Sunday, August 29, 2010

Manci's Antique Club in Daphne

The above images are from the website for Manci's Antique Club. The bar-restaurant is located at 1715 Main Street, Daphne, Alabama (Phone: 251/626-2124).

After you look at the website, you will know Italian immagrant Frank Manci purchased an old wooden produce warehouse in what is now downtown Daphne in 1924 and built a gasoline station on the property. This caught my attention because of my own life's history, but I'll get back to that later.

Twenty-three years later Arthur Manci, Frank's son, took over the business. After obtaining a liquor license in 1967, Arthur started to hang bottles and various items on the walls of what is now a full fledged bar, which has resulted in the establishment holding the largest collection of Jim Beam decanters on display. But Jim Beam decanters are not all that decorates the interior of Manci's. All manner of old items are outside and inside such as two antique gravity gas pumps and a wooden schulpture in the inner chamber of the Ladies Room.

Alex Manci, Arthur's son, took over the club in 1987. He holds the title for the "Bloody Mary Capital of the Eastern Shore." So, naturally, I had to try the Bloody Mary. Since I'm not any kind of authority on Bloody Marys, I'll not critique it, but I will tell you it was so hot with spice that I didn't finish it.

In 1995, Alex and his wife Gwen started serving food in the club.

Southern Living and Coastal Living have carried articles about this historical place.

The entire west side of the 1700 block of Main Street (Old Scenic Highway 98) is filled with restaurants. The other two, Guido's and Cousin Vinney's, are owned by the same owner but have separate kitchens. Another restaurant we noticed that seemed to be doing a booming business was East Shore Cafe located about two blocks away on the east side of Main Street (1506). All you need to look for is the old yellow house surrounded by a white picket fence. After reading reviews, I understand they serve Philly Cheese Steak. Hope we can check out that one of these days.

Here's the part about how the history of Manci's Antique Club
sort of coincides with mine.

All along, I had known that both my sister and I were born at home. Are you ahead of me? What I did not know was:

I was born in the back of a gasoline station where Daddy worked and my parents lived at the time.

Think about it. The country had not fully recovered from The Great Depression in 1936, so Daddy had the good fortune of having a job and all of us were lucky to have a place to live.

We took a few photographs while we were there enjoying the food, drinks and atmosphere, which you can see on Flickr at Visit to Manci's Antique Club in Daphne.

Since I'm a very curios person, I still want to go back there when few, if any, customers are there and check out that fig leaf. I received an early warning with a VERY LOUD buzzer before I went into the Ladies Room and put 2+2 together. Still wanta know what's under it :)

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