Manuel’s Tavern in hunt to open two taverns next year at Atlanta’s airport

By David Pendered

Manuel’s Tavern may open two taverns next year at Atlanta’s airport.

Atlanta’s iconic neighborhood bar has signed franchise agreements with two companies that are competing for a slice of the food and beverage business at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, tavern owner Brian Maloof said today.

Manuel's Tavern is in the hunt to open two taverns at Atlanta's airport. Credit: Manuel's Tavern

Manuel's Tavern is in the hunt to open two taverns at Atlanta's airport. Credit: Manuel's Tavern

A Manuel’s Tavern would open in Concourse A if one company wins. If the other wins, a tavern would open on Concourse D. There would be two taverns if each company wins an airport concessions contract, Maloof said.

“They will have what will look and feel like a Manuel’s Tavern at the airport,” Maloof said. “The menu will be the same as here. They will reproduce some of the original artwork. They are great people to work with.”

The proposals for Manuel’s to open at the airport were included in the last group of proposals to be opened for food and drink concessions. This group was opened Wednesday, and they represent 12 locations out of a total of 125 food and drink venues.

Maloof said he had never considered seeking to open at the airport until he was approached by several companies that were interested in signing Manuel’s as a franchise to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at the airport.

Maloof narrowed the field to two operators – Take-Off Concessions LLC and Creative Food Group LLC.

Maloof said the proceeds of the franchise agreements would bolster the original Manuel’s Tavern – hopefully allowing the business to reinstate health care benefits, and making improvements that he vowed would not alter the tavern’s character.

“Ending health care benefits was a painful thing to do,” Maloof said. “The idea of being able to get those things back is encouraging.

“This way of being able to do business at the airport is a true blessing for us,” Maloof said. “I never would have considered that we’d have an opportunity at the airport. I thought you had to fork over millions of dollars, and to have [the vendors] do this for us, I think is the right approach.”

Manuel’s has downsized to one location – its original tavern near the Carter Center, at the corner of North Avenue and North Highland Avenue. Two other sites were closed just over a decade ago – one on Memorial Drive, near Stone Mountain, and one on Jimmy Carter Boulevard, near Norcross.

Maloof said he thinks his father would be pleased at the idea of expanding into the airport. Tavern namesake Manuel Maloof served DeKalb County in separate terms as chairman and then CEO.

Right up until he passed away in 2004, Manuel Maloof was a major figure in DeKalb’s Democratic Party circles. His tavern hosted political figures including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

“I think Dad would have liked it,” Brian Maloof said. “In passing, he wanted this place to keep going … and this clearly falls into anything to keep it going.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Details of the airport concessions proposals opened Wednesday have yet to be posted on the city’s website.

But the information available for the previous two rounds – for the remaining113 food and beverage sites and 27 retail locations – drew proposals from big operators, most of which are active in multiple airports around the country and the world.

Airport General Manager Louis Miller said in an email that city officials are pleased with the proposals:

“We are pleased with the number and quality of the proponents who have submitted proposals so far,” Miller wrote. “We also have had several companies who are currently not doing business with the airport submit proposals, which is always encouraging.”

Here’s a quick look at the proponents as published by the city. Results are available for five of nine food and beverage packages, and for all three retail packages:

Food and Beverage Packages

Package No. 1: Twenty food and beverage locations, four food merchandising units and one food court comons area on Concourse A:

  • SSP America;
  • Concessions/H&H, joint venture;
  • HMS Host;
  • Areas;
  • DNC THS Atlanta Partners;
  • OTG Management;
  • Hojeij Branded Foods, Inc.;
  • Great Atlanta Concessions, LLC.

Package No. 2: Twelve food and beverage locations, five food merchandising units, and two food court common areas on Concourse B:

  • SSP America;
  • Concessions/H&H, joint venture
  • HMS Host;
  • Areas;
  • OTG Management;
  • Hojeij Branded Foods

Package No. 3: Fourteen food and beverage concessionis, three food merchandising units on Concourse C:

  • SSP America;
  • Concessions/H&H, joint venture
  • HMS Host;
  • Areas;
  • DNC THS Atlanta Partners;
  • Hojeij Branded Foods

Package No. 4: Seventeen food and beverage locations, three food merchandising units on Concourse D; and 10 food and beverage locations and two food merchandising units on Concourse T:

  • SSP America;
  • Concessions/H&H, joint venture
  • HMS Host;
  • Areas;
  • DNC THS Atlanta Partners;
  • Hojeij Branded Foods, Inc.

Package No. 5: Nine food and beverage concessions locations and two food court common areas in the Atrium and seven food and beverage concessions locations and three food count common areas on Concourse F:

  • SSP America;
  • Concessions/H&H, joint venture;
  • HMS Host;
  • Hojeij Branded Foods, Inc.

Packages Nos. 6 through 9: Proponents not yet available on city’s web site.

Retail Packages

Package No. 1: Thirteen retail locations on Concourse E and Concourse F:

  • The Marshal Retail Group;
  • HMS Host/LTL Atl, joint venture;
  • Hudson Group/HG-CK Atlanta, joint venture.

Package No. 2: Eleven retail locations on Cocourse E and Concourse F:

  • The Marshall Retail Group;
  • Paradies – Atlanta II, LLC;
  • Pacific Gateway Concessions;
  • Hudson Group/HG-CK Atlanta, joint venture.

Package No. 3: Four retail locations on Concourse T, Main Terminal, and Rental Car Center:

  • No responses.

Check back for updates.


About David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with nearly 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.
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SpaceyG on Twitter
SpaceyG on Twitter

If Curtis doesn't come out of retirement I ain't going to any of 'em.

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If Curtis doesn't come out of retirement I ain't going to any of 'em.

Trackbacks

  1. […] (To see the names of vendors whose bids were already opened, please click on this link for a previous article on SaportaReport.com). […]

  2. […] Click here to link to a list of corporations that filed proposals for each package. Then scroll half-way down the story to see the list. […]