On New Year’s Day at Manuel’s Tavern there was ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and corn muffins — same as it ever was.
But there was one big difference. Among the regulars and Chick-fil-A Bowl leftovers chowing down, drinking beer and watching the Georgia game, not one person was lighting up.
No Smoking signs were posted on the doors, on tables and at the bar.
Owner Brian Maloof had kept his promise to make Manuel’s smoke-free on the first day of 2014.
Asked if anyone had complained, yet, a server, thought for a minute, smiled and said, “No. I’m kind of surprised.”
Of course, politicos and journalists have called it a home-away-from-home since Manuel Maloof first opened his eponymous place in 1956. Maloof passed away in August 2004. But his family has carried on, overseeing the grungy traditions of the granddaddy of Atlanta bars, while slowly updating a few things, like the TVs and the beer menu.
And now there’s no smoking…
Is that a blow for health and happiness? Or the end of an era?
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.