All eyes will be fixed on Georgia Tuesday, December 6, as residents head to the polls once again to vote — this time in a runoff between incumbent Democratic senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, as they vie for the highly coveted senate seat. But first, Warnock joins MSNBC host Joy Reid on Monday night as she broadcasts live from the legendary Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta.
Reid is in town with her eponymous news show The ReidOut ahead of Tuesday’s pivotal runoff election. “We invite y’all to come, but we aren’t taking any reservations tonight,” an Instagram post from Manuel’s Tavern reads.
Catch Reid and Warnock at the storied Poncey-Highland watering hole, starting at 7 p.m. Monday night.
Manuel’s Tavern has a long history of playing host to political bigwigs and pundits over its six decades on North Highland. It’s been a popular hangout for Democratic-leaning politicians, political junkies, and journalists, and is often the spot of choice for Atlantans to watch the returns come in on Election Night.
Founder Manuel Maloof served as CEO and Commission Chairman of DeKalb County and was affectionally referred to as the “Godfather” of Georgia Democratic politics before his passing in 2004. Jimmy Carter announced his first gubernatorial campaign at Manuel’s Tavern in 1970. Bill Clinton and Al Gore also made campaign stops at the bar. Former president Barack Obama even played a round of darts at Manuel’s in 2015.
Now run by his son Brian Maloof, the bar is expected to be just as busy on Monday and Tuesday this week with people filing in to eat, drink beer, and chat with Warnock after Reid’s interview or to watch the runoff returns late into the evening on Election Night.
“It’s always exciting for the staff and customers to see all of this activity. It’s also good for the political process,” Maloof says, who calls himself the “historic preservation manager” for Manuel’s Tavern. “There’s a bond and connection made with candidates here. It’s also amazing that with all the bars in Atlanta [The ReidOut] could set up shop, they wanted to do it at Manuel’s. It lets me know how special the place still is.”
Last week, Obama was in Atlanta stumping for Warnock at the Pratt Pullman District in Kirkwood. Prior to his speech at a rally there, seafood restaurant Fishmonger served the 44th president its best selling fish filet — a blackened grouper seasoned with ten spices, which Obama ordered atop a Caesar salad.
Early voting lines have been long in metro Atlanta ahead of the runoff on December 6, with some polling locations seeing wait times of well over an hour. As of Monday, December 5, nearly 1.9 million Georgians have already cast their ballots in the runoff. Polls open across Georgia at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Check the status of your ballot or for your Election Day polling location on the My Georgia Voter page.