The Night Shift 2.0 celebrated its grand opening on October 4th to the delight of many in the Baltimore LGBTQ community. Located at 1725 Ponca Street, The Night Shift 2.0 already serves as a beacon for everyone in the community looking for a place to be themselves. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with owner Beth Cooper.

“My inspiration,” began Cooper, “was to continue to provide an-all inclusive place for everyone in the LGBTQ community. I had been affiliated with other safe-spaces and I didn’t realize how special it was for people to have a place of their own to feel comfortable. So many people came in, with so much love, and showed how thankful they were to have a space. So, when the opportunity for me to create Night Shift 2.0 came up, I was like, ‘Absolutely!’ and I went for it.”

Cooper added, “I would like to see Night Shift 2.0 become an entertainment space where everyone can come congregate, meet friends and family, drink, eat and be happy. I want people to leave knowing I provided them with a great experience – as well as to come back!”

Many in the community have rallied around Cooper to support this new endeavor. “I was really happy to see more of the leather community coming out and supporting me, and the space. That’s been really great to see,” Cooper said. “I feel like you can go to some places and be comfortable, be who you are, but unfortunately in today’s society you can’t go everywhere and do that. Whether you’re a drag queen or into some kind of kink or fetish, or even in the leather community, some things are still not accepted in the straight community. I want to 100% let people feel they can be themselves at Night Shift 2.0.”

The reception Cooper has found has been overwhelmingly positive. “Everything came together nicely. I haven’t had any issues. My whole team and I have been free to express our thoughts and desires on what we want, as well as our vision for this space. The best part is we have been given a blank slate to do what we want. It’s been a great experience. We’ve had lots of love from everyone who has visited. Everyone is coming up and thanking me for giving them a space again. There’s been lots of love and positive feedback.”

Cooper added that security is also a number one priority on her list. “When patrons get out of their cars, I want them to see my security and feel ‘I’m safe.’ We don’t want people to worry. We want people to feel, ‘They are taking very good care of us there.’ Sometimes when you go to a bar, they’ll have wands to wave over people, and I don’t want that. I would rather have a presence – a physical presence – so that you can say, ‘I know [security] has my back in here and I don’t have to worry.” 

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Frankie Kujawa
Frankie Kujawa
Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.