in the hospitality industry since helping out with her family’s restaurant when she was young and then working her way up to award-winning local restaurants.
Its goal is to make wine – and learning about wine – accessible and accessible to everyone.
In honor of Pride Month, drink specials are offered, including a “rainbow flight” that features a sampling of wines from different parts of the world.
Cocktails, beers, small plates and appetizers are also available.
Vintage | Facebook | instagram
129 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Gay Bingo raises funds for Philadelphians living with HIV
AIDS Fund is a local organization that raises money by hosting Gay Bingo nights to support people living with HIV in the Philadelphia area.
Their mission is to support the most vulnerable people living with HIV, whose financial situation could turn into a health crisis.
They are raising awareness of the impact of HIV in the LGBT community and they are thrilled to be back for their 25th season.
The evening always begins with an opening act from the Bingo Check Divas and there are performances throughout the extra game night.
Almost everyone you meet at Gay Bingo is an AIDS Fund volunteer, including the divas.
AIDS Fund has over 500 volunteers each year who help with events ranging from Gay Bingo to the annual AIDS Walk.
The 25th Anniversary Gay Bingo Spectacular will take place on June 18.
Philly Gay Bingo AIDS Fund | Facebook | instagram
2628 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA 19137
Papa’s Cupcakes is a dream job for father, husband and son baking trio
John Ferrraro has spent over 25 years as a pharmacist.
About 17 years ago, he and his then partner, now husband, Bryan Berchok, adopted a child.
This brought Ferrraro into the kitchen baking cupcakes for school events and birthday parties as Shawn was growing up.
John’s hobby has grown into a big business. Now John, Bryan and their son, a high school student, operate Papa’s Cupcakes in Perkasie.
They serve over 50 varieties of cupcake flavors, each handcrafted in the couple’s kitchen and sold at the Perkasie store.
Each cupcake is loaded with flavors ranging from salted caramel to chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry rhubarb.
Berchok uses the cores to create Daddy’s Cakepops, which they also sell at the store.
The names of the shop and the pops come from Shawn, who always called John, dad, and Bryan, dad.
Dad’s cupcakes | Facebook | instagram
101 North 5th Street, Perkasie, Pennsylvania 18944
Meet the husbands behind Jersey’s thriving Music Mountain Theater
Louis Palena and Jordan Brennan met in the theater twenty years ago.
Since then, they have created their own theater, held a commitment ceremony, got married and adopted a daughter.
The newest addition to the family is 2-year-old Alana, and her personality meshes well with her adoptive fathers’ career on stage, where they opened the Mountain Theater Music five years ago.
The New Hope/Lambertville area continues to be home to both their business and the family roots they established.
Alana having recently joined the family, it will be Louis and Jordan’s first Father’s Day as dads.
Mountain Theater Music | Facebook | instagram
1483 Route NJ-179, Lambertville, New Jersey 08530
Celebrate PRIDE Month, Father’s Day in These 2 Philadelphia Spots
Shucked oysters, fresh tacos and draft margaritas; it’s a great way to celebrate Father’s Day and PRIDE month.
The Oyster House and Mission Taqueria are owned and operated by the same LGBTQ+ family.
Oyster House celebrates 13 years of activity. Owner Sam Mink says the restaurant is Philadelphia’s largest oyster bar. They source their oysters from local producers.
The menu offers everything from fish dishes to crab cakes, lobster rolls, grilled lobster, tartars, raw seafood and an excellent list of cocktails and drinks.
Seafood is in Mink’s blood. His father opened the restaurant in 1976.
Just above is Mission Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant that Sam opened six years ago.
It offers a variety of fun tacos and salsa. Handmade tortillas are created on-site for dishes like shrimp and chicken tacos. Mission also offers a cocktail, margarita and mezcal program.
This is where Sam’s husband, Anthony Padillo, works as an accountant. The couple also have a 7-year-old son named Asher.
Sam is a board member of the Attic Youth Center, where he serves meals and resources to support at-risk LGBTQ+ youth in Philadelphia.
Mission Taqueria and Oyster House take off every Sunday, including Father’s Day, but you can order fun kits to take home like the Clam Cooking Kit, where you can take home an entire steaming bucket.
Happy hour at Mission and the Oyster House is every Tuesday through Friday, 4-6 p.m. There are $2 oysters at the Oyster House, along with other drink and food specials.
Oyster House | Instagram | Facebook
1516 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
Mission Taquería | instagram
Above Oyster House, 1516 Sansom Street 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
Optimal Sport is proud of the non-judgmental gym culture
Optimal Sport is a gay-owned gym that has created a vibrant and inclusive space over the past two decades and prides itself on a non-judgmental gym culture.
The Family Community Gym is nestled in the heart of the Gayborhood.
Dani Iannone, personal trainer and lead group fitness instructor, says they offer a very wide range of classes. With everything from spin, yoga, HIIT, weightlifters and sports athletes to Silver Sneakers for the elderly.
Co-founders and married couple Jeff Shablin and Yule Giraldo started out as personal trainers and have grown the business together over the past 20 years.
They also own a second location in Newtown, bringing not only a big sweat but also a sense of belonging!
Along with standard classes and machines, customers can explore alternative training techniques. And lots of help on site, including a nutritionist.
You can find them at Dilworth Park in the city center every Monday and Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. for free Zumba and cardio boxing classes.
Outdoor training classes run from summer to fall. Also feel free to bring your kids and take a spin in the fountains to cool off afterwards.
Optimale Sport 1315
1315 Walnut St #4719, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Optimal Sport Newville
828B Newtown-Yardley Road, Newtown, Pennsylvania 18940
William Way’s ‘homecoming’ ceremony remembers lives lost to HIV/AIDS
The William Way LGBT Center celebrates PRIDE with a “memorial experience”, honoring those who have lost their lives to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Philadelphia.
The commemoration is titled “The Memorial of Remembrance: An Alternative Memorial Experience for Philadelphians Lost to HIV/AIDS.”
The center commissioned award-winning playwright Ain Gordon to turn the stories of people affected by HIV/AIDS into a play called ‘These Are Not Easily Scattered’.
There’s also an exhibition opening June 21 called “Gone and Forever” designed and curated by artist and entrepreneur Alex Stadler.
Two years into the COVID pandemic, the “Coming Home” ceremony promises to be particularly poignant.
After PRIDE Month, the entire Remembrance Project will live on through a digital archive to be launched on December 1, World AIDS Day.
William Way LGBT Community Center | Facebook | instagram
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
‘Remembrance: An Alternative Memorial Experience to Philadelphians Lost to HIV/AIDS’:
Exhibition “Gone and Forever”: from June 21 to 25 at the William Way LGBT Community Center
“Coming Home” Commemoration Ceremony, followed by a public procession: June 25 at 3 p.m., William Way LGBT Community Center at St. Luke’s and Epiphany Church
Digital Archive of Remembrance: Expected launch: December 1, 2022 (World AIDS Day/Arts Free Day)
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