Sandy Springs-based Popeyes
Chicken & Biscuits Louisiana Kitchen is in the planning and permitting stage of opening a restaurant near North DeKalb Mall. The new restaurant
would be at the southwest corner of North Druid Hills Road and Oak Tree Road on the site of what is currently a jewelry store. Gold & Diamond Gallery, the current tenant, is located at 3835 North Druid Hills Road, and sits on a little over a half acre. The business has been operating as primarily a "We Buy Gold" type of place and its building had been for sale for a few years.
Popeyes plans to
convert the structure erect a new structure and is applying to both rezone the building from NS (Neighborhood Shopping) District to C1 (Local Commerical) District and to add a drive-thru window. Obviously, the building would change in shape and appearance and will yield a 2,100 square-foot restaurant.
Similar rezoning was requested by McDonald's for their planned new Buford Highway/Clairmont Road location. In that instance, the fast food chain seeks to rezone from NS (Neighborhood Shopping) District to C1 (Local Commerical) District and to add a drive-thru window. This new McDonald's would be built from the ground up, replacing a largely abandoned shopping center, and is likely to lead to the closure of an existing McDonald's about three tenths of a mile away.
Although I orignally reported this to be a conversion, new information indicates that Popeyes plans to instead build a new building. This would have been the first instance I could recall in recent memory where such a different business was to be converted to a fast food restaurant, conversions are becoming more and more common. One reason is cost saving, but another is new rules and regulations regarding how and if new restaurants can open with the all important drive-thru window.
Chick-fil-A converted a Hardees restaurant when it opened on Piedmont Road near the Lindbergh MARTA station. IHOP converted another former Hardees restaurant when it opened last year on Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee Plaza. Former sister brand to Popeyes, Church's Chicken converted a vacant KFC on Ponce de Leon Avenue and opened a new restaurant in its place late last year. A Chick-fil-was proposed for a former Blockbuster in Dunwoody but would have required full demolition and a new building. Eventually that deal fell apart, and Chick-fil-A is instead hoping to open in the place of a recently closed Arby's restaurant not far away. The Arby's already has a drive-thru, and would likely be stripped of much of its exterior, and rebuilt. This method provides far fewer permitting obstacles to the incoming restaurant.
This upcoming Popeyes will be one of the first new intown locations in a number of years. Popeyes previously had a location at Piedmont Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard in Lindbergh Plaza, but Lindbergh Vista apartments and a rebuilt Lindbergh Plaza replaced it. Popeyes also had a location on Buford Highway in Northeast Plaza that went through an extensive renovation but later closed. It, like the above restaurants, was later converted to another fast food eatery, Pollo Campero.
If Popeyes does eventually open it will join a host of new restaurant openings around North DeKalb Mall.
Athens-based Zaxby's recently opened a new restaurant on North Druid Hills Road adjacent to Pier One Imports, just a few hundred feet from where Popeyes plans to open.
Golden Corral recently started construction on a new restaurant in the outparcel of the Macy's parking lot. The new restaurant is being built in place of a largely underused and oversized parking lot at the corner of North Druid Hills Road and Lawrenceville Highway, directly behind the recently renovated McDonald's, Chick-fil-A and vacant Checkers.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A currently has a triple drive-thru location on North Druid Hills Road. Popeyes' intentions in the area may speed up Chick-fil-A's potential purchase of the adjacent former Checker's restaurant. Chick-fil-A has no firm plans in place, but sources tell me they have at least talked about the possibilty of taking the Checkers space and replacing it and their own triple drive-thru restaurant with a full service Chick-fil-A, complete with a dining room and likely a twin drive-thru.
Might all this this new activity lead to the neighborhood's highly sought after and long debated/rumored Costco Wholesale? This blogger hopes yes, despite the fact that the new restaurant openings seem more in line with the demographics of Sam's Club.
What do you think? Have two cents you'd like to share? Speak your mind and join the conversation in the comment section below.