Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Boardwalk [Fresh Burgers and] Fries Coming Back to ATL

Columbia, Maryland-based Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries will soon have their first location in Atlanta at Hammond Springs shopping center on the southeast corner of Roswell Road and Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Scheduled to open February 1st, this location will likely be the model for future growth in the area. They will be leasing approximately 2,000 square feet on the end space across from the Flying Biscuit. A second location is said to be planned for The Park Druid Hills(pictured), off North Druid Hills near Briarcliff Road. A number of office buildings were recently demolished to make room for this project, smaller in scale than Sembler's ill-fated planned project nearby. Years ago, Boardwalk's sister concept, Boardwalk Fries, had locations at Lenox Square, Peachtree Center and Underground, but all have since closed. Realizing that some consumers wanted more than just fries, the founders of Boardwalk Fries created Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries as a fast casual burger concept in 2007. With established operator Michael Coles, CEO of the franchisee with rights for up to 50 Atlanta area locations, the likelihood of a success seems greater. Tony Ratliff and Mark Dietrick secured franchise rights to the area in 2008 and hired Coles earlier this year. Coles is the founder of The Great American Cookie Company and former CEO of Caribou Coffee. I attempted to gather more information from the corporate headquarters on the planned locations in Atlanta with no success. To that end, the phone number provided took me in circles, with no one answering. I was told that I would receive a call back from John DiFerdinando, a relative of the founders, but days later, no call back. Most amusing as I perused the website was a listing for their fry concept under "Arenas & Stadiums." Listed as "Georgia Dome (NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers)", it's kind of pathetic that even with the state and city listed in the arena name and team name, they got this wrong. ToNeTo Atlanta

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