|Despite closing on Christmas Eve, IHOP Buckhead still decorated for Christmas|
Franchisee Joe Scripture has closed his longstanding Buckhead IHOP restaurant.
The Buckhead IHOP restaurant stands at the corner of Peachtree Road and Sardis Way in the heart of Buckhead and has been a landmark for visitors and residents alike. A sign posted on the restaurant thanks patrons for "19 wonderful years" and directs diners to the IHOP in Chamblee. The restaurant's iconic "A Frame" structure dates back to the chain's early years of the mid 60s and is no longer used today. Newer IHOPs that have opened in the metro are in Chamblee and Midtown sport a more modern, open dining room, offering a more spacious interior.
Glendale, California-based IHOP is owned by DineEquity, a company created following IHOP's 2007 acquisition of Applebee's Bar & Grill. Over the past few years, IHOP has relaxed its franchise structure and now allows for franchisees to pick their own locations. This change has allowed for Scripture and his partners to continue their metro expansion plans through which they currently operate numerous locations in Cobb, Fulton and as well as the City of Atlanta.
Sources tell me that nearby Bank of America owns the IHOP land, and had for the past few months been offering IHOP a month to month lease. With the offer on the table to continue for another year-long lease but likely nothing concrete thereafter, Scripture opted to close up shop and dedicate his time and resources to his other locations.
Scripture is an award winning franchisee with IHOP and his 24 hour Buckhead location was a sales leader in his franchise group.
It will be interesting to what happens to the parcel, considering Ben Carter paid $16.5 million, or $498 per square foot, for the former HiFi Buys site at 3135 Peachtree Road, basically across the street from IHOP. Of course Ben Carter paid this astronomical amount back in 2007, at the height of the market, and at a time when he was paying well above market value for a number of parcels in preparation for his since scaled back and renamed Buckhead project. Originally "Buckhead Avenues", later called "The Streets of Buckhead, " the project was purchased in mid 2011 by San Diego-based OliverMcMillan which has since renamed it "Buckhead Atlanta." With little visible work having been done on the mega project, OliverMicMillan currently says a scaled down version of the original project will be completed towards the end of 2013 or early 2014.
I'm told Bank of America may be in talks to sell the IHOP parcel to a developer for an apartment or condo complex but that nothing is set in stone. Camden Property Trust is hard at work redeveloping the former The Paces apartments on East Andrews, while nearby apartments at 92 West Paces Road near completion. Also, The Elle of Buckhead is currently leasing and 550 Pharr Road is being converted from office condos to apartments.
One thing is for sure, IHOP will not be reopening and you will have to go to one of Buckhead's four Waffle House restaurants for cheap, casual breakfast any time of day.
When will Buckhead have enough condos and apartments? What would you like to see happen to the former IHOP? Where is your favorite place for breakfast in Buckhead.? Please share your thoughts in the comment sections below.