Harold Shumacher frequently quotes New York Yankee’s legend Yogi Berra when he says, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” which sums up Shumacher’s life perfectly.
Shumacher’s family fled Germany in the 1930s and settled in Michigan, where Harold was born after World War II. After graduating from Michigan State, Shumacher headed south to teach history at Booker T. Washington High School as Atlanta schools desegregated.
While in grad school at Georgia State in the early ’70s, Shumacher started delivering papers and writing restaurant reviews for the Atlanta Gazette, a precursor to Creative Loafing whose offices where across the street from Harold’s house. By the late ’70s, Shumacher was a “painfully hip” restaurant critic for the AJC before starting a restaurant consulting and training company and, at the urging ofAckerman & Co. President Howard Arnold, becoming a broker. After four years at The Shopping Center Group, he started The Shumacher Group in 1991.
In nearly 20 years, Shumacher and partners Irving Jacobson and Steve Josovitz have built The Shumacher Group into a formidable full-service boutique restaurant and retail brokerage, completing about 50 leases and/or property transactions per year for clients such as Verizon, Bruster’s, BB&T,Metrotainment Cafes (Hudson Grill andGarrison’s), Varasano’s Pizza and Golden Corral. The firm also is part of the Retail Brokers Network, a national consortium of independent retail and restaurant pros.
In Shumacher’s 40 years in Atlanta, he’s seen the city evolve from de facto segregation and limited offerings in retail and dining to a thriving, world-class metropolis where singles and families dine out three nights a week and explore every option imaginable, from chains populating the suburbs to Buford Highway’s corridor of delicious Asian and Hispanic selections to nationally and internationally recognized chefs and fine dining possibilities like Kevin Rathbun’s restaurants and Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill.
“Atlanta’s matured and is probably one of the most exciting restaurant cities in the country,” Shumacher said. “The interest in food and restaurants is nearly universal.”
This article was featured in the August 3, 2010 issue of the Real Estate Rooster email newsletter.