Monday, March 4, 2019

[UPDATE] Two Years After Opening, Chuy's in Akers Mill Square Near Cumberland Mall Has Closed

Just over two years after its Cumberland area debut, Chuy's, a Tex-Mex eatery, has closed its location in Akers Mill Square. The roughly 6,500 square foot restaurant opened in late February 2017 and closed this past Friday March 1.  There was reportedly no advance warning to customers of the closure.
All exterior signage has been removed from the restaurant and a sign posted to the restaurant's front door reads: "We regrettably have permanently closed this location. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are grateful for your support and hope to serve you soon at our other restaurants Thank you." 

The first Atlanta area Chuy's opened on Perimeter Center West near Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody in 2011.  A second location was added on Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw in 2014. 

The Akers Mill Chuy's was the third location in the Atlanta market for the Austin, Texas-based chain.  A fourth location opened in Alpharetta's Liberty Village, across from Avalon, in late 2017.  A fifth location was to open as part of Fuqua Development's Peachtree Corners Town Center development, but plans for that location were reportedly abandoned.

Chuy's is now the third restaurant to close in Akers Mill Square in the past few months following the closures of Subway and Pollo Tropical.  Subway's closure was reportedly related to "a rent issue," while the Pollo Tropical closure was part of the company's overall withdrawal from the Atlanta market and was one of nine Atlanta area locations the chain closed this past December. 

The Akers Mill Pollo Tropical is likely seen as the crown jewel of their former Atlanta area locations given its location along Cobb Parkway with tremendous visibility and recent construction. 

Sources close to Chuy's indicate that the restaurant's location in the interior portion of the center, with basically zero visibility from Cobb Parkway, played a large role in the decision to close.  The restaurant reportedly never turned a profit in its two years of operation and the company, now publicly traded, NASDAQ: CHUY, decided enough was enough. 

Chuy's was one of three restaurants to occupy portions of the former Circuit City, with Grub Burger Bar and LongHorn Steakhouse being the other two, but the others each had better visibility than the Tex-Mex eatery.  

Despite the recent restaurant closures, Akers Mill remains a popular center with a pair of recent and upcoming openings, each backfilling vacant space.  Total Wine opened this past November in the former Sports Authority while Hobby Lobby is slated to open April 15 in the former Toys R Us.  

Are you surprised that Chuy's closed at Akers Mill Square?  What would you like to see open in place of Chuy's or Pollo Tropical at Akers Mill Square?  What is your favorite Cumberland area restaurant?

Please share your thoughts below  

6 comments:

CloseOTP said...

I'm a big Chuy's fan and went to this location often. But I've been saying for months that they'd eventually close. It was never crowded. I guess I'll be driving to Kennesaw &/or Perimeter. Hopefully they'll last!

Anonymous said...

That’s a bummer. Nice option before Braves games to avoid The Battery wait times. And waaayyy better than El Felix. Hopefully the Kennesaw location remains open. Forever.

Anonymous said...

We ate there all the time, but it was terribly managed. It seemed like every 6 months they'd bring in a guy who would right the ship, but a month or two later you'd see the same issues. It's a shame, because it's a good concept/good food, so I don't think there is anything inherent about Cumberland that makes it inhospitable to a Chuys being successful.

Anonymous said...

It was definitely an operations issue, especially in comparison to other locations that I have visited. It will be a great location for another restaurant.

TexasDawn1 said...

So sad. My favorite restaurant chain. Was nice to have one so close to home.:(

Unknown said...

Interesting. I'd chalk it up to a management issue including lack of good advertising and promo. I've lived in three different states with each having wait times at the various Chuy's locations especially during evening hours. I hope the other locations hang on well although will be a hike for my family.

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