Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Suburban Plaza - Where Are They Now?

It was 2011 when I was the first in Atlanta to break news of Selig Enterprises planned redevelopment of Suburban Plaza in Decatur and the addition of, among other tenants, a Walmart Supercenter.  This plan was immediately  met with fierce neighborhood opposition.  After at least one lawsuit and countless neighborhood meetings and rallies, the redevelopment appears on track.

Longstanding tenants such as Suburban Custom Awards & Framing and Decatur Estate & Way Back Antiques have both secured new locations.  Last Chance Thrift Store has also found a new home.

Last Chance Thrift Store  first opened in the center in 2009 after relocated from a former Kroger store in a nearby center known today as Patel Plaza. LC Thrift Store (as its now branded today) relocated to 2935 North Decatur Road.

Decatur Estate & Way Back Antiques is currently having a liquidation sale in preparation for their move to their new location at 2272 Lawrenceville Highway, across from Home Depot.

Suburban Custom Awards & Framing has already moved and is now at 215 Laredo Drive, across from Your DeKalb Farmers Market.  The Frame shop had been in Suburban Plaza since 1964.

Piccadilly Cafeteria has already closed their Suburban Plaza location and with its parent going through financial problems and closings, its reopening or relocation seems unlikely.   The Overstock Liquidation store, which specialized in mattresses and furniture and was located adjacent to Last Chance, has also closed with no known plans to relocate.

Cozy Burger Town, which occupies a former "hut" Pizza Hut in a freestanding outparcel of the center, is safe for now, but something tells me its days may be numbered.  Big Lots, a tenant that has been in the center for as long as I can remember, will be staying despite the Walmart entrance.  Apparently the redevelopment will not affect their space and they are happy to be staying and look forward to the increased (foot) traffic the Walmart will bring.  Suburban Lanes Bowling, one of the original tenants from 1954, is located on the lower level on the center, and is scheduled to remain in place and be part of the new Suburban Plaza.

What are your earliest memories of Suburban Plaza? Big Star? Winn-Dixie? The movie theater  or bowling alley?     What stores or restaurants would you like to see added as part of the center's redevelopment?  Who is your favorite current tenant?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

21 comments:

Kay Stephenson said...

The only shop I ever visit there is the Hancock fabric store. If that goes away, I will just do more of that type shopping online. Doubt that I will head that way for WalMart as Target at Edgewood is closer to my VaHi home.

Edith said...

"That Pottery Place" (paint your own pottery studio) relocated to North Dekalb Mall in July 2012(on the Food Court, rear entrace). We are owned by long time local residents (including a Medlock native whose first job was at the old Pizza Hut!). We hated leaving Suburban, but hope you'll all come paint with us in the new studio which is large and bright.

Alan said...

If I remember correctly this was originally called "Eastgate" to mirror the "Westgate" center on Campellton Rd at Lakewood Freeway.
I remember it as always being a thriving center during my time in Atlanta in the 80s. It had undergone a major renovation. The twin theatre was in the parking lot and Food Giant and Belk anchored the center. As I recall, that was the only Belk in metro Atlanta at the time.

Glen said...

Good article.How about a series on once popular shopping centers that now are dying or dead. Loehmanns plaza(Used to be Service Merchandise, Now the North Fulton Drivers License center). and North Springs(Used to have lots of restaurants and A&P/Big Star supermarket. Now almost nothing but Big Lots.) Center Both in Sandy Springs would be some good ones. Both of these centers, especially the loehmans, are by neighborhoods with homes in the $500,000 and up price range. Then off course there is Gwinnett place Mall, but that is an entirely different story!

Atlantan99 said...

Glen,

Thanks for the comments. I have thought of doing something like that in the future, as there are plenty! I've had something about GPM in "draft" for a year now and need to get it together! Plenty to explore there.

Thanks again for the comments and for reading the site.

Rachel C said...

I have been to Last Chance Thrift's new location several times already. When WalMart moves in, I will probably avoid the shopping center altogether, except for Cozy Burger Town, which is amazing and worth the traffic hassle.

Muffin said...

I saw Star Wars as well as the Black Stallion & E.T. at the theater at Suburban Plaza. Fun times!

