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.