Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wendy's Reactivating Ruined Roswell Road Restaurant

Sandy Springs Wendy’s to reopen after fire

An Atlanta area Wendy's restaurant is currently undergoing renovations with plans to reopen in May.  The Wendy's, located at 8455 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs has been closed since a fire on January 12th, 2014 caused significant damage to the restaurant.  The reasons for the over three year delay are not entirely clear, but apparently there was a multi-year long arbitration process between PAP Enterprises, the Wendy’s franchisee, and its insurance provider.

The renovated restaurant is expected to incorporate some of the brand's "image activation" elements that were recently added to existing Wendy's restaurants on Howell Mill Road on the Westside, Boulevard in the Old Fourth Ward and on Piedmont Road in Midtown, among others. 

This is the second metro Atlanta restaurant to sit vacant for an extended period of time following a serious fire.  A June 4th 2014 fire at the LongHorn Steakhouse on North Druid Hills Road in Toco Hills left the restaurant on the sidelines for over two years.  The restaurant, one of the chain's oldest locations, was demolished and rebuilt and reopened this past August.  In a strange coincidence, my contact at LongHorn in the months following the fire was Heidi Schauer who at the time was the brand's Manager of Public Relations & Communications.  This past July, Schauer accepted the position of Director Corporate Communications for The Wendy's Company.

In Wendy's fiscal fourth quarter results announcement last month, the Company reported that it opened nearly 150 new restaurants around the world in 2016, its highest total of new store openings since 2005.  Wendy's is now the world's third largest quick-service burger chain with more than 6,500 restaurants in 29 countries and U.S. territories. 

"We believe we can grow the Wendy's system by approximately 1,000 restaurants and $2 billion in sales by 2020, resulting in a global system of about 7,500 restaurants generating $12 billion in sales."  President and CEO Todd Penegor said in a statement.

Overall, Georgia is one of Wendy's' largest markets with nearly 280 locations as of January 1, 2017.  Georgia is just ahead of California's 261 locations but behind Texas with 390 locations, Wendys' home state of Ohio, with 409 locations, and Florida, which had the most Wendy's, with 500 restaurants as of January 1, 2017. 

In Atlanta, Wendy's has been renovating older restaurants but also closing some as either their leases ran out or the land on which they were built became too valuable.  

Wendy's closed its popular Buckhead restaurant on Peachtree Road in 2014. PNC Bank built a new branch on the property in 2015.  In south Buckhead on Peachtree Road, as well as o on Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs, former Wendy's restaurants are being replaced by Starbucks. 

A former Wendy's on Stone Mountain Highway in Lilburn was converted into a Panda Express while another on Roswell Road in Roswell reopened as a TitleMax office.  Others on Bankhead Highway in Carrollton, South Cobb Drive in Smyrna and on LaVista Road near Northlake Mall, among others, remain vacant.  

An existing, currently operating Wendy's in Sandy Springs on Roswell Road near Johnson Ferry Road is slated to be replaced by a relocated SunTrust Bank branch in the coming months.  I was unable to get an projected closure date either from Wendy's locally nor from the corporate office.  

Are you pleased to hear that the Sandy Springs Wendy's is reopening?  What do you think of the brand's updated "image activation" look as seen at restaurants on Boulevard and on Roswell Road in Marietta?  Where would you like to see Wendy's open next? Of the quick serve burger joints in Atlanta, which is your favorite? Why?

Please share your thoughts below.  

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wendy's has also closed former locations on Memorial Dr in Stone Mountain, Wesley Chapel Rd in Decatur, 2 locations in Lithonia on Evans Mill Rd and outside of Stonecrest Mall.

Adam Freedman, Dunwoody PC, LLC said...

That's great. Whenever I'm driving that stretch of Roswell Road between Northridge (or even Abernathy) and the Hootch, there's not that many fast food places worth going to. Chick-Fil-A is fine if you have screaming kids, Arby's is ok but chopped-and-formed roast beef is not adult food, Bojangles is terrible (sorry, given 3 times to get it right), Moe's is sit-down, don't care if you have a drive-thru window, you're not fooling anyone. I need my Single, no-cheese, no-mayo.

Anonymous said...

The Frontera Restaurant on Powers Ferry Rd has been sitting like a blackened shell for almost two years since the fire. Are they rebuilding?

jeff a. taylor said...

What in the world did Bojangles screw up that bad? It was been bullet-proof for me with biscuits in the AM.

Anonymous said...

They're replacing the Wendy's next to City Springs with another frigging bank, are you kidding me? They spend hundreds of millions of dollars to turn that area into a place to attract pedestrians, and then let what is probably going to be one of the most prominent pieces of real estate in that area go to a bank? I give up on Sandy Springs. I wish I had never supported cityhood...

Anonymous said...

To Adam, I quit eating Wendy's over 30 years ago because no matter how many times I said NO CHEESE, they always fouled it up.

Rodney Owen said...

Why doesn't Georgia have more Hardee's restaurants? It seemed as though there were more of them back in the 1970s and 1980s, but the vast majority closed in the 1990s. There is no Hardee's anywhere near my home.

Anonymous said...

Since when do Cities "let" banks have land? The bank bought the land at market rate and are building a bank in accordance with zoning and the cities comprehensive plan. Your city had nothing to do with this or say in the matter. Sure they can make banks conditional uses in the entire city but then they run the risk of being sued and undoubtedly losing if they turn one down because there is nothing wrong with banks in central business districts.

Anonymous said...

Damn another useless/eyesore bank!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right. If you are trying to make an area pedestrian friendly, walkable, and vibrant, yet another bank branch goes pretty strongly against that goal.