Pizza Hut has closed its freestanding "hut" in Chamblee making it an official UTBAPH (Used to be a Pizza Hut). The restaurant, which also housed the chain's WingStreet business, was located at 5577 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and was owned by Overland Park, Kansas-based NPC International. NPC is the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the country with over 1200 locations in 27 states.
The restaurant quietly closed last week and has already been stripped of all signage and painted over where residue from signage would have made it legible. Despite this, the location was still marked as open on both the NPC International website and Yelp.com.
NPC as well as other Pizza Hut operators around the country and around the world continue to abandon freestanding "huts" in favor of smaller, more efficient inline locations.
This shift reflects an overall change in the tastes and preferences of today's consumers. If you want "cheap" pizza like Pizza Hut or Papa John's, chances are you prefer it be delivered rather than sitting down and eating it at the restaurant. Back in the day, I totally looked forward to my free personal pan pizza (dine in only if I recall) reward from the company's Book It! kids' reading program. Amazingly the program still exists today having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
A new, 1,300 square foot Pizza Hut is expected to open in March in a new multi-tenant building constructed in place of a shuttered Checkers. The property which sits at 5485 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, across the street from Chamblee Plaza, will also be home to Jimmy John's and an at&t store.
Locally, Amy Fingerhut of CBRE, assists NPC in their un-hut-ing efforts.
In recent years, NPC has vacated freestanding hut locations in Buckhead on Piedmont Road and near Northlake Mall on Henderson Mill Road. In each case they reopened inline locations nearby. The Buckhead hut was demolished and rebuilt as a Chase Bank while the Northlake hut was taken to its foundation and rebuilt as a Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The 2,000 square foot Chamblee hut is currently "for lease" so hopefully it will be saved from the wrecking ball but with something better than Title Bucks or a pawn shop, please.
While there are a dwindling number of Pizza Hut operated hut locations remaining, NPC continues to operate at least two in metro Atlanta and on Peachtree Parkway in Norcross and Buford Highway in Brookhaven. NPC also operates hut locations in Lilburn, Buford, Winder, Loganville, Alpharetta, Commerce and Oakwood, among others.
One of the oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut restaurants in metro Atlanta closed last year on Collier Road. In business for over 40 years, the restaurant closed last January and is expected to reopen soon as "DAS BBQ."
For more UTBAPHs, click here.
What would you like to see the former Pizza Hut in Chamblee become? What is your favorite hut conversion in metro Atlanta? What is your favorite delivery-centric pizza business in metro Atlanta?
Please share your thoughts below