Anonymous said...

Cozy Burger Town is now open in the food court at Northlake Mall. I don't know if it is a second location or if they plan to exit the Suburban Plaza location.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Cozy Burger Town,

The Northlake Mall food court location is a second location and I'm told CBT owners have no plans to leave Suburban Plaza.

Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog.

TheJohnP said...

Cozy Burger Town is in Northlake Mall?!?! THAT's the kind of info I come for on this site!

Now I have one (and only) reason to go to Northlake.

Atlantan99 said...

@TheJohnP,

Maybe Cozy Burger Town should open at Atlantic Station. ;)

Thanks for the site love and for the comments.

Anonymous said...

The BIG APPLE Grocery Store is the first store at Suburban plaza, it was were the thrift store was. soon after the "plaza" was built with to name a few Lane Drugs, Kressage, Belk numerous clothing and shoe stores, the bowling alley with barber shop and some beauty parlors,Also a Winn Dixie where the Hancock Fabric store is, later the Eastgate theatre, later a new Winn Dixie replaced the theatre, Suburban Plaza was very nice for its time, you only need to go to afew other stores to get all your needs met, and oh yea there was a Huddle house I think, on the right end next to the drug store where the furniture place was, as a child my family and friends spent a lot of time there it was a gathering place for all types of things. p.s. the Big Apple was very fancy for its time with a larger store and an in house Bakery. Cheers to you Suburban Plaza!

Anonymous said...

"Hilarious" Atlantic Station dig. So old. And actually, inaccurate. When was the last time you were there? I'm not a resident of Atlantic Station (used to be, so maybe I am defending it), but when I go there, there are always plenty of people there. Now whenever I see an AS insult, I just assume it's a dig at your former friend who works there or your way of getting back at them after your libelous post was taken down.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon, RE: Atlantic Station,


Despite what you may think, I've not been a fan of Atlantic Station for far longer than Mark Toro has been employing my former blog partner. I simply don't like the project, a sentiment that is shared with most Atlantans I speak with.

Crappy parking can be had elsewhere as can a roster of crappy national retailers and a cookie cutter look. Aside from what I'll admit is an Atlantic Station exclusive (for now) in West Elm, there is no reason to frequent the project. Suburban Plaza may be old, and may be outdated, but I'd rather shop there.

I appreciate your readership and your comments.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Atlantic Station,

I will also add that my former partner was not the biggest fan of Atlantic Station either. His tune changed about the time he began to be compensated for his efforts. I do my blog for free and am never paid, nor would I accept payment, to say positive things that don't deserve praise.

Dagmar said...

Does anyone know what happened to the HOT WOK chinese restaurant that was in Suburban Plaza til recently? There is no 'moving' information posted on the storefront, and their phone number is not being answered. It was a tasty and convenient Chinese option for our family - if anyone knows where they may have relocated to, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Damn! That means that crappy Big Lots, and that foul-mouthed lame-ass excuse for a manager will still be there...s***!!

Chris C. said...

Last week two electric car charging stations popped up in the Suburban Plaza parking lot. I don't recall if they were exactly in front of Big Lots, but they were close. I was confused about them at first, considering the pending construction, but if you're right about Big Lots staying then that makes a little more sense. I had assumed that entire block was going to turn into a construction site moonscape.

The EV chargers were installed as part of the "Blink" program, through which ANY ATLANTA BUSINESS (actually any in the whole state!) can get a couple of them installed for free. FREE. But the deadline for getting the install under contract is August 31st. Did I mention free?

If you represent a retail business, or an employer, and want to offer EV charging to your patrons, google for "Blink EV" for more info or get in touch with me and I'll point you in the right direction.

Atlantan99 said...

@Chris,

I saw those too and had the exact same thought! I also took it as a vote of confidence and security for that portion of the center. Now if only Elon Musk would sponsor this site I could have a use for it!

Thanks for the comments / info and for your readership.

Anonymous said...

I just heard about this ... crazy. Suburban Plaza has been there for years, especially the Piccadilly's and the bowling alley.

Anonymous said...

Someone should probably tell Overstock Liquidation that they're out of business. Silly owner is still opening up the store each day.