|One Dunwoody neighbor makes clear what he DOESN'T want in place of Old Hickory House|
Dunwoody recently witnessed the closure of one of the oldest restaurants in metro Atlanta. Old Hickory House on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road had been a landmark for decades but abruptly closed about a week ago. The restaurant, which served breakfast, lunch and dinner, posted a sign saying it was closed temporarily "for renovations," but sources at Old Hickory House in Tucker indicate the closure is permanent.
The parcel the restaurant sits on offers great visibility and is close to many desirable neighborhoods. Given the issues Chick-fil-A experienced in their attempts to open in Dunwoody Village, (they eventually opened in a retrofitted Arby's nearby), I doubt very much a fast food restaurant would try to open. It's quite possible that a restaurant, or anything other than a bank, opens, but regardless, the building will likely be demolished.
Since the Dunwoody closure leaves metro Atlanta with just one Old Hickory House, I wanted to take moment, as I've previously done with Blockbuster Video and Donatos, to reflect upon their former locations.
William and Frances Black founded the company in 1953, and at its height, operated approximately 20 locations in at least three southern states. Additionally, Old Hickory House had a corporate office on Piedmont Road in Buckhead, and a commissary in Doraville.
The Black's children later ran the family business with T. Jack Black and his first wife Ann playing integral roles in the company. T. Jack was heavily involved in the 80s and 90s, but had taken a step back lately, given his age. Ann owned the Dunwoody location, and her brother-in-law George Jackson operates the Tucker restaurant, according to an employee in Tucker.
I'm too young to remember all of these, but my research indicates Old Hickory House had a number of great locations.
Please find below metro Atlanta's former places to "put some south in your mouth."
2915 Piedmont Road (corporate offices) within an existing office park.
5490 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road (Dunwoody) Closed as of last week.
265 Pharr Road (Buckhead) - Today home to the Atlanta Fish Market
3579 Memorial Drive (Decatur) - Most recently home to "China Cafeteria"
5611 Memorial Drive (Stone Mountain) - Most recently home to "The Bridge Cafe"
2965 Buford Highway (Brookhaven) -Today home to Hi-Speed Carwash
2655 South Cobb Parkway (Marietta) - Today home to Swapna Indian Cuisine
1600 Piedmont Avenue (Midtown) - Today home to Cowtippers Steaks & Spirits.
1479 Scott Boulevard (Decatur) - According to The Atlanta Time Machine, this location has always served BBQ. In the early 1950s the restaurant was known as Old Hickory Inn. A few years later it became the Old Hickory House and stayed that way until the 1990s. The restaurant later became Big Greg's Barbecue, which lasted a few years. Following that, it was re-opened as Rockin' Rob's, another barbecue restaurant. Rockin' Rob's lasted for a couple of years or so and was later replaced by Maddy's, another barbecue restaurant. Maddy's closed a few years ago. In early 2012, Fox Bros Rib Joint announced they were going to open a new restaurant in the Maddy's space, but later abandoned their plans. In late 2012, 101 Concepts planned to open their Meehan's Public House concept at the old Maddy's, but they too later called off their plans. Today, the restaurant is vacant.
6420 Roswell Road (Sandy Springs) - Today the land is home to adult entertainment venue Flashers.
633 North Cobb Parkway - Today home to Brandt Auto Brokers (a used car lot)
424 Forest Parkway (Forest Park) - Today the site sits vacant with the restaurant having been demolished many years ago.
2834 Washington Road and 3026 Washington Road (Augusta) Old Hickory House reportedly moved from one location to the next. Their first location is today a Hooters, while their second location is a Denny's.
2202 Northlake Parkway (Tucker) - Today this location is the last remaining of the chain.
In Charlotte, North Carolina...
6538 North Tryon Street - Despite a fire this past February, this Old Hickory House is still open and still popular, according to locals. An original Charlotte location reportedly opened in 1957 on Freedom Drive with the current location having replaced it in 1972. The Old Hickory House in Charlotte was never owned by T. Jack or Ann although their father William did assist in getting it up and running. The Charlotte location was kept in the family though with brothers Bobby and Gene Carter, cousins of William, operating the restaurant. Today Bobby and Gene's sons, Kevin and David, run the restaurant.
There were also reportedly locations in Athens, Tallahassee, and Chattanooga but despite my best efforts, I was unable to confirm when or where they were located.
Please share your Old Hickory House memories in the comment section below.