Tower Beer & Wine Rings In 75 Years

Tower Beer & Wine Rings In 75 Years

The Atlanta-area institution also organizes fundraisers for Children’s Healthcare.

Sasha Heller is the Web Editor and Copy Editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times

Tower Beer & Wine will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.
Tower Beer & Wine will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.

Tower Beer & Wine is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, marking a milestone achievement for the local purveyor.

Owner Michael Greenbaum shared some of the company history and how he grew up in the family business.

“My dad, Irwin Greenbaum, and two of my uncles, were in the grocery business,” he said. “They had small stores, which was the typical Jewish way in the 1950s in downtown Atlanta. When prohibition was repealed, my father and brother, Leonard, applied to (the City of) Atlanta for a license,” adding that the original store is now called Green’s and that Tower was the second store.

“I grew up in that store and loved hanging around with my dad. In the 50s, there was no competition by law so there was no reason to expand. That changed in the ’60s, when the state law changed and then you could sell alcohol at different prices,” Greenbaum said. “My dad just loved making big deals and becoming a discount operation.”

Irwin Greenbaum, founder of Tower Beer & Wine.

In 1969, Michael Greenbaum joined his father, and they expanded the operation.

“We started to advertise for the first time in 1973,” he said, adding that they opened the Buford Highway location that same year.

Irwin Greenbaum later added two more stores, located on Moreland Avenue and Bankhead Highway. At that point, the Greenbaums set out to change the image of the typical neighborhood liquor store.

“Most liquor stores were small, with bars on the windows with a red neon sign that made these stores appear unsafe and not very clean,” Michael Greenbaum said.

“We built well-lighted, larger, and more up-to-date stores to appeal to women or men. That was our style…of being a clean and modern discount store, now with a new wine focus.”

Sadly, Irwin Greenbaum passed away in 2001. It was then that Michael Greenbaum, along with his leadership team, remodeled their locations and “stores really picked up sales.”

To keep up with the changing times, the Greenbaums have been sure to incorporate social media into their operation with the goal of reaching an even larger market.

“Currently, with my son [David] in the business, we are involved in the latest technology, shipping spirits,” through social media, “and whatever is next.”

(From left) Anne Greenbaum, David Greenbaum, Fiona Greenbaum, Michael Greenbaum, and Sarah Greenbaum.

When asked what the secret to Tower’s lasting success is, Michael Greenbaum said, “A bulldog insistence in making the customer feel at home with us.”

Tower is also more than just about selling fine wine, spirits, and beer. The operation is also heavily involved in charitable programs, and hosts a fundraiser, Tower Lights, to benefit Children’s Healthcare. Tower also organized Tower of Talent, a children’s show produced by Lynn Stalling and Robyn Spizman.

“Tower Lights is a 501c3 charity,” Michael Greenbaum said. “We raise funds, mostly through our yearly auction of hard-to-find spirits and wine.” All told, Tower has raised more than $2 million for children’s healthcare programs.

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