Church: Imbibe 75 Place to Watch - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 Place to Watch: Church Bar

For Baltimore bartender Chelsea Gregoire, calling their new bar Church (which opened in September) tapped into a deep side of their history. “I have a master’s degree in theology, and for all intents and purposes I’m an ordained pastor on paper,” Gregoire says. Original plans were to embark on a career of building communities around the concept of the New Testament house church. “When I came out, I got pushed out of all that,” Gregoire says. “But in a process of reframing, I think I can still build community in an intentional way through hospitality.”

Located in the historic Old Goucher neighborhood in a building that was once a Quaker house, Church aims to be a welcoming meeting place for those seeking community, as well as great cocktails. Refinished church pews provide seating, and the design and décor subtly nod at houses of worship, without descending into religious gimmickry. “It’s almost a blank canvas for people to engage with whatever ‘church’ means to them, and whatever it’s meant in their life,” Gregoire says. “It’s about allowing this blank canvas to feel warm and welcoming, and open for engagement.”

Click here to read more about some of 2023’s other Imbibe 75 People and Places to Watch.

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