Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts coming back to Ponce

Canton, Massachusetts based Dunkin' Donuts is returning to Ponce de Leon Avenue.


The doughnut and coffee eatery will soon erect a new roughly 2,100 square foot restaurant at the corner of Boulevard & Ponce de Leon Avenue.  The building Dunkin' will replace has been operating as A+ Financial Services - Check Cashing for the past few years, although it was originally built as a Church's Chicken.

Dunkin' Donuts has been making a serious play at the intown Atlanta market with a new location on Monroe Drive and another on Howell Mill Road.  On Piedmont Avenue at Rock Springs,  Dunkin' replaced Cottage Ethiopian, which was earlier a Burger King restaurant.  On Howell Mill, Dunkin' replaced a former KFC/Pizza Hut.  In both cases, unlike the Ponce project, existing structures were converted to Dunkin' restaurants.

Dunkin' Donuts closed their freestanding Midtown Place location in 2011, where in its place, Starbucks opened their largest Atlanta area store last year.  When built for Dunkin', the building also contained its then subsidiary, Togo's, a sandwich shop, and current partner brand, Baskin-Robbins.  All indications are that the new location will have both a Dunkin' Donuts and a Baskin-Robbins. 

Whereas the Midtown Place location was about 6 tenths of a mile from nearby Krispy Kreme, the new location will be a mere one tenth of a mile away.  The Krispy Kreme on Ponce has been an intown landmark for many years, and its doughnut production viewing room is quite the treat, literally. 

Dunkin' has drastically expanded their menu to include breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well a variety of non coffee related beverages.  Krispy Kreme, on the other hand, is basically only coffee & doughnuts.

Oddly enough, Dunkin' become the third eatery in just the past few years to return to the area after closing an earlier location.  IHOP opened  a new restaurant on Ponce de Leon Avenue in 2010 after closing one of their classic A-frame restaurants on nearby North Avenue years earlier.  Church's Chicken opened a new restaurant in place of a shuttered KFC on Ponce in 2011.  Sadly the restaurant did not fare so well in its second attempt and closed this past December.  I broke news earlier this year that a Zaxby's would open in its place.  While on the surface the story seemed rather vanilla, it has become one of the top three most viewed stories on this site in its five year and 1000+ post history. 

While there have been a number of openings in the area, none of them are really in line with the direction Ponce City Market is taking the neighborhood.  The forthcoming project from Jamestown Properties aims to bring local shops and restaurants to the former Sears-Roebuck building next year. 

What are your thoughts on Dunkin' Donuts returning to the intown area?  Is development, development, no matter in what form it comes?  What restaurants or shops would you like to see open in the Ponce / North Ave / Boulevard area? 

20 comments:

AJ said...

The DD is on Piedmont @ Rock Springs... As for their former location on Ponce, wonder if they're kicking themselves now with the Jamestown property being built across the street! With KK down the street and the great local options (Sublime & Revolution), I don't see myself ever going to this location (nor any of their others)

Anonymous said...

I don't stop at that gas station at that corner due to the very aggressive panhandling, so unfortunately I won't be stopping here either.

Lisa said...

It will be an easy stop on the way to the airport.

Anonymous said...

Screw the big donut chains. Support the independent donut shops...Sublime, Dough in the Box, Dutch Money, Best Dang Bakery Around. Dunkin Donuts can't hold a candle to any of these places.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you say "screw the big coffee chains..."...My understanding is that Dunken Donuts are owned and run by individual people...and say whatever you want...their coffee is good and fresh...donuts aren't bad either...

If you want to say "screw the big chains"...I guess you aren't shopping at Walmart, Kroger, etc....

Anonymous said...

I fully support local businesses but I am also open to anything that will help clean up these corners that have constant pandhandlers, junkies and dealers. I would much rather have a DD instead of the check cashing place that is there now.

Anonymous said...

Anything is better than the place that is there now...

Anonymous said...

I live across the street from the check cashing place and am so glad they are getting rid of it. Hopefully it will clean the area up a bit and get rid of the hookers and drug dealers.

Anonymous said...

I like all the changes happening in the Ponce area. There really needs to be some cleaning up of the panhandling. Walked from Myrtle to McDonalds (just past Blvd/Monroe) on Ponce and panhandled 6 times. 3 of those times by the same guy. ARG!

As for DD moving in, great! Best coffee.

Anonymous said...

Given the slummy nature of the area, I am surprised that Church's wouldn't survive in that area. They never found a ghetto they didn't try a store in.

Anonymous said...

Oh i don't think they're unhappy to leave the Sembler development - getting in and out of there is a pain; they'll at least have direct street access on both sides. With the Exxon getting a massive overhaul, the Fidelity Bank hopefully on track and this, and the redevelopment of the little strip mall between Exxon and Grace UMC, it'll be well on its way to a new corner. The pressure is on... when will Wingate smell the $$ and roll over the Section 8 housing -?

Anonymous said...

I hope they build a building that puts the parking in the back and has more of a street corner presence, something more inviting for walking.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that blacks like ddonuts.

Carl Black said...

Great coverage! Very grateful for your in-depth retail knowledge.

Dana said...

Any word on the reports Dunkin is going to open on Moreland near Little Five Points? Heard about that months ago, things have died down, and it occurs that there are empty spaces down at Edgewood Mall.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Dunkin' on Ponce will be built to Beltline Standards and be a heck of a lot easier to get in and of than that the old one that SBux took. I can't wait! They are im proving bad real estate and investing in town. Local businesses can't afford what it now takes to meet the crazy zoning. The new DD's are way cool!

Anonymous said...

Bring Dunkin' to that building next to Sherwin in L5P. Dunkin' Donuts is cleaning up in-town eye sores one at a time. I don't eat donuts but their Latte's rock!

M Williams said...

I am thrilled with the redevelopmen of Pounce. Once Zaxbys and DD go in, and the City Hall East and beltline is complete.....this will be one of Atlanta's most vibrant areas. I suspect the panhandlers, hookers and dealers will migrate further south on Boulevard.

Anonymous said...

The way to rid the area of panhandlers is to hold
Kwanza Hall and Alex Wan accountable. They both shower their pet projects with time and energy while they ignore the endless day labor violations and panhandling. If any of us taxpayers were stumbling around drunk or violating the peace, we would have the book thrown at us, yet these aggressive, drunk drains on society and our taxes and resources get a free ride from the police, judges, Mayor Reid, Kwanza and Wan. Wan would never allow this on piedmont and tenth but he could care less about poncey . Hall is running for mayor at some point so now is the time to hold him accountable or vote him out!
Poncey deserves

Anonymous said...

Dunkin Donuts has the best coffee, hands down, over all local and major establishments. No question! Their donuts are far better than Sublime and yes, even KK. More DD, less Starbucks!!