Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IHOP Opening in Chamblee's Old Hardee's

While I first heard talk of IHOP's intentions to open in Chamblee last year, only recently have they been able to move forward with their plans. Opening on an out-parcel of Chamblee Plaza on Peachtree Boulevard, IHOP's contractors have stripped a former Hardee's of all but its shell and foundation and will rebuild from there. (Note: the accompanying photo was taken last year before any work had been done) Its neighboring Chick-Fil-A went through an extensive remodel last year, but other than that, the shopping
center in which they are located is pretty sad these days. A Winn-Dixie gave way to a Save Rite, and both closed as well as most all other recognizable businesses. Himalayas, an Indian eatery remains open as do a UPS Store, Quizno's and Dunkin Donuts / Baskin-Robbins. The center's two largest tenants are a Last Chance thrift store and a Hotel Furniture Outlet, hardly the anchor tenants to draw in other businesses.

Back in 2008, when Jacoby, Cousins, Sembler and others were all making their pitches to re-develop the former GM plant in Doraville, Chamblee Plaza was being marketed as "The Magnolia on Peachtree Boulevard." The hope was that with all the interest in Chamblee, someone would want to redevelop Chamblee Plaza, an aging 20 acre shopping center, just south (closer to Buckhead) of the GM site. I've heard nothing of this proposal of late, and I'd imagine it was tabled similar to other retail and mixed use projects either proposed or under construction around the same time.

An IHOP opened last year on Ponce de Leon Avenue, not far from a long since shuttered location on North Avenue. To my knowledge, this will be IHOP's first location in the Chamblee area. There are a number of Waffle House restaurants close by but I think IHOP could still do well given demand for the breakfast day-part continues to rise. I doubt this location will be open 24 hours like the location on Clairmont Road or the one in Buckhead on Peachtree, but surely the owner will gauge the interest and adjust the hours to match the demand.

Zaxby's and Pure Taqueria are both supposedly opening just north of Chamblee Plaza, but no work has been done. Despite the fact that I heard the Zaxby's gained city approval when the IHOP was denied last year, its proposed site in the northernmost outparcel of the Lowe's parking lot remains untouched. (A Zaxby's on Roswell Road in Buckhead that I spoke of at the same time finally started work a couple months ago and should be open in less than 30 days.) Oddly, I was able to uncover blueprints for the proposed Chamblee Zaxby's dated October 27, 2010, with the project's "Bid status" listed as "Open." Pure Taqueria was also to open near Lowe's, at the corner of Johnson Ferry and Peachtree Boulevard, in the old Buddy's. While I never heard what, if any, trouble they had in getting approval for their restaurant, I fear they, too, may have run into roadblocks with the city of Chamblee and its uber strict ordinances and desire to distance itself from the "Industrial" days of yesteryear. It went as far as to have Peachtree Industrial Boulevard renamed Peachtree Boulevard.

I'm always happy to see businesses make use of existing buildings and commend IHOP's perseverance in bringing this restaurant one step closer to fruition. Hopefully, PURE and Zaxby's soon follow. With any luck, businesses will find Chamblee Plaza more appealing and open there in the future.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

So odd that Chamblee would make it difficult to bring in businesses that would be positive additions to the area. Pure Taqueria - while not my favorite, would do quite well by that Lowes. Not sure who the *bleep* is running that city up there!

Susan said...

The Athens pizza hasn't been open in Chamblee Plaza for years.

Anonymous said...

The Lowe's location is south of this shopping center, not north.

Anyway, I always thought this shopping center would be a prime candidate for a remodel and a new tenant like a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods.

The nearest Trader Joes/Whole Foods to this area are in Sandy Springs and really aren't convenient for residents in Chamblee/North Brookhaven...and there are a lot of families in this area that fit the demos those two stores serve. Even though this would be on the east/NE edge of Chamblee/North Brookhaven it would be convenient via C-D, Harts Mill, and Ptree Blvd...and would probably get some traffic from Dunwoody, as well.

As long as you are doing some 'reporting' on our area...see if you can dig up what the deal is with the old Blockbuster space at Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry. We've got a few decent neighborhood spots in that area, but that parcel has sat vacant for over 4 years. Always thought it had potential as a Tin Lizzy's with a rooftop patio or a place with a craft beer selection (Bat N Ball is a great spot...but the beer selection is just so-so and the food is truly bar food) or something.

Atlantan99 said...

@ Susan,

You are so right. They moved to the Forum in Norcross years ago. It was late when I posted this and it slipped my mind. The change has been made. That's for being so observant and for reading the blog.

mindspringyahoo said...

Athens pizza moved further up PIB, maybe a mile beyond the split with Ptree Parkway, and closed around a year ago.

Anonymous--there's a TJ's in Buckhead that would be around 4 miles or so from a potential TJ's in this strip. Mind you, I wouldn't mind a TJ's in Chamblee. I don't understand how TJ picks and rejects sites. I think they would have done gangbusters at Suburban Plaza or in Oak Grove, but they didn't want to come to either.

Anonymous said...

Bravo on the old Blockbuster comments. Total agreement. The old brick facade could easily be converted (maybe not easily, but you get the point) to an antique-looking interior for a coffee shop, Tin Lizzy's, boutique beer joint - ANYTHING. Word has it that the shopping strip owner is a bit out-of-touch with reality. I have to think that many-a-potential-client have inquired about taking over the Blockbuster. It's such an eye-sore. Great demographic - there are people all around that area (Sexton Woods - myself included)and Brookhaven that are driving business in Dresden and Town Brookhaven. Someone can really capitalize on that place.

Anonymous said...

@mindspringyahoo

I probably go to the TJ's in Buckhead more often than the TJ's in Sandy Springs. It's a good location...certainly hit it coming back from downtown or Buckhead when I can.

But the issue, as I'm sure you're aware, is getting from N. Brookhaven/Chamblee (or even Dunwoody) to either Sandy Springs (through the PCID) or Buckhead (through Lenox) at time other than the slowest of hours isn't worth it.

Funny thing is that if you drew a triangle b/w Whole Foods/TJs in Buckhead, in Sandy Springs, and Chamblee...it would be basically equilateral.

As far as the Blockbuster goes....I've heard the same thing about the land owner being out of touch. Crazy thing is that if they just put in a pretty minimal amount of renovation into the facade of that shopping center, they might be able to get something closer to the rent they are looking for...

TheJohnP said...

There's also an IHOP right up the street from Northlake Mall adjacent to the Target in Tucker. Not that it would take traffic away from Chamblee, but just pointing out there is one not too far away.

Anonymous said...

There was an IHOP at the corner of Buford Hwy and whats now Chamblee Dunwoody Road (formerly Old Stone Mtn Road) some 30+ years ago. Little League kids who hit a home run at nearby Murphy Candler Park would get a coupon for a free meal there. I too have long thought Whole Foods or Trader Joe would go great in Chamblee Plaza. The place selling leftover hotel stuff used to be a Woolworth up until about 1995 or so. Then it was a Kudzu Bookstore a while after. Speaking of books, the Chabmlee Library used to occupy a space in there during the 1960s-70s....

Anonymous said...

Any idea what is opening in the former Mitsubishi dealership location (across from Hennessey Lexus and next to Jim Ellis Audi)?

Atlantan99 said...

Hey Anon,

Sorry, I have not heard anything about the former Mitsubishi dealership. I will update if anything comes up.

Thanks for reading and for the comment!