Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Retro McDonald's Down at Howell Mill & Collier

The 50s era McDonald's restaurant at the corner of Howell Mill and Collier Roads has been
demolished.

Sources tell me that McDonald's plans to rebuild the restaurant but that it will have the chain's new look and feel. Additionally, while the now demolished eatery featured about a dozen seats inside its small dining room, intel suggests that the new restaurant will be Checkers-like with a single if not double drive-thru and a walk up counter.   Personally, I will miss the vintage look of the McDonald's as it was rather unique and a landmark in the area.  I'm not old enough to remember whether this location actually dates from the 50s, or was built later as a replica, but either way it was a special location. 

Atlanta-based Healey Weatherholtz owns basically the entire city block from Howell Mill to Beck Street (Willy's Mexican Grill), back behind to Emery Street and back up Collier.   "Howell Mill" as the project is referred to on the HW site "is a mixed-use redevelopment project combining restaurants, shops, and residences in a walkable streetscape."  I was previously told that the hope was that Chick-fil-A would relocate to where Willy's currently is, and that they would build a retro looking restaurant to match its counterpart McDonald's on the opposite end.  Given the McDonald's situation, along with the fact that both they and Chick-fil-A have ground leases on their parcels, that  scenario is far less likely. 

What are your thoughts on the planned development and the upcoming possible generic McDonald's?  Do you think the area needs more residences and restaurants or is traffic already bad enough?  What would you like to see done with the parcel if not a mixed-use project?  Please weigh in below. 

9 comments:

Bryan Marquardt said...

I was at Fellini's the other day and noticed the remodel sign and was concerned that they were going to kill the building itself, and you just told us the answer. I am sure that there are many that will miss it.

Anonymous said...

That's great news! It was a terrible location with rude employees. The location on Northside is much much nicer, and also open 24 hours.

Skreet said...

I remember going in there and there was an employee named "Tomarra" which was about the speed at which you could expect your food.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the neighborhood and this was built sometime in the 90s. It used to be a KFC when I was a kid.

I always liked the vintage look of the building. Too bad they're not rebuilding with the same vintage design.

Anonymous said...

There's very little room on that lot, and trying to use the drive through if coming from Collier was awkward. They could still have tables if they made it two levels, with seating upstairs.

Anonymous said...

They need to get a priest to come perform an exorcism on that lot before they rebuild. The worst service I have ever experienced at any fast food restaurant.It made a trip to the fast food restaurants on Camp Creek during airport runs seem pleasant. I never understood how they stayed open. You could go to Fellini's, get a slice, sit down, and finish eating in less time than getting a bag of fires at that McDonald's.

I don't think anyone who knows the area has braved that location in the past 15 years. Hoping new management and employees come with the new building.

Anonymous said...

I remember when McDonalds didn't have dining rooms, only walk up windows!

Anonymous said...

I do think that block is an eye sore in many ways and needs a make over. Keeping the retro look and blending the entire block would have been nice. Change is sometimes hard to accept and appreciate but often much needed. Sometimes we don't even realize a change is needed until after it happens and we find old problems now have solutions. I feel like Howell Mill is sometimes the ugly step child of Buckhead. Maybe this will help start tying us to the community more and encourage other businesses along that route to do the same.

EddieSpaghetti said...

I'm disappointed that it didn't have a dine-in at all. I guess it does so much drive-thru biz, that it was just better to double up its capacity. Still looks like a bastard to fit in the lot. Nice Shipping Crate design.