Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Denny's Hoping for a "Grand Slam" in Atlanta Return

Former NFL stars plan to open as many as 20 new Denny's in  metro Atlanta.

Spartanburg, South Carolina-based Denny's has signed a new franchise agreement with former NFL players Donnell Thompson and Ronald Wooten to to re-enter the metro Atlanta market with as many as 20 new restaurants.  Four are in the works for Snellville, Douglasville, Hapeville and Brookhaven. 

The Brookhaven location, on Buford Highway, is slated to open in late May or early June. The Snellville restaurant would likely open next, followed by the Dougslasville and Hapeville locations.  

In Brookhaven, Denny's plans to open at 2991 Buford Highway, currently operating as Wheels & Deals  used car dealership.  Before Wheels & Deals, the lot was known as Mega Cars though it was originally built as a Captain D's restaurant.  Today the most significant and popular neighbors are the Pink Pony, the controversial gentlemen's club and Lips, the relatively new drag show and dining establishment. 

Interestingly, a mere two tenths of a mile from the upcoming Denny's is a former Denny's restaurant, albeit much larger. Built during Denny's heyday, the former restaurant is "Diner Style" and is easily twice as big as the upcoming location. Zuffy's Place, recently renamed Montie's Public House, is the building's current occupant.  

In Douglasville, Denny's was looking to open in a former Hooters on Concourse Parkway near Walmart, but apparently those plans have fallen apart. Denny's is reportedly actively working to secure a new site in Douglasville. 

I can think of a number of vacant restaurant spaces on or off of Scenic Highway in Snellville, but I have been as yet unable to confirm precisely where Denny's has chosen to open.  

I'm far less familiar with Hapeville, and honestly have no idea where they might choose to open or what may be on the market.  

Denny's once had quite a few locations in metro Atlanta, but today their store count had dwindled to only a handful.

RWDT Foods Inc., the partners' company already owns & operates four Denny's restaurants, three in North Carolina and one in Georgia.  

The Fayetteville, North Carolina location is a converted Wendy's, the Charlotte location is a former Black Eyed Pea restaurant, while the Gainesville, Georgia location is a converted Smokey Bones Barbecue.  As far as I know, Denny's was the original tenant of the Durham location. 

Making use of a second generation restaurant space is an easy way to trim costs and shorten construction time.  

Where would you like to see Denny's open next in metro Atlanta?  

What is your favorite diner or diner style restaurant in Atlanta?  

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

Could the "Snellville" Denny's be opening in the new Snellville Exchange shopping center that's under construction directly north of The Shoppes at Webb Gin at 1190 Scenic Highway and, ironically, has a Lawrenceville mailing address? There's a number of outparcels in that power center, so it would be the perfect spot for a new Denny's. To date, only Hobby Lobby and Carmike Cinemas have been announced as tenants, but my guess is that, based on the few big box retailers absent from that market, there's likely also to be a few of the following: Dick's, HomeGoods, Cost Plus World Market, and Fresh Market.

SB said...

Their former location near Chamblee Dunwoody Rd and 285 is available for them to reclaim!

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous "Snellville" comment - Yes you are correct that Snellville Exchange is in unicorporated Gwinnett with a Lawrenceville address. That would be my initial thought for the "Snellville" Denny's location.

Carmike oddly pulled out of that center just before grading began. Most are anxiously awaiting word on who the major tenants will be. Since Sprouts Farmers Market will be in the Shoppes Webb Gin right next door, I have my doubts about another better grocery chain. Although I do have my fingers crossed for a Fresh Market, the income demographics might not work for them.

I love this site. Thanks for the updates. It is nice to find current infor for the booming Snellville / 124 corridor especially since Patch seems to have gone bust.

Anonymous said...

The former Denny's that's now Zuffy's/Montie's was a Steak and Shake before it was a Denny's (S&S closed in the mid-80's). Not sure if that was the building's first occupant.

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: former occupants,

Are you sure it was a Steak 'n Shake rather than a Steak and Ale.

TheJohnP said...

The Steak and Shake on Buford was several buildings down the road from Zuffy's/Montie's. Think it's some Hispanic grocery now, but it was a freestanding Turtle's Records that relocated from Northeast Plaza after SnS closed.

Atlantan99 said...


Thanks for the clarification. Turtle's Records = serious throwback (for me).

Thanks for the comments and readership.

Kennesaw Resident said...

We would welcome one in Kennesaw . . .

Anonymous said...

Would love one in Conyers too (perhaps on Iris Drive near West Avenue in former Fish House restaurant between Longhorn and McDonald's)... or Covington (perhaps on Turner Lake Road near US-278 & I-20 in former Shoney's restaurant in Food Depot shopping center)... or maybe both. Just a thought.

Rich said...

Would be great to bring one back to Marietta. I have a family of 8 and all of us worked at a Denny's at one time or another and our mom worked for Denny's for over 20 years. She is always asking me if there will ever be another Denny's around here. We now have to drive about an hour to eat there. Can't wait for one to come this way.

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