Manuel's Tavern Is An Oldie, But Always A Goodie
1 June 2017
On its 61st year, Manuel’s Tavern still evokes the great energy of the restaurant’s past. There is a synergy between employees and guests that is so rare in today’s culture of fast-casual. No wonder Manuel’s has stood the test of time! The restaurant was even voted as metro-Atlanta’s “Top Political Hangout” via JAMES Magazine just a few weeks ago. To know Manuel’s Tavern, one must understand their vibrant history and how Manuel’s Tavern is one of the pillars in Atlanta’s restaurant culture.
History (as told by ManuelsTavern.com)
In 1956 Manuel Maloof bought Harry’s Delicatessen, a sandwich and beer joint with a front of Stone Mountain granite and an interior of makeshift counters and fluorescent lights. Manuel transformed it into a neighborhood bar modeled on the taverns he had visited while stationed in England during the second World War. He filled the Tavern with salvaged furnishings–mismatched chairs and tables, booths, lighting fixtures, wall paneling–from grand old homes and stores scheduled for demolition. Later, his brother Robert joined the business.
Manuel eventually served as the CEO of DeKalb Count and became deeply involved in Democratic politics in Atlanta and Georgia. His political career dovetailed with the Tavern, which he said let him listen to the man on the street. He passed away in August of 2004. Still, he is fondly referred to as the “Godfather” of Georgia Democratic politics.
Although major political figures regularly drop by the Tavern, it is also a gathering place for blue-collar workers, the press, writers, actors, policemen, and just about anyone else you can imagine. The Tavern represents a true cross-section of the Atlanta community.