Friday, April 28, 2017

First Freestanding Chick-fil-A to be Demolished and Rebuilt

Historic Chick-fil-A to be rebuilt. 
The Chick-fil-A restaurant on North Druid Hills Road at Briarcliff Road is expected to close in July.  The restaurant, the first freestanding ever with the Chick-fil-A brand, opened on April 16, 1986.  The restaurant will be demolished and rebuilt with plans to reopen in November. "Both of the mentioned dates are not definitive." 

Although the restaurant has been renovated many times in its 31 year history, the decision was made to start from scratch and rebuild.

I'd heard about these plans for months but only recently have they been firmed up to the point where employees have been informed and the permitting process has begun.

In collaboration with the local operator, Greg Mapoles, and Chick-fil-A's real estate team, I was able to confirm a few facts relating to the new restaurant.  

The new Chick-fil-A will be the same size as the current restaurant and will have an inside playground.  

While the restaurant will be the same size, there have been many advancements in restaurant design in the past 30 years, so the new restaurant should be more efficient in every possible way.  

Last month, Chick-fil-A closed their Dwarf House restaurant in Newnan.  Like the North Druid Hills restaurant, the Newnan Dwarf House was older, (built in 1993), and is being replaced with a new restaurant.  During the time the restaurant is being rebuilt, a temporary Chick-fil-A, constructed of five shipping containers, was assembled on the restaurant's property to both provide food to customers (about 2/3 of the menu) and also retain the jobs of the restaurant's 100 employees.  The Newnan location is expected to reopen later this summer as "Truett's Chick-fil-A restaurant."
The temporary Chick-fil-A in Newnan
While  “No, there will not be a pop up container for the North Druid Hills location," employees who do wish to keep working will be offered temporary jobs at other nearby locations and or with corporate. 

Chick-fil-A repesentatives indicated that it was too early to discuss what, if any, special celebrations may take place to commemorate the historic restaurant's reopening.  Based on the openings of other Atlanta area Chick-fil-A restaurants that have been rebuilt (Windy Hill, and soon, Akers Mill), I would expect the restaurant to offer some variation of the First 100 promotion.  

The Akers Mill Chick-fil-A will celebrate its reopening with the First 100 promotion next month.  The restaurant will a provide year's worth of free food (52 #1 meals) to the first 100 adults who stay at the restaurant for a full day in advance of the planned May 11th opening. Complete rules and qualifications can be found here

In addition to the North Druid Hills, Windy Hill and Akers Mill rebuilds, other Chick-fil-A rebuilds are expected in Douglasville and Sandy Springs.  Both locations are drive-thru only, and will reportedly remain that way after being rebuilt.  The Sandy Springs location is in the 8400 block of Roswell Road, while the Douglasville location is in the 5800 block of Fairburn Road.  Both rebuilds are expected to take place later this year.  

There are a number of other Chick-fil-A restaurants in metro Atlanta built around the same time as North Druid Hills and shortly after, that could also be rebuilt.  

These locations include restaurants in Douglasville, Tucker, Chamblee, Doraville, Duluth (2), Smyrna, East Cobb, Marietta and Lilburn, among  others.  

Do you live near North Druid Hills and are excited for the new restaurant?  Where will you get your Chick-fil-A fix while the restaurant is closed?  What is your favorite menu item at Chick-fil-A?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

I hate this location, it's always busy and a pain in the ass to go thru the drive thru and parking is a pain... getting in and out is a pain! Also, last couple of times their sandwiches have been very greasy and the waffle fries cold. I have that this point I drive all the way to chamblee and get better food and service.

Anonymous said...

I believe this was the location that was opened on a Sunday by a soon to be terminated manager many years ago. There was a Botany Bay on this site many years ago.

Anonymous said...

I hope they remodel the service along with the building. It's been horrible since Stan left. We go to the Northlake location whenever possible now.

Anonymous said...

Never had an issue with this location. Line is always long, but that's because of the huge number of people constantly wanting sandwiches. Once in line, it moves along at a pretty good clip.

Bummed to see it closed for a while, as I often go their for my lunch breaks.

Anonymous said...

My first job was at this Chick-Fil-A in 1986. It was run ridiculously well. Our manager back then (Tim Tassopoulos) is now President and COO of the company. We worked really hard and had some fun too. I started at $3.55 an hour which was $0.20 over the minimum wage that most other places paid. I can't remember the exact time standard (definitely less than 3 minutes, maybe even under 2), but if we didn't fill orders in that time, then management came down on us. We didn't miss often.

That location is kind of unique in that it has a basement. The worst job there was unloading the supply truck because you had to carry everything down the stairs into the basement - that really sucked in July/August when it was 98 degrees and your uniform consisted of dress slacks, a cotton long sleeve button down short, bow tie and apron. The basement also had a break room and was where we would cut and juice the lemons for the lemonade. I would imagine the basement will slow construction down quite a bit.

I'm also surprised that they aren't using some sort of temporary setup to operate during reconstruction. The next closest CFA to there is quite a distance and there are tons of offices in that area.

My office is near the Akers Mill store - excited to see the finished product on that rebuilt. The triple drive through and no indoor seating was never my favorite. It looks just about done too - landscaping yesterday.

Unknown said...

Hopefully this helps the traffic a little bit for a few months. I live close to this location and narrowly miss getting broadsided every morning by cars making ill-advised left handed turns onto Briarcliff every morning.

Anonymous said...

Waffle House does the tear down/rebuild on the same site all the time. It's actually less expensive and more effective than fumigating.

Anonymous said...

Botany Bay? Botany Bay? Oh no! Damn...we've got to get out of here!

Atlanta Jack said...

How about bringing back the cole slaw?

Anonymous said...

Whoa, this location is near where I grew up and I remember I hadn't seen a freestanding one before (we'd been going to the Lenox mall location) but never had any idea that this was the *first* freestanding one. Seems like it should get a plaque or something

Anonymous said...

@ Atlanta Jack

I have seen signs at a few Gwinnett locations that cole slaw is available. It might be available but not on the menu board?

Anonymous said...

I bet they keep the same anti-gay policies that prevent us from eating there.

Anonymous said...

North Druid Hills was NOT the first free standing Chickfila. The first free standing Chickfila was on Cleveland Ave in East Point, 2 doors east of Sylvan Rd.

Anonymous said...

Chickfila is SOOOO OVERRATED! good BUT NOT GREAT! waffle fries are nasty!

Anonymous said...

This from the official Chick-Fil-a website:
"1986: First Free-standing Chick-fil-A Restaurant

Chick-fil-A moves outside of the mall food court in 1986, opening its first stand-alone restaurant on North Druid Hills Road in Atlanta."

Maybe you should alert them that they don't know their own history?

Coolio said...

What an amazing commitment to your workforce to open a temporary location constructed from shipping containers! Commitment to the workers, the environment, and I'm sure through the rebuilding... commitment to the bottom line too!

Duh, everyone can eat there. But if Anon @ 2:39 on 4/29/17 doesn't research and is easily offended, their absence probably hasn't been noticed, and enables other people to get their food quicker. I hear the DOT has the same policies, please boycott the road as well. :D

Anonymous said...

"I bet they keep the same anti-gay policies that prevent us from eating there."

Then hurry on over to pro-gay Burger King - they desperately need your business.
I bet their creepy clown would fit right into the pride parade too.

Anonymous said...

I wish the other N'Druid Hills one by L'ville Hwy would become a real free standing place and not just a drive thru.

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