Thursday, November 22, 2018

[UPDATE] Cowtippers Steaks & Spirits to be Replaced by Chase Bank?

It seems Cowtippers Steaks & Spirits may again be destined for imminent closure.  The restaurant, located on Piedmont Avenue near its intersection with Monroe Drive, has been in business since 1993.  Cowtippers, like a number of other in-town eateries, is owned by Metrotainment Cafes.

On January 9, ToNeTo Atlanta reported that the restaurant planned to close January 28, 2018, reportedly the result of a sale of the property.  The deal apparently never came to fruition and the restaurant announced in February that they would remain open "for the foreseeable future" with the implication that the community's support had impacted the decision to close.  

Earlier this month, the BeltLine Design Review Committee (DRC) heard from an applicant working on behalf of Chase Bank hoping to construct a new bank branch in place of the neighborhood restaurant.  

"The scope of work includes the demolition of the existing building, and the construction of a new 3,470 SF Chase Bank building with 28 parking spaces on a 0.66 acre site."  

The site is already zoned C-1 but the bank is seeking at least one variance: 

"Section 16-36.014 (7) –Minimum of 65% fenestration for non-residential uses along an arterial road. The applicant is seeking at 5% reduction of the required 65% minimum fenestration to 60% fenestration facing Piedmont Avenue. The reason for the reduction is that windows cannot be used for two of the rooms on the East elevation. One of the rooms houses the bank ATM, etc, while the other room would have full visibility to the rear of the teller stations creating an unsafe condition for bank employees. It is our understanding that spandrel glass is not allowed to count towards the fenestration area and is therefore not included. We feel the reduction of 5% fenestration area is negligible for this site as Chase will be adding a furniture street zone, open space with an 8’ sidewalk along with a 5’ supplemental zone and will incorporate brick into the fa├žade, all of which will enhance the aesthetics along Piedmont Road and compliment the surrounding area."

The new Chase promises to not look completely like the boring branches found elsewhere 

The space that Cowtippers has occupied for 25 years was previously home to an outpost of the Old Hickory House. Fulton county property records indicate that through an LLC, Jeff Landau, founder and CEO of Metrotainment Cafes, currently owns the restaurant's property.  The building, which is roughly 4,800 square feet, dates back to 1940 and sits on about a two thirds of an acre, according to a listing on LoopNet.  Fulton County records indicate that "TEN TWENTY THREE JUNIPER ST ASSOC LLC," headquartered at 1119 Logan Circle, (where Metrotainment Cafes is headquartered), paid $1.2 million for the property in 2002.     

According to Metrotainment Cafes CEO Jeff Landau, "no decisions have been made as of today [November 21] relating to the Cowtippers property, but the property does remain for sale."

Ten years after entering the Georgia market, JPMorgan Chase announced in late September that it plans to add up to 25 new branches over the next three years. The bank entered Georgia by buying Washington Mutual in 2008.  Chase currently operates 80 branches and 215 ATMs in metro Atlanta. 

Chase has been especially active in metro Atlanta in recent years opening branches in place of restaurants or would-be restaurants. 

The bank opened new branches at the following three locations in place of restaurants: 

2608 Piedmont Road - Atlanta (former Pizza Hut)

2350 Cheshire Bridge Road - Atlanta (former Sonny's BBQ)
1088 Johnson Ferry Road - Marietta (former Flying Biscuit Cafe)

Another Chase recently opened across from Perimeter Mall, in a space once proposed as a restaurant.

4453 Ashford Dunwoody Road - Dunwoody (former police station previously proposed as a Pollo Tropical)

Most recently, two more Chase Bank branches opened in converted former restaurants:

10900 Haynes Bridge Road - Alpharetta (former Pollo Tropical) 

5768 Buford Highway - Doraville (former Krispy Kreme) 

Given the growing use of apps like Venmo and Paypal and consumers' willingness to conduct bank business by phone, it's surprising to see Chase and other banks continue to open new branches. 

The Cowtipper's site was surely not inexpensive and will need to be cleared and have a new building constructed.  The access to the proposed branch is also not great unless you are heading south on Piedmont Avenue at a non-peak time.  

Are you surprised to learn Cowtippers has continued to be marketed for sale?  Would you sad if Cowtippers closed?   How do you conduct the majority of your banking needs?

Please share your thoughts below  

UPDATE - Cowtippers confirmed on December 18 that they will officially close after dinner service on  Thursday, December 27.  


Ham said...

It is sort of a shame that another Bank would go into that location. I hesitate to call the existing place a landmark, but it is a familiar site.

I suppose Banks still feel they need more physical locations, but like most folks I do most of my banking on-line. I wonder why Banks don't change their model to have a smaller number of large better staffed Banking Centers instead of more small locations. That way when you need to visit a physical location you might drive ten minutes more, but maybe have to wait less time to se a person that actually knew what they were doing.

Stussey said...

It was where me and my late gf had our 1st date. Being a native it's always sad to see any place that has been successful that's not a chain get shut down for a corporate entity.

Anonymous said...

Yea sorry to see a good patio to drink beers on replaced by a boring bank branch.

Anonymous said...

The plastification of Atlanta continues..... maybe they should put a Starbucks and chipotle there too!

Anonymous said...

They should tear down the gas station at the corner of Monroe and Piedmont. Cow Tippers is not an easy location to get in and out of, which is one reason I never eat there. Being a Chase customer, I'll avoid that branch like the plague.

Anonymous said...

The Monroe & Piedmont gass station (parkside) will be shut down for the expansion of Piedmont Park. The City of Atlanta already bought the land. It will be greenspace and trails all the way from the Botanical Gardens to that gas station.

Unknown said...

I'm sure they are trying to add branches to try and get more commercial business from all small business in the area. But the area definitely does NOT need another bank. It is a shame they are trying to make my neighborhood look like the suburbs. I lie in the city because I like the character of the neighborhood. I see don't want it to become more generic like Atlanta's boring suburbs!

Anonymous said...

Atlanta's 'boring suburbs' are where the authentic Indian, Mexican, Korean and other ethnic eats and cultural hangouts are. To me nothing is more boring than hanging with the hipsters, going to some overpriced intown version of ethnic food for WASPs...

leedart said...

It's sad when I look at Midtown which for all of the 70's, 80's, and the early nineties was the heart of gay Atlanta/Southeast US and today this history that was the only thing that kept these new prime areas from falling into complete trash now being erased and historically forgotten. This city will never get it and I understand I am in the pure south when this history means nothing....

Unknown said...

Banks continue to open new branches because the property is valua in their portfolio. Just as starb continues to open locations that only dilute other doors nearby. Starbucks owns many of their properties. Smart business model. Very sad to see cowtippers go. Uber eats and other delivery / home meal services are having a negative impact on local restaurants along with out of control property taxes in the city.

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