Denver-based Smashburger will have three metro Atlanta locations open by mid August and plans call for plenty more. Over a year ago, Smashburger announced plans for 50 locations in Atlanta over a multi-year plan: that plan has since been scaled back to 28. Then, the locations were going to be corporate, now they will be franchised. The first location will open July 7th on Sidney Marcus Boulevard, in Buckhead Crossing shopping center. The center is anchored by Marshalls and Office Depot, and Smashburger's space was most recently home to Fatburger, and before that, KFC.
In Buckhead, Smashburger is opening across the street from U.S. Cafe, a Smyrna-based burger joint that opened on Piedmont last year. U.S. Cafe, in my opinion has fairly decent fare, but a poor location, will likely suffer significantly when Smashburger opens. Not far away, Five Guys has a location in Lindbergh City Center but it's likely to be less affected by the opening. Similarly, Grindhouse Killer Burgers, which recently opened their new location on Piedmont Avenue is far enough away with a differentiated concept, that they, too, likely will do just fine. My one worry is Farm Burger which will be opening in Tower Place later this year. Though not identical by any means, they share some similarities in concept and pricing with Smashburger, and their parking situation is far less appealing. Their one strength will be they are in the heart of Buckhead and surrounded by hungry white collars that can walk in for a quick lunch, like AT&T employees do at Five Guys at Lindbergh.
Smashburger also has locations under construction in Alpharetta and Johns Creek. These locations will follow the Buckhead opening and are scheduled to open in July and August respectively. In Alpharetta, the location is on Windward Parkway in a shopping center anchored by LA Fitness and Office Depot. In Johns Creek, the location is near Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and adjacent to Stoney River Legendary Steaks on Peachtree Parkway. Not surprisingly, all locations Smashburger has selected will be second generation spaces, meaning they are not new structures and in fact, were all previously restaurants.