Monday, May 20, 2019

[SPECIAL] Chick-fil-A Dwarf House in Danger of Extinction

Yet another Chick-fil-A Dwarf House will soon meet its maker. The Atlanta-based fast food chain confirmed plans in March to demolish their existing Dwarf House on Highway 92 in Woodstock and replace it with a slightly larger and far more boring "Truett's Chick-fil-A." The company first demolished and rebuilt the Dwarf House in Griffin in 2016. Chick-fil-A has in recent months opened rebuilt former Dwarf House restaurants in Newnan and Rome and in January closed its Stockbridge Dwarf House to complete the same "scrape & rebuild" process.

The new "Truett's Chick-fil-A" building, planned to be just under 7,000 square feet, will be a bit larger than the current restaurant and will feature a slightly larger drive-thru as well.  Demolition is projected to begin early 2020, with five months of construction before the new facility opens.  Company representatives assured Woodstock planning commissioners that the company plans to preserve the iconic small "dwarf" red door that faces Highway 92, but is that enough?

When reached for comment, Chick-fil-A representatives refused to comment on the likelihood that remaining Dwarf Houses in Duluth, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Riverdale and / or the original in Hapeville could in coming months/years suffer a similar fate.

Chick-fil-A Dwarf Houses, like traditional Chick-fil-A restaurants, and others in the quick-serve restaurant industry, were once architecturally interesting, appealing, and distinctive restaurants, easily identifiable by their unique features and aesthetics.  Now it seems one could switch logos out on a dozen or so restaurant buildings and each could look normal.

Restaurants of a bygone era such Burger Chef operated out of some of the most iconic structures with eye catching signage to match.  

Even chains that do still exist like Whataburger, Pizza Hut, Arby's, McDonalds's and Taco Bell, among others, now open boxy, bland and unexciting buildings that don't stand out and instead blend in with everything else.  One would think, at a time when there are more eating options perhaps now than ever before, operators would want to set themselves apart where they can but, alas, many place the costs of construction above all else.  

All five of the aforementioned chain restaurants are examples of brands that once had identifiable buildings and that over time have devolved into sterile and plain looking structures.

As one real estate investor recently told ToNeTo Atlanta, "no one wants to be in an old Taco Bell or Long John Silver's" and it seems as though restaurants are making it easier for those who assume their buildings if they close to re-concept the space.  The real reason, of course, is cost.  Basic boxes may be boring but they sure are economical.

Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Hardee's, Captain D's, Del Taco, KFC, and Taco Bell, among other chains, are all building or rebuilding some of the most boring restaurants ever, each one less and less distinguishable from its neighbor.

All the monotony in so many restaurant buildings reminds us of the song "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds, originally recorded in 1962 and more recently popularized as the theme song for the hit Showtime TV series Weeds.  

The most memorable and applicable lyrics are: 
"Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes all the same, There's a pink one and a green one And a blue one and a yellow one And they're all made out of ticky tacky.  And they all look just the same."
A rebuilt Chick-fil-A under construction in Peachtree Corners in March

A completed rebuilt Chick-fil-A on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna 

Although the song was written about residential development of the era, it seems entirely applicable to quick-serve restaurant construction today.  

Hopefully, Chick-fil-A will not replace ALL of their Dwarf House restaurants, but if they do, at least they'll have a small red door.  

What are your thoughts on Chick-fil-A's recent string of scrape and rebuild projects?  Do you think it's a mistake for so many brands to create buildings that all look so similar?  What is your favorite restaurant restaurant building?

Please share your thoughts below  


CloseOTP said...

Can't blame them. As you said, it's about cost. And really, I don't need an identifiable building if I'm going to any of the fast food restaurants you mentioned in the article. I know what I'm getting. I don't need anything to draw me in. Maybe I'm just not nostalgic :-)

Anonymous said...

Utter corporate greedy!!
Not sure Truett would be pleased.
But neither is Sam Walton with his children's management of his, once, very American product.

Anonymous said...

They remodeled the forest park dwarf house a year or two ago but kept the that look. I was hoping they would do the same in stockbridge too.

Anonymous said...

