Popular gay-owned Church bar damaged in fire

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An early-evening fire damaged a portion of the Atlanta's most popular kitchy casual gay-owned alternabar on Wednesday, leaving Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium closed for repairs.

But bar owner Grant Henry says the doors of the Old Fourth Ward hot spot – it's earned national accolades, in case you haven't heard – could reopen as soon as Friday but more likely, sometime this weekend.

“We are just super lucky,” Henry says. “In the big scheme of things, you know this is just a burp. We are going to be open as soon as possible.”

On Wednesday about 7:30 p.m., an exhaust fan in the women's restroom apparently caught fire, filling the bar and its Edgewood Avenue neighbor, Corner Tavern, with smoke, Henry says. Employees inside the bar reacted quickly, as did Atlanta firefighters who are stationed a few blocks away, he adds. 

The fire, and the water to extinguish it, damaged the first floor bathroom as well as a storage closet above it on the second floor. Water and hoses were everywhere, Henry says, but thankfully firefighters worked to protect the bar's walls, which are filled with kitchy artwork, signs and memorabilia. 

By Thursday morning, cleaning crews were working alongside contractors on repairing the damage, removing the mess and getting rid of the smoky aftertaste. Once repairs are completed, the bar must get city officials to sign off before power is restored to the building, Henry says. Then Church can once again throw open its doors.

“If you walk through and you didn't smell and didn't open the ladies bathroom, you probably wouldn't know it happened,” Henry says. 

And never one to miss a religious reference, Henry adds that the bar staff is “on our knees being thankful.”

[photo via]


Fire in the Fourth

A photo posted by Grant Henry aka Sister Louisa (@sisterlouisa) on Sep 16, 2015 at 7:11pm PDT



BYE BYE Ladies Bathroom!

A photo posted by Grant Henry aka Sister Louisa (@sisterlouisa) on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:36pm PDT



CHURCH did burn. We are very lucky. PRAY it doesn't start back up in the night. Thankful.

A video posted by Grant Henry aka Sister Louisa (@sisterlouisa) on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:13pm PDT




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