Manuel's Tavern is closing for renovations on December 27, when Green Street Properties will begin work on a new mixed-use development that surrounds the iconic Poncey-Highland Bar. The developer announced details of the project at a Tuesday press conference, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, confirming new businesses, homes, and a bit of a revamp for Manuel's. Among the key points:
- The room on the North Avenue side of Manuel's will be closed up and leased by Green Street to a new business. That will chop roughly 2,000 square feet and a good bit of seating from the bar.
- But, some of those seats will be replaced by a new patio. Total seating will drop from 365 to 340.
- A six-story structure will be built in the parking lot next door to Manuel's. It will include parking, retail space, and 71 apartments.
- The parking lot across North Highland Avenue will continue to be used for Manuel's, and some dedicated parking for the tavern will be included in the new development.
Green Street's purchase of the property that houses Manuel's came to light in February, which immediately set off alarms for the bar's regulars. Owner Brian Maloof, son of Manuel's founder and namesake Manuel Maloof, has consistently reassured fans his watering hole will remain intact. To further ease nervous bar goers, Green Street Properties says it's attempting to get the bar placed on the historic registry.
Green Street hopes to finish development of the property by 2017. There's no word yet on when Manuel's might reopen, but the plan is to be back in business early next year. In the meantime, a GoFundMe campaign is raising money for employees who will be out of work during the renovation.