Real reason for rebuild and rebranding of the Dwarf House is because of the use of the word "Dwarf". In this day of "political correctness" the word dwarf can be construed as racist or offensive. Dwarf people prefer the the words "little people"/

Anonymous said...

Since when are dwarfs a "race"? If nothing else, learn this: If everything is "racist", then nothing is "racist". SMH.

Anonymous said...

@Anon @ 11:30 - Dwarfs are not a race. Thus the term can't be racist.

Anonymous said...

They are keeping ahead of the curve.
The PC police if not already will eventually come after the word Dwarf just like the word midget is no longer accepted.
Keep in mind the Sunday closed has already prevented some airport
openings. Remember diversity means anything is Ok as long as
you think exactly like us.

Also in NYC the progressives send interns to buy their lunch
because if they are seen entering a Chick Fil A , their job could
be placed in risk.

Keep in mind it is now offensive to play a recording of Kate Smith singing God Bless America.

Anonymous said...

Racist is a catch-all term used by today's SJW's / domestic terrorists (D). Somewhere in this country, an LGBTQZYZ Dwarf is butthurt (pun intended) and is most likely planning violence against Chick-fil-A and it's loyal, law abiding patrons. Thank You to the lowest common denominator for taking the fun out of life he rest of society. Karma is coming soon and will be more delicious than an original Chick-fil-A sandwich!

Unknown said...

Truett was all about taking care of the customer and the remodels are all about that. Not greedy to improve service to those that have made the success occur.

Anonymous said...

Just rename it the Midget House

Anonymous said...

LOL @ 'dwarf' being a racist term

Ham said...

A lot of municipalities have sign ordnances that might be impacting the unique nature of the signage.

A Gay Man Who Eats At CFA said...

Hey Anon @ 1:49 - go F yourself re: your LGBT comment. And same on you Atlantan99 for posting it. What's the point of you approving messages if you're going to post trash like that.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Eli for allowing this trash in your comments to go unchecked.

Anonymous said...

@ May 20, 2019 at 11:48 PM

BACK OFF Eli as#hole!! Grow some thick skin! So many weak people. They are words! No real knives in here. You do you Eli!

Anonymous said...

A Gay Man Who Eats at CFA spewed ..... Hey Anon @ 1:49 - go F yourself re: your LGBT comment. And same on you Atlantan99 for posting it. What's the point of you approving messages if you're going to post trash like that.

Ouch? Anon @1:49 spoke the TRUTH for you to respond in such a vile and uncivilized manner. Violence, gaslighting and Intolerance is your modus operandi. We can all thank the likes of Jussie Smollett for exposing YOUR truth.

Stop being so angry and hateful. Enjoy a delicious meal AT Chick-fil-A today!

Anonymous said...

@ May 20, 2019 at 6:54 PM

Nursery Rhyme throwback:

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names (words) will never harm me."

Anonymous said...

Get Woke -- Go Broke

Anonymous said...

LOL, it's hilarious watching all the SJWs on here losing their minds. How do you "people" function in life? Literally worthless and weak.

Anonymous said...

Another thing the snowflake millennials will not remember are the bar promotions in the 70 and 80's called "dwarf tossing"

Millennials would be better off going out to taverns and pubs and interacting face to face with others instead of sitting with smart phones reacting to face grams and insta faces while watching game of thrones. Get out in the real world. it can be great fun

Aaron said...

Reading about this I think that if they do demolish all of the remaining dwarf houses, they will regret it one day as taking away a piece of their own history.

Unknown said...

Funny how getting thicker skin is always the remedy for OTHER people, but when one's own group is diminished, rejected, made fun of or discriminated against......OH, those Haters! Something should be done to push them down to their rightful places and make America "great" again for people like me!

Anonymous said...

To the moderator: I don't understand how several of my tame, snarky anonymous comments never show up yet so many mean-spirited childish bickering comments get posted? What gives???

By the way, I am the one that posted about it being "dwarves" not "dwarfs."

Anonymous said...

If you have never been to a Truitt's, I suggest you check one out. They are pretty awesome with lots of nostalgia and most likely family heirlooms like Indian motorcycles, yes full size motorcycles, and other items. One has a full size street car that is built in. If it's anything like the others it should be a nice upgrade.

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