Manuel's Tavern, the Poncey-Highlands bar that has served politicians, journalists, businessmen, and regular old drinkers since the 1950s, is about to undergo a major redevelopment project. Manuel's Properties is selling the building to developer Green Street Properties, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Green Street president Katharine Kelly told the ABC that a mixed-use development is in the works. Manuel's is part of the project, but there will be a lot more than just the old bar on the site.
"The neighborhood master plan calls for a four-story building in that location," Kelley said. "We plan to work with that — street-level retail with residential."
Green Street, which focuses on neighborhood mixed-use projects, has the property under contract, but the sale won't be final until it is rezoned to fit with the master plan. Construction is expected to begin early next year, and Manuel's will close once it is underway. The goal is to relaunch sometime later next year, in time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its original opening.
Manuel Maloof opened his tavern in 1956, taking over the former Harry's Delicatessen. Despite the major redevelopment, Green Street hopes to hold on to some sort of authenticity at Manuel's.
"The building is over 100 years old," Kelley said of Manuel's Tavern. "We are preparing it for another 100 years. It is very important to us to preserve the look and the feel and the authenticity of the building."
"People crave authenticity and places that are real," Kelley said.
The Maloof family will continue to operate Manuel's. In a lengthy Facebook post, Brian Maloof detailed the family's vision.
Green Street fully appreciates Manuel's history and understands its great value to those of us who work here, to our neighborhood, to our customers and to our family.
They want to bring Manuel's to a top condition, and do it in a way that makes sure we maintain our character, charm, grit and that unique feel that only Manuel has.