"It didn't start as a Church Night," Negrín says. "It just happened that way." Before Lou's, Negrín, a Pennsylvania native, mixed drinks at Birmingham's fine-dining restaurants, including Frank Stitt's French bistro, Chez Fonfon, and Italian-inspired Bettola. Around then, he noticed that Birmingham had little in the way of stand-alone cocktail bars. When the owner of Lou's mused aloud one night about offering craft cocktails, Negrín volunteered to jump in on the slow nights, Wednesday and Sunday. Coincidentally, those are the same two days that many of the Bible Belt faithful attend church. "You go to church twice a week if you don't want to be talked about bad by your congregation," Negrín says. But it wasn't any rebellion against moralists that got Church Night going—it was the dearth of great drinks. "The cocktail scene in Birmingham is so young," says Negrín. "It wasn't that long ago that you couldn't get a good cocktail here."