Ringside Franks & Shakes in North Buckhead has closed "for renovations."
The casual hot dog, beer and ice cream eatery opened in late 2011 and started out slow, but had grown steadily in neighborhood popularity. Over the past six months or so, things seem to have slowed down some and the restaurant was eventually listed for sale on a local restaurant brokerage website.
The restaurant closed about a week ago for what signs claim to be "renovations," although sources say the closure is permanent. The restaurant remains listed on The Shumacher Group's website with the option to "keep or convert" the restaurant.
The building was originally a Taco Bell back in the day, and was later a Wolf Camera. In 2010, Clay Harper of Fellini's and La Fonda opened Three on the Tree, a frozen yogurt shop. Jumping on the froyo bandwagon proved wise at first, but business started to fizzle and about a year later, Harper pulled the plug. Jeremy Kelly, a 12-year veteran of Fellini's and former manager at Three on the Tree, opened Ringside in place of the Tree shortly after the froyo shop closed.
I think it's a lot easier to push a gourmet or "better burger" than a hot dog. Because of this, Ringside and HD1 in Poncey Highlands both struggled. (Despite rumors to the contrary, Barry Mills insists there are no existing plans to convert HD1 into a third metro area FLIP Burger Boutique.)
Personally, I think the space is well located and has plenty of upside for any potential replacement. The restaurant is located at the northern tip of Buckhead and close to local favorites La Fonda and Fellini's.
What should replace Ringside? Are gourmet hotdogs not something you spend money on? Should a popcorn shop open in place of Ringside to complete the fad trifecta?