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Meet the Chickens of Manuela, Downtown's Southern Kitchen and Artsy Garden


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Manuela's glowy, tucked-away feel evokes New Orleans or Paris or another city that is much better at street life and hidden nooks, and the wondrous place where those two things meet. If you've ever wandered through an old wrought-iron gate in one of those cities, and come across a luminous bar full of effortlessly sophisticated people eating and drinking, well, Manuela has some of that same enchanted energy. It's kind of indoors, and kind of outdoors, and the floor around the brass-and-marble outer bar is made of old cobblestones. A nearby private dining room features a mural by Raymond Pettibon, best known for his album art for punk rockers Black Flag. In the middle of the open-air industrial courtyard, that giant metal rose sculpture made by artist Isa Genzken rises from the floor and stretches toward the sky. As the gallery's exhibitions change, you'll likely encounter other arresting works of art on your way to the hostess stand. It's all quite overwhelming and affecting. Did we mention there's a garden with rare-breed chickens?