Chicken joint calls it quits
The Church's Chicken at the corner of North Decatur Road and Church Street, near Decatur, has closed. The restaurant, which seemed destined for closure given the development around it, quietly shuttered within the past 48 hours. Permanent signage has been removed from all portions of the property aside from two forgotten promotional signs in the grass out front.
The Decatur area restaurant was reportedly a franchised unit, owned and operated by "FRIS CHKN LLC," a franchisee who once had nearly 200 Church's restaurants.
Church's, previously part of AFC Enterprises, was once paired with its larger rival, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. Following AFC's 2004 sale of Church's to First Islamic Investment Bank (today known as Arcapita), the two brands once again became independent entities with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc (the new name of AFC) growing far larger. Interestingly, both corporations are based in metro Atlanta.
Overall, Church's, which still operates a number of metro Atlanta locations, has been on retrenchment rather than expansion mode in the metro area. Following the North Decatur closure, the next closest Church's are on Candler Road, Moreland Avenue, Mountain Industrial Boulevard and Bankhead Highway, none especially convenient for those in the Decatur area.
Church's, which once operated a location on Ponce de Leon Avenue and Boulevard, opened in a converted KFC in 2011 before closing in early 2013.
As Zaxby's, Chick-fil-A, Popeyes and most recently, Bojangles' continue to expand in metro Atlanta, it will be interesting to see how Church's fares.
The Church's in Decatur, which still appears on the corporate website and is still active for agents at the company's call center, could be an ideal parcel for a bank.
Given the Fuqua Development project (Decatur Crossing) next door, newly redeveloped Suburban Plaza center catty-corner and the upcoming 365 by Whole Foods Market-anchored center across the street, the Church's property, while only six tenths of an acre, will surely be in demand.
What would you like to see open in place of Church's? What Decatur area project are you most excited about? If a bank does open on the property, which bank do you think it will be?
Please share your thoughts below.