Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zesto Building on Ponce to "remain the same" For New Restaurant

Cook-Out replacing Zesto on Ponce de Leon Avenue.

North Carolina-based Cook-Out is the previously "undisclosed buyer" of the Zesto on Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward.  I surmised they might be the buyer in my earlier post, and have now received confirmation. Zesto is due to close this Saturday, September 20th, and renovations should begin shortly thereafter.  

The Zesto building, which earned the Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s Award for Architectural Excellence in 1991, will be retrofitted to suit Cook-Out's needs.  

A permit filed today with the City of Atlanta calls for interior renovations including a new layout, walls, doors, electrical systems, lighting, plumbing, mechanical, kitchen equipment, flooring, ceiling finishes, and paint. The iconic exterior, however, “will remain the same,” according to the application.  Cookout is expected to spend an estimated $85,000 in upgrades.

According to the city of Atlanta, the Zesto land and building is valued at about $1.5M and sits on about an acre.  (The property is actually two separate parcels, 540 and 544 Ponce de Leon Avenue) 

While I've been unable to confirm it, sources say Cook-Out paid "above market value" for their site on Northside Drive after facing competition from a number of other restaurants.  With knowledge now that Chick-fil-A and another North Carolina-based diner are interested in the Ponce area, Cook-Out undoubtedly paid a pretty penny to secure this location.  

Cook-Out already has a location open on Moreland Avenue near East Atlanta Village and one coming soon to Northside Drive near Georgia Tech.  

The Northside Drive Cook-Out is finally progressing again and should open before the end of the year.  Other Cook-Out locations in Kennesaw and Morrow are also reportedly on schedule to open by year end.  

Additional Cook-Out openings in Georgia will occur early next year in Oakwood, Lithonia, Warner Robbins and Augusta.

Since entering Georgia last year, Cook-Out has already opened locations in Statesboro, Augusta (2), Athens, Pooler, Savannah, Milledgeville and Rome, in addition to the aforementioned location on Moreland Avenue in Atlanta.

If you're unfamiliar with it, Cook-Out's menu consists largely of burgers, hot dogs and chicken "cooked outdoors style," North Carolina BBQ, fries and over 35 flavors of milkshakes.  Yearlong flavors like "Orange Push Up" and "Banana Pineapple" are among the more interesting milkshake flavors, while seasonal options like "Fresh Watermelon" (July & August) and "Fresh Egg Nog" (December) are also very popular.


Are you happy to hear this news?  Does Cook-Out replacing Zesto sound better to you than Chick-fil-A?  Where should Cook-Out open next?  

Please share your thoughts.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finally! More Cookouts in the ATL!!!! Can't wait for the Panola Rd former Mrs Winners in Lithonia to be converted to Cookout. Bojangles is about to open also on Panola Rd. It would be nice to see Cookout replace the former Checkers on Covington Hwy and the location on Lawrencville @ North Druid Hills.

Anonymous said...

Finally! More Cookouts in the ATL!!!! Can't wait for the Panola Rd former Mrs Winners in Lithonia to be converted to Cookout. Bojangles is about to open also on Panola Rd. It would be nice to see Cookout replace the former Checkers on Covington Hwy and the location on Lawrencville @ North Druid Hills.

Anonymous said...

They do have good milkshakes

Anonymous said...

I guess there is room for more burger places...

Anonymous said...

Anything is better than a Chick-fil-A.

And if they are serving true Eastern North Carolina-style BBQ (vinegar vs. tomato based sauce) that will be awesome.

Anonymous said...

We need The Cookout in Ellenwood/ Anvil block road