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This may be the first time the Variety Playhouse has intentionally booked a riot into the historic Little Five Points theater. Expect the spirit of Ria’s Bluebird Café owner and chef Ria Pell to preside over (and perhaps slam dance down front) at tonight’s It’s a Ria Riot!: Queers, Punks, Eats, DJs — A Celebration and Tribute to Our Friend Ria Pell benefit concert. After all, if there was one thing the activist chef loved as much as brisket for breakfast, it was supporting Atlanta’s live music scene. So tonight, beginning at 7, local bands and musical friends of Pell’s will be performing all of her favorite tunes as a benefit for her friends, family and business, all affected financially by Pell’s unexpected death last month at age 44.
Atlanta’s restaurant industry is grieving the passing of Ria Pell, owner of Ria’s Blue Bird in Grant Park. She reportedly died of a heart attack yesterday. Pell worked in several local restaurants around town before opening Ria’s in 2000. Her place immediately became neighborhood favorite, and it helped pave the way for the area’s now-booming dining scene. Below, some social-media remembrances from the community:
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