Manuel's Tavern

There is something about going to Manuel's that feels like going home. Not that my mother serves bar food but if she did it would be on the order of the pure comfort that Manuel's offers. I love that not one picture has changed on the walls in the 30 years that I have been going there - which by the way is a lot like being at my mother's. The really big change was the expansion of the non-smoking room which makes me and a lot of other customers very happy. And then there was the time they changed the menu, 15 years ago or so,  and some folks still think it's too fancy for bar food....hummus....really??

After I had my blackened tuna sandwich with a Bass Ale I spoke with Steve, the manager, and asked him about any green practices that Manuel's might be implementing. He was very happy to talk about making Manuel's a greener eatery but he said that they honestly have been somewhat behind on that front.   The first step they are taking is to move away from Stryofoam toward more recyclable paper products. They have done that in-house but the to-go containers are still the nasty Styrofoam types. He told me that Brian Maloof, Manuel's son and now owner of Manuel's, converted his truck to run on bio-diesel and now recycles the kitchen oil to use as fuel for the truck - how cool is that. Energy wise, they are shutting down all but two lights every night and have been gradually migrating the old heating and air units to more energy efficient ones.   While many of the beers they serve are local, they haven't focused on bringing in local or organic foods into the kitchen -  wouldn't that really freak out the old timers!

One of the concerns that Steve mentioned is that going green can be a costly undertaking for businesses. He said that their profit margin is measured in nickels and so the transition to greener practices can be financially daunting. So while Manuel's values and aspires to being a green establishment the financial realities require a more slow and steady approach.

Manuel's has been the heart and soul of the intown Atlanta community for more than 50 years and it's slow-to-change style is one of its endearing qualities. I appreciate the movement they are making toward creating a more sustainable and greener establishment even though my stomach hurts thinking of all those Styrofoam containers leaving the building. For sure, I will be back and will be happy to report on their progress.

Manuel's Tavern on Urbanspoon


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