Wednesday, June 4, 2014

One of Atlanta's Oldest LongHorn Locations Goes Up In Flames


One of Atlanta's oldest LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants caught fire early this morning, destroying the building. Located on North Druid Hills Road near LaVista Road, the LongHorn has been a Toco Hills mainstay for over 30 years. George McKerrow, Jr. opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse on Peachtree Road in south Buckhead in 1981.  (The original location is now an Enterprise rent-a-car office.)

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but while the fire reportedly started between 1:30 and 2AM, multiple fire crews were still on site after 8AM this morning putting out hot spots.  

Heavy machinery was already onsite that will reportedly be used to demolish the building.  

The building was originally a Sambo's and later a Skeeter's Mesquite Grille, a predacessor to LongHorn and also operated by George McKerrow Jr.  

Today LongHorn is owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, who has yet to release a statement regarding a potential rebuilding of the location.  

For now, diners in need of their LongHorn fix should head to nearby LongHorn locations on Hugh Howell Road in Tucker or on Piedmont Road near the Lindbergh MARTA station.  

Darden announced last month they would sell their flagship chain, Red Lobster, to Golden Gate Capital in a deal valued at $2.1 billion.  LongHorn is reportedly one of the company's stronger chains which has seen sales increases over the past few quarters and now includes about 450 locations.  


The front entrance of Longhorn with severe damage to the rear 

A view from the parking lot of Einstein Bros. Bagels

Potential demolition machinery along North Druid Hills Road 

The heavily damaged side (closest to the kitchen if memory serves)

The LongHorn sign on North Druid Hills reminding the community how long they've been around 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is a sad sight. I grew up in that area, and remember it when it was Sambo's, Skeeters, and then Longhorn. I liked Skeeters the most. I wish McKerrow had not abandoned that concept and then sold Longhorn.

Anonymous said...

The Outback in Toco Hills seemed to kill this place in terms of business. It's interesting to note that the Outback has done a series of interior facelifts, but last time I was in this LongHorn it was not updated. I wonder if they'll rebuild.

Anonymous said...

Little know trivia: the business that preceded Longhorn in its first Peachtree location was an adult book store with windows painted yellow. It had books, vhs movies, and peep show booths and toys. I did not venture into that Longhorn for years.

Later,I was a frequent visitor to Skeeters. I agree, it was better than Longhorn. I miss George's influence too. Longhorn ain't what it used to be in its heyday.

Anonymous said...

We ate at this Longhorn on Mother's Day. We have always preferred this location--good service and good food (they seem to have a good handle on the various degrees of done-ness). The Toco Outback is loud, so-so service, and poorly cooked steaks. Hope they rebuild. I also saw a local TV news sound bite that Longhorn was working to relocate their employees to other branches.

Anonymous said...

Can't stand Outback.. too salty and poorly cooked. This LongHorn seemed to do a good, consistent business, as was the food.

Anonymous said...

Outback SUCKS. They're severely overpriced for what you get and their steaks are mediocre at BEST.
➜I'll take Longhorn EVERY time.