Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tucker Rings in the New Year with New Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A will soon do the unthinkable: increase its restaurant count inside the perimeter (ITP). At the cusp of I-285 on LaVista Road in Tucker, Chick-Fil-A will open on an outparcel at Northlake Festival that housed a Taco Bell for years, until its closure last January. Chick-Fil-A first proposed the restaurant to the Northlake community over the summer and later received approval. Demolition of the
existing structure and parking lot began in earnest a few days ago. Also within Northlake Festival, not far from CFA, is a Jason's Deli and just south of the CFA, is a shuttered Fuddrucker's. It's possible the Fuddrucker's space will become more attractive to potential restaurateurs once the Chick-Fil-A opens May 12th.

Currently Chick-Fil-A has a location across the street in Northlake Mall but I would not be surprised to see it close in the wake of the FSU (Free Standing Unit) opening. (This is just a thought, and is not confirmed.) Not far away, CFA closed their location within the struggling North DeKalb Mall but left open its triple drive thru restaurant on North Druid Hills outside the mall. Having grown up in the area, I've personally witnessed the decline and deteriorating store counts at both North DeKalb and Northlake and feel this consolidation is a possibility given the greater traffic and appeal of the FSU.

At Gwinnett Place Mall, another struggling area mall in Duluth, Chick-Fil-A closed their location within the mall, keeping open their FSU location on Satellite Boulevard. While not exactly companion locations, given that the Satellite location is closer to Discover Mills (with no CFA) than to Gwinnett Place, I think it's safe to say that the location does get customers who formerly patronized GPM.

In Dunwoody, where Perimeter Mall is home to a Chick-Fil-A and has a companion location in Perimeter Pointe shopping center (both operated by operator Alex Rodriguez), Dunwoody homeowners have fought Chick-Fil-A's planned FSU at the intersection of Mount Vernon Highway and Dunwoody Club Drive. A post of mine on this issue received a number of comments, some shedding light on the fact that zoning or rezoning as the case may be can be a very tricky obstacle for restaurants to overcome. The fact that the land previously housed another fast food restaurant with a drive-thru surely helped the Northlake site progress. The Dunwoody site is home to a shuttered Blockbuster Video and CFA's planned drive-thru is one of the most significant sticking points for many opponents.

Having heard Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-Fil-A speak at a presentation in Buckhead last year, I was shocked to learn that out of the over 20,000 applications to operate a Chick-Fil-A that the company receives annually, only 50-70 make the cut. I like CFA a lot, but perhaps my chances of ever owning one are about as good as me winning the lottery.

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Anonymous said...

A small side note.
The CFA that is in Tucker at the corner of Lawrenceville Hwy and Hugh Howell is going to undergo a major renovation in the next several months and will increase to a double drive thru from a single drive thru.

Atlantan99 said...

Hello Anon,

Thanks for the tip. The location in Chamblee on Peachtree Industrial is also closed for a massive renovation.

thejohnp said...

I think one of the reasons that Taco Bell closed was even though it had Lavista frontage, the driveway to the restaurant just felt buried inside the Northlake Festival shopping center. Thus making it hard for people to just pull in, get food and pull out. I was sad to see this TB close as it was the closest one to my house that wasn't a combo location.

Not sure if Chick-Fil-A will be able to make any changes and add an entry/exit on Lavista (I highly doubt it), but it may prove an obstacle to the popularity of this location.

And as a side note, got to taste the new spicy chicken biscuit this week and it is a winner!

randy732 said...

Don't forget the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House on Pleasant Hill in Duluth :)

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