Monday, February 27, 2017

Tom + Chee Shutters Second Site in Atlanta

Former Tom + Chee in Alpharetta
Grilled cheese eatery closes second Atlanta area location

Tom + Chee, the Cincinnati, OH based grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant, has closed its  Alpharetta franchise.  ToNeTo Atlanta readers report that the restaurant closed this past weekend.

A user left a review this past Friday indicated that they enjoyed their meal that day.  A reviewer on Saturday reported they tried to go to Tom + Chee for lunch around 1pm but found the restaurant closed.

The 2,342 square foot Tom + Chee in Alpharetta opened in February 2015 and was located in Stone Walk, a small strip center on North Point Drive near North Point Mall.  The center is anchored by an approximately 12,000 square foot Guitar Center and is also home to Piece of Cake, Chicken Salad Chick and Salon Lofts, among other tenants.

The Alpharetta closing comes on the heels of the last month's closure of the Tom + Chee on Howell Mill Road in West Midtown.  The Buford franchise, owned by the same group as the West Midtown restaurant, gets my vote for next to close with the Kennesaw location likely to be the last one standing locally.  

After receiving an equity investment from "shark" Barbara Corcoran on ABC's Shark Tank in 2013, Tom + Chee began to rapidly expand, growing from three locations to upwards of 50 with reportedly "over 25,000 franchise requests." 

Franchised  Tom + Chee  restaurants in O’Fallon, MO, Lexington, KY and Louisville, KY closed last month as well. 

Overall, franchisees have closed over a dozen Tom + Chee locations over the past couple of years including one in Carrboro, NC that closed last year after six months in business.

The former Tom + Chee in West Midtown is expected to reopen later this year as Holler & Dash, a new breakfast and lunch restaurant. There is no word yet on what may take the space of Tom + Chee in Alpharetta.   

Are you surprised to see Tom + Chee struggling so much?  Were you a patron of Tom + Chee in Alpharetta?  What would you like to see open in place of Tom + Chee in Alpharetta?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Having never been to one, the name of the place did it for me. I don't eat grilled cheese sandwiches or tomato soup so I've never been curious to try it. You can say "they have other great sandwiches"! Well, then call your business something else.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time and money. Don't get caught in the whirlwind of a new franchise opportunity. Wait for the dust to settle and the concept to prove itself.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, the one time I went to that location, it was jam packed with people. Took well over 20 minutes to get a couple of grilled cheeses.
Horrible location, that shopping center was a horrible place for a high volume fastfood store.

AJ said...

@Anon @ 11:42AM - You don't eat grilled cheese or tomato soup, so I wouldn't think this restaurant is for you. Their name is accurate. Do they have other sandwiches - yes. But it's really a grilled cheese restaurant. I'm not a big cheese fan, but I like mozzarella on a sandwich, so my "grilled cheese" is really something like Turkey, bacon, and mozzarella. But sandwiches are all grilled and all come with cheese (though you can get a sandwich without cheese). Personally, I want the name of a restaurant to be accurate... Don't forget, Burger King sells chicken and fish. What's in a name...

jeff a. taylor said...

Like I said last month, you NEED a ton of foot traffic to begin to make this work as a lunch option. I cannot imagine a worse location than that strip center -- except maybe every other strip center dopey owners put these things in.

Anonymous said...

Too niche of a concept with a name that limits bringing in potential customers. A lot of people do not care for acidic tomato soup and/or grilled lactose so yes the name is restricting and limited. I can't believe someone actually brought up a long standing fast food mega chain as a comparison. What's in the name McDonalds?

Anonymous said...

Same experience - went there and it was packed and took over 20 minutes to get 2 of 3 sandwiches ordered. Also their food doesn't travel well so if you have to take it to go because there are no free tables a cold grill cheese isn't appealing. It was a bad location too!! I felt like the staff was in over their head.

Anonymous said...

The whole franchise is collapsing. The locations still open make little money at best. Many of the owners have to work with no or little pay. Not a good investment. I know first hand.

Anonymous said...

I watched the original pitch on Shark Tank. Thought it was stupid
at best. Surprised Barbara took them up on it.