Vandals hit popular Atlanta bar ahead of Mayor’s speech – 95.5 WSB

The owner of Manuel’s Tavern said the Metro Atlanta bar was vandalized early Wednesday ahead of a speech that Mayor Andre Dickens delivered to Democratic supporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Brian Maloof said authorities aren’t sure who spray painted the venerable restaurant and clogged locks on the building’s doors with glue. But he said police had warned protesters who oppose the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center could target Dickens’ speech.

Dickens is a major proponent of the facility, and he’s often shadowed at public events by opponents of the $90 million complex.

When Maloof arrived around 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday, he discovered unfinished spray paint on the bar’s windows and the word “Andre” in small writing. Maloof said he was forced to break into the building because clumps of the still-warm super glue were stuffed in the locks.

“What upset me the most was that they spray painted the Coke mural,” Maloof said. “I can’t figure out exactly how to fix that without damaging the mural.”

Dickens still delivered his address on Wednesday evening to the Atlanta Young Democrats. A small group of protesters waving signs opposing the controversial training complex gathered outside the bar amid heavy police presence.

Maloof said the vandals “didn’t interrupt business or operations, but it definitely made my day a pain in the butt.”

The tavern is a favorite venue for political events and campaign stops, particularly for Democratic figures. Manuel’s has hosted events for U.S. presidents, governors, members of Congress and local candidates.

But Maloof said he’s felt like “something has changed” in recent months. Just a few weeks ago, for instance, a group of pro-Palestinian protesters stormed a year-end celebration at the bar held by the Fulton County Democratic Party.

“It seems like there’s now a mentality that if I disagree with you, I must destroy you,” he said. “It’s such a shame.”

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