Manuel’s Tavern: A Local Pub with a Political Background

I recently photographed Manuel’s Tavern in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta for a restaurant review for the Virginia Highland Patch. I got to sit down with the general manager Steven Pitts and learn about some of the history of the tavern. Manuel’s Tavern has been a Virginia Highland icon for over 50 years. Started by Manuel Maloof on August 6, 1956, the original bar was a delicatessen with fluorescent lights and linoleum tops. With a vision of recreating an English pub after serving in World War II, Maloof started to refurbish the building which eventually took over an entire city block. It was an instant hit. Throughout the years, Manuel’s Tavern has been a meeting place to talk about politics and policy. Manuel himself started his political career after an Atlanta columnist kept writing about a political barkeep who knew more about policy than most of the local politicians. To this day the employees at Manuel’s keep the tradition alive with being well versed in today’s local politics. Here are my favorite images from Manuel’s.

Manuel's Tavern is located at 602 N. Highland Ave. in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta and offers patrons, table and booth seating, a full bar and semi private and private dining areas. In-house catering is available as well as brunch on the weekends.

Manuel's Tavern has a full bar with close to 30 beers on tap. The walls of the bar as well as the rest of the restaurant are lined with local Atlanta and political memorabilia from the past 55 years.

Manuel's Tavern serves up the dogzilla with a half pound grilled hotdog, chili, melted cheese, saurkraut, onions, relish and cole slaw.

Manuel's Tavern serves up the blackened tuna steak topped with a homemade southwestern mango salsa on a plate with broccoli, yellow rice and a roll.

Manuel's Tavern serves up the barbeque chicken grill with a marinated chicken breast, applewood bacon, cheddar cheese and a homemade barbeque sauce.

Manuel's Tavern serves up the tomato caprese salad with fresh tomatos, basil, and mozzarella cheese topped with a pesto and balsamic vinegar.