Paschal's La Carousel

Atlanta, United States

Paschal's La Carousel

Paschal's La Carrousel was a jazz club in Atlanta, Georgia. Opened in 1960, it became known as Atlanta's "jazz mecca" as it featured top-name artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Gladys Knight, and Jimmy Smith. It was the only nightclub in Atlanta open to blacks in the then-segregated city. At the same time, an estimated 60 percent of its clientele were white, and the club also showed tolerance toward homosexuals. The club was owned by brothers Robert and James Paschal, who also ran the Paschal's Restaurant next door and, in 1967, a 125-room motor hotel which they added to the premises. The restaurant, lounge, and motel closed in 1996 and were sold to Clark Atlanta University for use as a student dormitory and conference centre. An event space resembling the original La Carrousel lounge was installed at Paschal's at Castleberry Hill, which opened in 2002.

Brothers Robert and James Paschal opened their original Paschal's sandwich shop in 1947 on West Hunter Street in Atlanta (today 837 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive). Only sandwiches and soda were sold in the 30-seat luncheonette, which the brothers expanded to 75 seats in 1948. By the late 1950s the business had outgrown its location, and in 1959 the brothers opened a larger facility across the street at what is today 830 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Paschal's Restaurant became known for its soul food menu, including fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, and sweet potato pie. The restaurant often hosted Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates during the Civil Rights Movement, and was noted for being a place that whites and blacks could both visit, as well as being tolerant of homosexuals.

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