Adams is co-owner of Stu­dio No. 7

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

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’

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