Adams is co-owner of Studio No. 7
When it comes to places for an LGBT Atlantan to grab a drink or meet a date, there’s no shortage of addresses around the city. But places where you can find good food, good company, and management that truly respects and welcomes you? Such locales may be a bit harder to find.
So says Earl Adams, an LGBT literary enthusiast, lover of live music and all-around social butterfly who plans to combine those passions into one unforgettable social space influenced by one unforgettable literary figure.
Baldwin’s is described as a “communal, open-ended space centered around good food, great cocktails, and provocative conversation.” Set to open in a 4,000 sq. ft. vintage library space near Castleberry next spring, the forthcoming social hub will combine a French-inspired dining area, a library and a bar, said Adams, who likened it to a blend of Cafe Intermezzo and the former Outwrite Bookstore - with shades of Washington D.C’s popular Busboys and Poets gathering place.
“It’s going to be a little more upbeat,” he said, adding that the concept of a place where people feel welcome and comfortable in their skin was influenced by one of his favorite icons, celebrated gay novelist, poet and playwright, James Baldwin.
“He was a major advocate for human rights. I loved his story and I loved the things that he did,” Adams said of the author known for writing openly about the challenges facing gays and blacks at a time when such subjects were kept hushed. “He was the big inspiration for creating a space that I wanted him to be proud of essentially.”
November 11, 2016
Adams envisions a space where cultured LGBT urbanites can imbibe in exotic drinks and intriguing books by day, while enjoying film screenings, DJs and book signings by night. He said he wants to emphasize up-andcoming artists too.
“The same way I’m allowed to grow and be successful, I want to be able to provide those same experiences for other people who wouldn’t ordinarily get it,” he said.
He has the website - BaldwinsATL.com - and the dream, and now it’s up to Adams to raise the money. He’s nearly a quarter of the way through a capital campaign he’s confident will enable Baldwin’s to become a reality in 2017. The distinct venture isn’t his first. A real estate photographer by day, the New York transplant met business partner Shannon Evans in 2012, when a friend who interviewed for a job at Evans’ event space, Studio No. 7, suggested they meet. The two got along so well it wasn’t long before Evans brought Adams on as co-owner of the unique social venue, near the Georgia Aquarium.
Together, the pair created a “flexible, creative space,” part art gallery, cafe and outdoor gathering place that has hosted everything from weddings to album releases.
By DIONNE WALKER
‘I want to affirm us’