Thursday, August 03, 2006

50 years of serving you

This week is the 50th Anniversary Celebration for Manuel's Tavern, an icon of good times and cold beer here in Atlanta. Manuel's is a neighborhood hangout as well as ground central for much of local politics and has been for time out of mind. If the walls could talk there a lot of people would be in big trouble.

I've been drinking there sporadically for most of my life; it's a comfortable place for beer and burgers and you'll never know who you'll wind up talking to. It's always fun and occasionally fascinating. Myself and the Marching Abominables are playing Sunday afternoon, we mostly wind up at Manuel's after rehearsals and after a lot of our performances, it's home for us on Tuesday nights too.

If you're in the area, stop in this week. Have a beer. Talk with some of the hardest working and longest-employed staff around; some of them have been there 30 years and longer, which is a testament to how special that place really is.

Manuel, alas, has left us, he went to that big barroom in the sky a couple of years ago. He is greatly missed, though stories are frequently told, and most of them are true. For example, he bears some responsibility for the election of Jimmy Carter; the first fund raisers for Jimmy's campaigns were at Manuels Tavern in part because Billy Carter (remember him? Billy Beer?) had run up a big bar tab there. Manuel himself was not only the biggest Yellow Dog Democrat going, he was a Democrat in the style of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, though that didn't keep him from being an effective county CEO during his own time in office. He did much for us in DeKalb.

A caution to the nicotine-sensitive: This is one of the few places left on the planet that not only allows smoking but damn near encourages it, so be prepared. Because of this, no kids allowed. They'll just have to smoke out behind the building like we did at their age.

Manuel said, "Anybody who don't like this life is crazy." Most days I agree with him.


Anonymous og said...

Nice, sounds lie a great time- I wish I could be there.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think of Manuel more in the tradition of Tip O'Neil - a proud Irishman from Cambridge <<"our fair city">> who never forgot his roots. Manuel was the son of Lebanese immigrants. Manuel's first thought in a decision was "What would be the best choice to serve the people?". That lesson would be a good one for any politician to learn... or remember.
Southern Paleocon

4:34 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

It was a great time, I wish all of you could have been there.

They took our picture during the gig -- the Marching Abominable will be on the wall now -- it's a tremendous honor for us and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

The beer was good too. :)

12:12 PM  

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