Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium

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Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward and "Church" bar

Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, or simply Church, is a bar on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.[1][2][3] It is owned by Grant Henry, an American former divinity student, artist and businessman best known for his artwork and installations created under the auspice of his alter ego "Sister Louisa".

History[edit]

In 2001, Henry opened an Atlanta gallery on St. Charles Ave. in Atlanta called Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room; Come on in, Precious.[4] The gallery closed after six months. At the time, Henry was bartending at a bar called The Local. He was voted "Best Bartender" in the city for 2006 and 2007 by the readership of Atlanta's alternative publication, Creative Loafing.[5]

In 2010, Henry opened Church. The New York Times described the bar by writing, "Opened in December 2010 by Grant Henry, a former divinity school student, this bar plays with, and spoofs, church culture. Karaoke is performed in choir robes, and walls are decorated with faux-religious pop art."[6]

Hate-Crime Controversy[edit]

In June 2011, The owner of Sister Louisa's Church Grant Henry was quoted in the media claiming the police had said his bar had been targeted by a hate crime, which caused a public outpouring of support and a surge in business at the bar.[7] Henry's statements were in relation to a break in at his establishment, but the Atlanta Police Department assured there was no indication of bias crime in the break in.[8] Later in a blog post, Atlanta humor columnist Hollis Gillespie recalled that Grant Henry had told her he'd known from his surveillance video that the vandalism was caused by a homeless person Henry had once threatened away from his establishment with a baseball bat.[9] Henry faced criticism for possible profiteering from claiming to be the victim of a hate crime.

Murder at Sister Louisa's Church[edit]

In November 2016, a bar patron named Mitchell Norman, Jr., a father of three, was shot and murdered on the front steps of Grant Henry's Church Bar.[10] Another customer was shot and wounded in the attack. Two suspects have been arrested, and the homicide is still under investigation.[11]

Grant Henry (rear center) and his parade float "Child Traffic King"

Child Trafficking Controversy[edit]

In 2009, at the Little Five Points Parade, Grant Henry angered residents of Inman Park, Atlanta, by entering a parade float that consisted of a white-paneled van with the words "Child Traffic King" displayed on each side of the van in large orange lettering[12]. Henry and three others marched alongside the van while wearing what appeared to be trench coats with nothing underneath. Henry wrote on the Sister Louisa's bar site about the incident: "So, we got a white perv van, duct-taped words on the side . . . we dressed pant-less in perv trench coats, with black socks and dress shoes and we passed out candy to the children." [13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°45′16″N 84°22′20″W / 33.7544°N 84.3723°W / 33.7544; -84.3723