Monday, August 26, 2013

Guthrie's Chickens Out in Dunwoody

Guthrie's has closed in Dunwoody.

Birmingham, Alabama-based Guthrie's closed their freestanding  location within Georgetown Shopping Center on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road late last week, according to a representative at their Norcross location.

The first Guthrie's was opened by Hal Guthrie in Haleyville, Alabama in 1965 and by 2009 there were 41 locations.  Today the chain has shrunk and includes about 20 across six states, according to its website. Guthrie's is said to have been the inspiration for a number of other chicken eateries including Raising Cane's and Zaxby's.

Todd Graves and Craig Silvey opened the first Raising Cane's in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1996.  Today the chain has grown to over 150 locations in 15 states.

 Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley opened the first Zaxby's in Statesboro, Georgia in 1990.  Now based in Athens, the chain has grown to over 500 locations across 13 states.

Within Georgetown Plaza, Guthrie's opened in place of a shuttered Dairy Queen.  The Dairy Queen was demolished and a new structure was erected for Guthrie's in 2004.

Georgetown Plaza is anchored by Kroger and also home to a Goldberg's Bagel, Farmburger and Morelli's, among others.

I frequented the Dunwoody location in its early years, but had curtailed my visits significantly as of late.  The restaurant was very limited in their offerings and that may very well have led to their downfall.  Aside from fried chicken tenders (in a basket, in a sandwich or on a salad) which were all really good, and fries, there was little else to the menu.

There remain three Guthrie's in Georgia: one in Norcross (in a former Donatos Pizza) and two others in Ringgold and Trenton.

Inside sources tell me that Starbucks has the first right of refusal on the space.  While they already have an inline location within the center, the freestanding location would provide them the opportunity to offer drive-thru service.  Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that 60 percent of the 1,500 new stateside locations planned to open through the next five years will have drive-thru windows.  This "new" location would obviously be in line with that goal and allow for the coffee house to capitalize on a previously untapped opportunity in the center.

Where is your favorite fried chicken eatery?  Do you think Zaxby's is the industry's best?  Are you happy to hear a Starbucks is the likely replacement?  Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Can't speak for the Dunwoody location, but the handful of times I've been in the stores in Norcross and Tallahassee I've come out reeking of fried food. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

I always thought their plates were a touch better than Zaxby's, but Zaxby's has simply outmuscled them.

Carl said...

I much prefer non-DT SBUX locations, where customer service is always better. I'd love to see them stay right where they've always been. Bring back DQ! :)

TheJohnP said...

For the life of me I will never understand the draw of Zaxby's. I've eaten there a number of times but always found them to be mediocre at best and way overpriced for what they offer.

I did enjoy Guthrie's when I worked off 285 and able to frequent them more often. I do miss that they stopped their breakfast service awhile ago as that was a great option in the morning.

Anonymous said...

First the Arby's closed.... now the Guthrie's. It will be interesting to see how quickly these properties get re-purposed. Arby's has been closed a while now.

Anonymous said...

The Starbucks in Georgetown is amazingly busy and cramped. I have heard, that per square foot, it is one of the most profitable in Atlanta. It will be interesting to see if they choose to move.

Anonymous said...

Of the 3 chains, I thought Guthrie's has the best of the sauces. The fingers for each are interchangeable for me.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising since the service there could charitably be described as haphazard at best. Sad though since they supported the local Little League and other youth sports and local causes..

Anonymous said...

That building was never demolished. It was the same building as the DQ. That being said, it in REALLY cramped inside, I couldn't see any coffeehouse type of business wanting to use that spot without actually demolishing and rebuilding.

Anonymous said...

I am interested to know what happened. Every business closure is a lesson in business. Was it personal family issue or just declining business? It seemed to have a change in management in the months prior to closing.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Disneypal said...

That is a real shame - I visit that Guthries and the one at P'tree Corners and the Dunwoody location has always been busier of the two locations - I am surprised it closed. I think Gutheries taste better than similar chains.

Eric said...

I agree, I go to the Starbucks and Kroger in Georgetown but rarely that place, because after all who needs chicken tenders? And their fries were not very good.

Hope Starbucks doesn't go there, I don't see how they could fit in as much outdoor seating. Especially with the renovation of the sidewalk in front of the stores, the current Starbucks has great outdoor seating. And the corner location is great for people watching. Best of all its next to a liquor store so you can get some baileys for the coffee.

Lucky China is also in Georgetown. Good food and the room is very tastefully done. plus $1 Coors beer on Friday and Saturday. Also don't forget the small pizza place in the corner by Kroger. Buy one slice - its really 3 small slices and its good. I always appreciate places that sell decent pizza by the slice.