William Thomas "Bill" McCloskey
1945 - 2019
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Bill McCloskey, a longtime barkeep at Manuel's Tavern, died Sunday, July 14, 2019. He was 74.

Born March 18, 1945, William Thomas "Bill" McCloskey grew up in Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Army, and was discharged in the late 1960s, whereupon he traveled the country with military pals before settling in Atlanta and a position with the Mead Paper Company. But he will be most remembered as a fixture at Manuel's, where he worked for nearly 50 years. "It's a tremendous loss," said Manuel's Tavern owner Brian Maloof. "He had an impact on everyone that worked here. He was the mediator of disputes, a firm hand for quality customer service – and he played both roles very well. He was a huge attraction here to our past, going all the way back to the early days of Manuel's Tavern."

Bill McCloskey went to work at Manuel's Tavern in 1972, when he was hired by Maloof's father and the tavern's patriarch, the late Manuel Maloof.

McCloskey is survived by his former wife, Victoria Lambert, daughters Lauren A. Lambert and Sheila Lambert, along with two sisters, Bonnie and Jackie, as well as nieces and nephews in Minnesota. Visitation with McCloskey's family will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 5, 2019 at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory (2773 N. Decatur Road, Decatur), followed by a memorial service at noon. A remembrance will take place at Manuel's Tavern (602 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta) following the service.

Friends share memories of Bill McCloskey at Manuel's Tavern

Read more about Bill McCloskey on ajc.com
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Jul. 18 to Aug. 5, 2019.
11:00 AM
Memorial service
12:00 PM
A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
August 9, 2019
I lived in the ATL for 30 years. Manuel's was my spot. Bill was always a sweetie to me. He tried to be "grouchy" but I wouldn't let him! *smile* I miss that bar and have a treasure chest full of stories and memories from there. I need to come back for a visit. I need to see Bobby and give him a big hug! Thanks for the memories, Bill! XOXO
Joan Squires, Pawleys Island SC
August 5, 2019
My friend Bill. 1984
Lou Arcangeli
August 4, 2019
Bill rented a room in his house to me in the mid-80s, which probably saved me from driving home DUI. It definitely broadened my horizons. He introduced me to the joy of grilling Bratwurst and enjoying cold brews on a chilly Christmas Day. He loved to celebrate life as a FEAST! He took me on his after work rounds - after closing the Tavern he was too wound up to sleep so there were other after hours places to visit. His great black retriever Boomer was Bill's best companion, though. Some of the best memories of my misspent youth were enjoyed with Bill. God Bless.
KSu M.
July 30, 2019
Bill was a good man and will be missed by many who knew him. First met Bill in 1972 when Mickey Lloyd, Ken Raines and I would visit often. That continued over the years and when Ken passed a name plate was placed at his favorite seat at the bar on the far left near the rear entrance. Thank you Bill, Bobby and others for your service and your friendship for over 40 years.
Dane Chambers
July 30, 2019
With deepest sympathies to all of Bill's family. I call Bill my friend because he always looked out for me. When he finished the night shift and went to mornings I would show up for lunch just to see him. God bless.
Kathleen Murray
July 29, 2019
Sorry for your loss such a sad time but you can take confort he Will be rembered by many friends as well as in God's memory. Hosea 1314.Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and friends..
Joyce linsley
July 27, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Anne-Caroline Taylor
July 27, 2019
Todd Hall
July 27, 2019
Bill was, simply, a superb human being.

