How you can help the staff of soon-to-be-renovated Manuel’s Tavern this holiday season

Poncey-Highland bar Manuel’s Tavern is an Atlanta staple, especially among political buffs. It has been a popular hangout for President Jimmy Carter and numerous other politicians, both local and national, have stopped in for a bite and a pint.

Its walls are lined with all kinds of memorabilia that have been collected and hung up since the bar opened 59 years ago. On Dec. 27, Manuel’s will close as an extensive renovation gets underway, according to Atlanta Magazine. The bar may be closed through April, the report added.

We want it clean and organized,” Brian Maloof, son of late founder Manuel Maloof and current owner of the bar, told the New York Times. “But not too clean.”

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This means about 60 employees will be out of work for the first few months of 2016, and the end of the ’15 holiday season as well. To help these folks pay the bills, a GoFundMe campaign has been started with the hopes of raising $60,000 for those affected.

So far, the city’s donors have given more than $7,500, according to the website.

In addition to the upgrades Manuel’s will receive, there will also be a group working to digitally document every piece of memorabilia at the bar as part of the “Unpacking Manuel’s Tavern” project that tells the story of everything that makes up the dive’s history.

Maloof will also use the digital catalog as a reminder of where to re-hang everything once the renovations are done, the Times also said. It’ll be a huge undertaking, as the walls are nearly covered up with bumper stickers, pennants, photographs and old beer cans.

But once the fixes are complete, there will be an upgraded kitchen, bathrooms, roof and electrical system to accommodate all of the patrons – mostly Democrat, though I’ve been told Republicans are welcomed as well – who will pack the bar during the political season of 2016.

Manuel’s Tavern through the years:

Main image: Flickr/Lee Coursey

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