Popular Midtown bar looking for new owners after controversial posts surface

Threats of a boycott forced the bar to close its doors.

ATLANTA — A popular Midtown gay bar is looking for new owners after a previous sale fell through.

There were threats of a boycott at Burkhart’s Pub in Ansley Square after controversial Facebook posts from the owner surfaced.

A bar manager told Channel 2's Lauren Pozen Friday night that the bar had been sold and was supposed to reopen Saturday.

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Pozen spoke to one of the original owners Saturday who said plans have changed.

“The sale fell through. It is back up for sale. We have had some people that are interested,” Mary Marsh said.

She and her husband, Palmer Marsh, have owned the bar for nearly 30 years. She said financial issued stopped the planned sale.

“I am very proud of what Palmer and I have done,” she said.

Mary Marsh said selling the business has always been in the works, but the timing of the potential sale comes a week after some of her husband’s controversial Facebook posts surfaced.


This week a screenshot circulated on social media that appears to show Palmer Marsh using a racial slur about former President Barack Obama.

That post did not appear on his page when initially reviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday afternoon. A different, recent post on his page, that also elicited angry comments, was taken down or removed from public view Tuesday evening.

Other posts in the screenshot do appear on Palmer Marsh’s account, including one that reads: “If the South had won, we would be a hell of a lot better off.” Another says: “My Confederate money that I inherited is on my kitchen counter. RIGHT NOW! Steal the money, if you like, but don't try to take my flag because you might get seriously injured by doing so.” Both posts are from 2015.

Many of Burkhart’s entertainers quit because of the posts, and some encouraged a boycott of the establishment.

Mary Marsh said what is being said about her and her husband is not true.

“I am not racist. My son-in-law is black and I love him with all my heart. I have been very good to this community. It’s always been a fun place,” she said.

She  said the hope is for Burkhart’s to open Sunday, if possible.