Monday, November 9, 2015

After 40+ Years, Tower East Has Been Sold

Historic liquor store changes hands.

Tower East, a southeast Atlanta landmark since 1972, has been sold and is changing names.  Now known as Citi Wine & Spirits, the popular neighborhood package store is also renovating both its interior and exterior.  

According to permits on file with the City of Atlanta, about $34,000 will be spent on the store's renovation.  Permits inicate that while signage only recently went up with the new name, the Citi Wine & Spirits name has been associated with the property since at least May.  

The Yun family, who purchased Tower East, are also opening a second Citi Wine location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The two-story Sandy Springs location is currently under construction and will reportedly open in February.  

"Tower Stores" were first opened by Irwin Greenbaum in 1948.  Greenbaum opened Tower East in 1972 and subsequently sold the store to his stepson, Alan Smirin.

Tower Beer Wine & Spirits locations on Piedmont Road in midtown and on Buford Highway in Doraville remain owned by the Greenbaum family, run today by Michael Greenbaum, Irwin's son.  

Georgia law currently prohibits any single owner from operating more than two retail businesses that sell hard liquor.  

Maryland-based Total Wine & More, which recently opened its fourth location in metro Atlanta in Brookhaven, is trying to change that law.  Total Wine hopes to get the existing limit raised from two stores to four.

What are your thoughts on the Tower East sale?  What is your favorite package store in metro Atlanta?  Do you think that the current Georgia law which limits the number of stores that sell hard liquor under one owner should be changed?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

The two location limit is way out of touch with reality. Why are there only 2 locations of Costco that sell liquor, this antiquated law. There are some that have more than 2 locations by skirting the law and having different family members owning different stores.

Carl said...

So what's the story with the westside location whose name changed to Power (much easier and cheaper signage when you switch one letter)?

Anonymous said...

That Yun guy bought The Bankhead Tower Changed the name to "Power" and then sold itdue toi revenue declines with the demolition of neighboring housing projects "Bowen Homes ect...) He has ownership stake in multiple (more than 2) stores in Georgia and has created a network to confuse the Georgia Dept of Revenue into allowing him more than the law allows. It's widely believed that is the reason why Sandy Springs has not made it easy on him with permits and licenses... He will most likely eventually sell the stores he has purchased and is building out of speculation. The sandy Springs store is right next door to the old Jax liquor store that died on the vine around 2009.

Anonymous said...

I was curious how Total Wine is getting around this with the new store opening in Brookhaven. It is advertising that it will be selling spirits which would make 3 Total Wines that do (along with Kennesaw and Alpharetta)...

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