By Annie Kinnett Nichols

Shout hallelujah! A new bar, eatery and gallery called Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium – or Church for short –  has opened at the corner Edgewood Avenue and Boulevard in the Old Fourth Ward.

Owner Grant Henry, also known as the artist Sister Louisa and one of the city’s best known bartenders, moved his art space from the Telephone Factory and it’s quite unlike any other joint in the city.

Church’s two floors are filled to the brim with Sister Louisa’s art and religious tchotchkes, including a confessional from Yugoslavia that sets the stage for the long wooden green bar and seating area. There are many reasons for the Intown folk to celebrate, including a line-up of food and events sure to give you a dose of the spirit. Not to mention all of Grant’s awesome friends and fellow artists will be hanging out there.

He’s serving Home Grown’s all-beef hot dogs with toppings like pimento cheese, white bean chicken chili, cheese grits and bacon as well as broccoli cheese casserole. Drinks are affordable, too, starting at $3 and ending at $8

Wednesday nights will feature Hollis Gillespie’s Bleachy-Haired Honky Bingo and Sunday’s will feature TT Mahoney’s Church Organ Community Karaoke.

Grant sees Church as an extension of himself. He is creating a place where he plans to spend the next 20 years or so. It’s a community filled with open, arty, diverse friends and folk.

“Free – I want people who are free and open, my favorite kind,” Grant said. “Church is a natural progression of my art, my life and my world.”

The building of Church has completely been a community effort, with friends chipping in to help concept and build out elements of the space. Criminal Records in Little Five Points stocked the jukebox.

“There’s so many more people to thank – this place wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my friends,” he said.

A holdover from the building’s days at Danneman’s Coffee will be the ATL Collective, a local group of musicians who collaborate on a regular basis, will still be playing upstairs on a regular basis.

“This is my life and I am only interested in spending my time with people I love,” Grant said.

Amen to that!

You can find out more about Church on Facebook.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.