Manuel’s Tavern in Fear of Closing Before Year’s End Launches GoFundMe

Owner Brian Maloof says without financial support, closure would be permanent
Manuel’s Tavern Launches GoFundMe in 'Danger' It Will Close For Good Before Year's End
Photo: Official

Manuel’s Tavern, former President Jimmy Carter’s “favorite bar,” will likely close for good before the end of the year, Owner Brian Maloof exclusively told Saporta Report late-Wednesday. “I would imagine it would be permanent,” the youngest son of the iconic Atlanta restaurant’s namesake said.

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Maloof said the restaurant has been netting a $25,000 loss per month since April because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and that even with rent support from landlord Selig, and money from the federally-funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), expenses are outpacing profits in an insurmountable way.

Angelo Fuster on Wednesday launched a GoFundMe seeking to raise $75,000 to prop up the restaurant for the next few months. Within a few hours of the crowdsourcing page going live, Manuel’s Tavern had raised more than $10,000. Fuster is said to be one of the “most loyal patrons” of Manuel’s Tavern.

“Despite taking every step recommended to keep Manuel’s safe, to upgrade the takeout business, lower all costs while taking care of employees, and judicially use Payroll Protection Plan funding, sales dropped 62 percent, and so the PPP and cash reserves dried up completely…,” according to the GoFundMe page. “…With this GoFundMe effort we are asking for donations from everyone for whom Manuel’s has been home for important moments in their lives … meeting the love of your life, celebrating a marriage (or a divorce), a new job, a winning political campaign, a birthday, a retirement party, or the heartfelt memorials for those lost and mourned.”

Manuel’s Tavern has been in operation for 64 years. “We must keep those doors open,” Fuster writes. Maloof on Wednesday did not immediately respond to What Now Atlanta’s request for comment. Click here to read Saporta Report’s thoughtful coverage in its entirety and here to visit the GoFundMe for Manuel’s. Manuel’s Tavern in May was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. National Park Service. The Poncey-Highland building that houses the restaurant dates back to the 1920s. Ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2016 Manuel’s underwent a minor renovation.

[Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly placed Brian Maloof as the owner of spinoff eatery Manny’s Tavern Grant Park.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

13 Responses

  1. All this for a virus that has a 99.97 percent recovery rate. Of course it didn’t help that Manuel’s stayed completely closed for a very long time and didn’t pivot business operations to take out when other restaurants did or that 75% of their customer base are aging Baby Boomers.

  2. The Trump Pandemic and the Trump Great Depression strike again. If only Trump hadn’t lied about the virus, calling it a hoax and the flu because the traitor cared more about the stock market than saving American lives, bars like Manuels wouldn’t be on the brink of collapse. Trump has really destroyed this country in every way

    1. True. We only have to look at the rest of the world to see that Covid was well controlled with minimal casualties in every country that doesn’t have a Trump. /s

      1. The way this administration handled the pandemic is an embarrassment– and literally cost us lives.
        Any competent leader would not have peddled conspiracy theories, gone against
        scientists/doctors, and further divided this country. He’s a psychopath.

  3. Didn’t the Maloofs own their building and the parking lot across the street until a few years ago?
    Now there are million dollar townhouses in that parking lot.

    1. They sold the building and the parking lot next door where the townhomes are. I believe they still own the parking lot across the street adjacent to Buddy’s.

    1. There are 274,000+ people who would probably disagree with you– except they’re not around to talk about it.

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