Ann Arbor Beer Depot Ann Arbor Beer Depot Beer wine liquor spirits

Why Does The Sign Say "Drive Thru"?

Not a drive thru!
One thing you don't want to do is follow the sign out front that says "Drive Thru" in flashing neon. The vintage sign in front of the store is part of the long history of the Beer Depot building.

Originally the Ottmar Eberbach family residence, the building the Beer Depot is attached to was built in 1875, and occupied by the Eberbach family until the Harris Tire Company began use of the house in 1928. The drive thru addition was built in 1938, and eventually Harris Tire expanded their showroom into the adjacent red brick Queen Anne house. Later, the Harris Tire Company was replaced by the drive-thru Beer Depot. The Eberbach family retained ownership until 1974.

So Why No More Drive-Thru Service?

For years the fact that the business was a drive-thru that sold beer and wine kind of made the Beer Depot a landmark. When we took over in 2005, we were no longer ALLOWED to keep the drive thru because Michigan law prevented it. Oddly, it's okay in Michigan to sell beer and wine in a drive-thru, but not if your liquor license allows you to also sell distilled spirits. The building is also an Ann Arbor Historic Building, so there are limitations on remodeling and restoration, so the building you see today is dictated by those guidelines.