Charles Jackson
July 27, 2019
Charles Jackson
July 26, 2019
Thanks for the memories. Started hanging at Manuel's in 1963 (at 19). Celebrated my 21st b'day with Manuel and when he learned the occasion, he threw me out and banned me for two months! Then worked there '65 & '66. Went back to Tech and worked with Bill in '72 & '73. There is still no place like it and Bill was a huge part of the culture and charm. RIP McClosky!
Steve Avary
July 26, 2019
Thank you for so many memories. I'm sure my former neighbor Pete has lots of stories to share.
John Doyle
July 22, 2019
May Bill rest in peace. A great guy that will be missed by many.Godspeed.
friends and neighbors and customers
July 20, 2019
My condolences. I remember meeting Bill way back in 72 when my Father took me to Manuels. We, along with Bill, went to some of the Atlanta Flames games at the Omni which was brand new then. My Dad was also a roommate of Bill's for a time. There was never a dull moment. I'm not sure that bill planned on staying in Atlanta once he got here way back when but we were all very lucky that he did.
Steve Pittard
July 19, 2019
Doc right after 911 during the war.
I started going to Manuel's Tavern in 1967 while a GA Tech student. I fondly remember Bill from when he came to work there in 1972. It has always been my favorite watering hole. Bill probably knew too much about me. I will miss him immensely. My wife and I had lunch there today. Brian Maloof told us about this tragedy.
John Harden
July 19, 2019
Thank you Bill for all the great memories I have from you and Manuel's Tavern over the last 39 years. I've been a patron since I was 20 (it was legal then) and missed him as he changed from bar to early morning schedule. I would come for lunch just to see him. God bless. Kat
Kathleen Murray
July 17, 2019
Bill and I have been friends since 1961 in high school. Hated it when he moved away but we stayed in close touch over the years and saw each other when he came home and sometimes in Vegas.

As we aged we even talked more, talked about the fun days, our regrets and our successes. He was my best pal, loved the guy, funniest man I ever knew. He always worried about my health when his was much worse, accepted his condition, and never complained.

Sure will miss his phone calls, they always cherred me up and I like to think I did the same for him. Sure glad he finally is no longer suffereing. Hope to meet him again someday Joe Mason
July 17, 2019
RIP Bill. Thanks for always making me feel welcome and all you did to make Manuel's the special place it is.
Bob Korch
July 17, 2019
I owned the Commodity Exchange in DeKalb County and was a good friend of Roberts so I visited the tavern and McCloskey would come in to visit me at my place. I still have a xmas postcard that he made with one of the female cooks and her son wishing people a happy xmas. He was really an interesting guy.
July 17, 2019
When I first arrived in Atlanta in 1981 to work at then WAGA-TV, I was treated to an evening at Manuel's. I immediately loved the place. It reminded me of the taverns I frequented in the Philadelphia area. Then, there was the staff, Bill among them,that was there year after year with few changes. It made Manuel's such a comfortable place to visit..er..hoist a cool one. During my years in Atlanta, I had many conversations with Manuel himself. He was proud of the loyalty that Bill and others exhibited for the owner and his tavern. I think a little of Manuel's unvarnished personality rubbed off on Bill.
Carl Ward
July 17, 2019
You'll be missed but not forgotten. Have a good journey.
Haygood Sims
July 17, 2019
You were a class act, so supportive of us Grady nurses. Thank you for your many years of courtesy and kindness, my deepest condolences to the family
And all those who love you.
July 17, 2019
I met Bill the year he started at Manuel's and it was always a pleasure to visit with him. I miss his gruff humor. May he rest in peace.
Jimmy Jacobs
July 17, 2019
I had Pat Corrales then manager of the Cleveland Indians, sign a baseball for Bill that read... To Atlanta's Best Barkeep..as I recall. Used to be behind the bar at Manuels, don't know if it still is. Great guy was Bill.
Mike Sweetnam
July 17, 2019
I had the pleasure of meeting Bill in 1992 and was working in Atlanta with Nike during the 1996 olympics. I spent many a warm summer eve at the plank with Bill, Les Dupree, Jonathan Shils and others. A true gentleman who made those long days worthwhile, and memorable. He,Bobby, and others were the reasons we all became short term regulars. He will be missed!
Dave Simpson
July 17, 2019
May the God of all comfort strengthen the family during this time of deep sorrow. Those who pass on, God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes. My sincerest condolences. (Psalms 116:15)
July 17, 2019
So glad I knew you Bill!! RIP.
Tom Rhoden
July 17, 2019
We'll miss you, Dear Bill!
Martha Hall
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