The owner of an Atlanta gay bar is under fire after controversial posts surfaced online. According to screenshots from his Facebook page, Palmer Marsh, owner of Burkhart's Pub in Atlanta's Ansley Square, used a racial slur when talking about former President Barack Obama. In another post, Marsh wrote, “If the South had won, we would be a hell of a lot better off.” He also rambled about "the Chinese" and referenced "under-the-radar racists." Marsh's posts drew lots of angry comments from Facebook user

Burkhart’s performers say they’ve all quit; Facebook page is down 

A week after controversial Facebook posts surfaced on the account of the owner of Burkhart’s Pub, performers have announced they’ve quit and the business’ Facebook page is down. 

Popular Atlanta drag queens including Phoenix, Evah Destruction and Brigitte Bidet have taken to social media to say that all entertainers have quit the venue. 

Palmer Marsh, 70, has owned the gay and drag bar in Atlanta’s Ansley Square for decades; attempts to reach him this week have gone unaswered. His wife Mary Marsh has also been involved with the bar but her ownership status isn’t clear. 

General manager Don Hunnewell told Georgia Voice earlier this week he would soon seek new opportunities, once the employees’ lives are “stabilized.”

Phoenix, who said she’s been the entertainment director at Burkhart’s for about five years, wrote in a Thursday evening Facebook post that she and all entertainers under her direction have turned in their resignation. The post did not provide specific reasons for quitting, but a subsequent post said: “I took steps because I felt it was NEEDED, actions for many reasons needed to happen and it was time.” 

Evah Destruction did not mince words in her posts. 

“To catch everyone up to speed, the bar I worked at has owners that are racist Trump supporters. ALL of the entertainers have collectively made the choice to leave,” the well-known performer said on Twitter

She expounded on Instagram, saying that the “faces of the bar” collectively decided to leave Thursday night after “a tough meeting.” The entertainer added that the owners refuse “to acknowledge or apologize for anything they’ve said or done.” 


Burkhart’s Facebook page, which was up earlier this week, is no longer available. A call to the bar Friday afternoon went unanswered; it does not open until 4 p.m. on Fridays. 

The performers’ response follows the circulation early this week of a screenshot that appears to show Palmer using a racial slur about former President Barack Obama. That post did not appear on Marsh’s 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 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.” Those posts are both from 2015.

Like the others, performer Brigitte Bidet also posted that every entertainer at Burkhart’s decided to resign, calling the owners’ silence on the situation “disturbing.” 

“No matter how you spin it, the money ends up with the owners,” the performer wrote.

LGBT activism group ATL Activate has organized a meeting to discuss the implications of the posts on Saturday. The owners of Burkhart’s “are currently actively spreading racism online and potentially in their establishment,” the Facebook event page says. 


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Revelers in Burkhart's Pub in the early 2000s.
Photo: (SUNNY SUNG/AJC file)

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