I’ve always had thing for historic bars, where you can have a drink and commune with the ghosts of another era.
Icons of old like Jean Lafite’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans, established in 1772, and McSorley’s Old Ale in New York, established in 1854, are two I’ve visited many times over the years.
Here in Atlanta, Atkins Park, which opened as a deli in 1922, claims to be the city’s oldest continuously licensed tavern. Manuel Maloof bought Harry’s Delicatessen in 1956 and turned it into his eponymous bar, Manuel’s Tavern. And George’s Bar & Restaurant dates back to 1961, when George Najour started selling beer and sandwiches in the back of his George’s Delicatessen.
In Sunday’s AJC Living and Arts, I wrote about Moe’s & Joe’s Tavern, founded in 1947, when brothers Moe and Joe Krinsky turned the former Virginia-Highland Delicatessen into a drinking establishment.
In 67 years, not much had changed. But in the first months of 2014, Moe’s & Joe’s newest partner, Scott Drake, debuted some historic transformations, including a new bar area that doubles the size of the space, and a ban on smoking.
There’s also a full bar with liquor and cocktails, and an expanded beer menu, with the likes of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on draft. And this week, just in time for sunny weather, Moe’s & Joe’s got to work on a patio make-over.
Of course, on Tuesdays you can still order a $3.25 pitcher of PBR, and the bar food menu has remained, with the Mojo Burger priced at $2.75, and the jumbo Buffalo wings (declared “Atlanta’s Best”) still among the favorites.
Have you been to Moe’s & Joe’s since the changes? What did you think?
What’s your favorite historic Atlanta bar?
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog.