What better way to celebrate your 100th birthday than with a professional makeover that honors and accentuates all your best qualities?
That’s what locals can expect when the historic sanctuary of St. Joseph’s Church reopens in January 2023 as The Chapel Athens, an event space that has been remodeled with preservation as the top priority.
Located on the corner of Prince Avenue and Pulaski Street, The Chapel is owned by Kirby Sims Jr., which also owns Trappeze Pub, Georgian Hall and South Kitchen & Bar. Originally reported in 2018 as a future catering spaceGreenville, SC-based developer Homes Urban LLC is committed to keeping the building intact as the One Hundred Prince project moves forward.
Georgian Hall events and marketing director Lindsey Kayal told the Banner-Herald that she and Sims Jr. were looking for additional dining and kitchen space when they visited the shrine building. Georgian Hall won the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation’s Outstanding Restoration Award in 2016.
“(The shrine) is breathtaking,” Kayal said. “The closing process took about nine months, and there were definitely times when we didn’t think The Chapel project was going to happen. We’re so excited to finally get the fun part started.”
Inaugurated on March 30, 1913, the St. Joseph building served as the first Catholic church in Athens. It was desegregated in the 1960s and turned into a school in 1984 with a large addition that repositioned the original building as a sanctuary. The church eventually overtook the downtown property and St. Joseph moved to its current location Epps Bridge Pkwy in 2012.