Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Golden Anniversary

I'm impressed to see a bar that lasts for five years around here. Competition, property prices, changing tastes must make it difficult to survive, and keep a steady and loyal clientele.

All the more reason, then, to pay tribute to Manuel's Tavern, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. (They're celebrating with $1.50 pints and $1 "loaded hot dogs," which include chili, cheese, sauerkraut, onion, relish and cole slaw. That's a right proper way to celebrate.)

Manuel's isn't all about beer and heart-destroying food, though. As loath as I am to get all misty-eyed about tradition, Manuel's is ... about tradition. The only comparable bar I can think of is Chicago's Billy Goat. It's an institution. Some of the stuff on the walls (including a filthy Atlanta Flames pennant) has been there for decades. Some of the regulars have been there that long, too.

The web site says something to the effect of -- Manuel's is a place where people of all walks of life rub elbows. The cliche is true. Decades of political and business deals have gone down here. It's a journalists' bar. It's a working man's bar. A place to watch sports. A place to gather with friends. A place to wonder why the hell there are playing cards and dollar bills stuck to the ceiling.

Manuel's was my first bar in Atlanta. The first night I was here, not knowing anyone in town, I made my way to Manuel's, and fell in love immediately. I'm a packrat by nature, and Manuel's has applied that ethos to decorating the place. It's also, if not immediately friendly, welcoming and comfortable.

Over the years, my Manuel's attendance has slipped -- but recently, I've been going more often. It's a rare treasure. Bars like this aren't going to come along any more.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

your only fealty is to the coruscating fowl...

gsdgsd13 said...

That sounds like a threat.

Tapeleg said...

And just a few short blocks away, The Vortex, on of the finer drinking houses in Atlanta.

And the ever popular, Junkman's Daughter.

gsdgsd13 said...

Not bad. Man, I haven't been to either of those places in years... just a little past my radius.

Checked your blog, will add you to the roll (the more Avs bloggers, the better) ... are you out in CO?

Tapeleg said...

In CO. For the moment. I travel for a living, with Atlanta being the city I've played the most (5 times). Vortex is one of my favorite bars in the country. I have a few shirts.