Atlanta-based Focus Brands is bringing Schlotzsky's, Cinnabon and Carvel to a former Mrs. Winner's in Suwanee.
The multi-concept restaurant will open in place of a shuttered Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, near Interstate 85. Plans call for the existing restaurant to be reshaped to create the Schlotzsky's concept with a planned opening in early May.
Interestingly, Russ Umphenour, currently president and CEO of Focus Brands, was once owner of Mrs. Winner's though his RTM (Results Through Motivation) restaurant group.
Cinnabon, based in Atlanta, will feature its Cinnabon Express unit in tandem with Austin, Texas-based Schlotzsky's and Carvel's Carvel Express.
According their website, Schlotzsky's currently has eight metro locations including restaurants in Dunwoody, Marietta and Duluth.
According to their website, Carvel currently has five locations in Atlanta, two of which are co-branded, one with Schlotzsky's, the other will Moe's Southwest Grill, another Focus Brand.
According to its website, Cinnabon has five locations in metro Atlanta, with 17 overall in the state. I recently heard Cinnabon's President Kat Cole speak and learned that Cinnabon's future growth will be aligned closely with that of its sister concepts Schlotzsky's and Carvel. Plans call for many more units of Cinnabon "Express" and Carvel "Express" to be located with new and existing dining concepts like Schlotzsky's and Moe's.
Schlotzsky's faces stiff competition in growing their Atlanta presence from the likes of Jason's Deli, Which 'Wich?, Panera Bread and others. A location on LaVista Road in Tucker closed over two years ago and I'm not quite sure how they've managed to hold on in Dunwoody where they are just yards away from Jason's Deli.
With any luck, the redevelopment of the Mrs. Winner's will draw interest to its neighbor, an abandoned Burger King restaurant. Personally I think the parcel would be great for Del Taco, a California-based chain that previously partnered with Mrs. Winner's but has been expanding locally on its own.
As far as Mrs. Winner's goes, there have been a number of locations reshaped or redeveloped over the past few years for a variety of uses.
In Kennesaw, a former Mrs. Winner's became a Taco Bell last year
In midtown, a former Mrs. Winner's was painted and re-imagined as Perla Taqueria
In Decatur, Advance Auto Parts recently built a new store on place of Mrs. Winner's on Lawrenceville Highway.
Church's Chicken opened in place of a shuttered Mrs. Winner's on Camp Creek Parkway in East Point
Elmyr plans to open a second location in the former Mrs. Winner's on Hosea L. Williams Drive
McDonald's opened a restaurant in place of a Del Taco/Mrs. Winner's co-branded restaurant on Cotillion Drive in Dunwoody.