About LeNell

Tonya LeNell Smothers

After dilly dallyin' as a part-time bartender for years, I gave up paper-pushin' as a university administrator to pursue my dream of working in the booze business fulltime in 2000. It didn't take long to convince me to put my big ole house up for sale, sell my car, load up a moving truck and head to New York City. After working retail in Manhattan, then trying my hand at beatin' the streets as a wholesale salesperson, I decided it was really time to make my dream of my own business a reality.

I opened the Brooklyn LeNell's in 2003. The store won much acclaim as one of the greatest liquor stores around. Unfortunately, like many small businesses in NYC, a new landlord refused to renew the lease. After looking for the right business home in NYC for over two years, I decided to give up the real estate madness of NYC and moved to Mexico to own a reservation-only bar for a couple of years. The dream of finding the right store space never died.

In 2011, I came home to Bama and bought property in Birmingham that is perfect for rebirthing my beverage boutique concept. And birthed a sassy baby girl named Damiana.