Wednesday, October 16, 2019

[CLOSURE ALERT] After 46 Years, Krystal Shutters Brookhaven Restaurant

The longstanding Krystal restaurant at 2068 North Druid Hills Road, just off I-85 in Brookhaven, has closed.  A restaurant representative tells ToNeTo Atlanta that the corporately owned restaurant closed as of October 5, and that there are no plans to reopen it.  The Druid Hills Krystal first opened July 24, 1973.

ToNeTo Atlanta asked why the company decided to close the restaurant and was provided the following response:

"Another way to strengthen our overall brand health in our core markets is by closing underperforming or aged restaurants that don’t meet our asset redevelopment thresholds.  Closing this Krystal and relocating staff to superior locations will support our business plan, build our brand and better serve our customers."

The company also closed a freestanding Krystal restaurant at 5181 Stone Mountain Highway (GA 78) in Stone Mountain.  

One location the company does plan to invest in and perform a "scrape and rebuild," is their restaurant at 3037 Piedmont Road in Buckhead.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported in 2018 that the company planned to tear down and rebuild the Piedmont restaurant, but the project has been delayed for several months.  "The timing of Piedmont’s scrape and rebuild has not been finalized at this time." said the company spokesperson. 

Krystal completed similar rebuild projects at restaurants on Moreland Avenue in East Atlanta and on Cobb Parkway in Marietta, among others.

As for other locations that might get the "scrape and rebuild" treatment, "We are currently evaluating and re-prioritizing markets for remodel dollars based upon market performance.  We want to focus on core performing areas in order to strengthen Krystal’s overall brand health."

Sales at the aging Krystal in Brookhaven were no doubt impacted by the 2013 opening of a new [but boring] McDonald's across the street.

That said,  the new Peachtree Creek Greenway is wrapping up construction of its first phase a stone's throw from the now former Krystal, and its location could be attractive to restaurants, especially those who see value in the walkability to the path and the existing drive-thru.  
Progress at Phase One of the Peachtree Creek Greenway in Brookhaven 
DeKalb County property records indicate that the roughly 2,000 square foot restaurant which sits on about a half acre has skyrocketed in value in the past few years having been appraised at just under $435,000 in 2014 but $1.2 million in 2019.  An affiliate of Krystal is listed as the owner of the parcel.

Last April, Krystal hired restaurant veteran Paul M. Macaluso as the company's CEO.  Macaluso was poached from McAlister's Deli where he was the Atlanta based concept's President.  Previously, Macaluso held executive roles with Moe's Southwest Grill, Sonic, Burger King and Taco Bell.

“Krystal is the original challenger brand,” Macaluso said in a statement at the time of his hiring. “And we’re going to make sure we regain share of minds and hearts with our guests. Get ready to share great times in new ways at Krystal, built on our unique food and fun spirit no other restaurant brand can match.”

Krystal, which originated in Chattanooga in 1932, moved its headquarters to Dunwoody in 2013.  Since early 2012, the company has been owned by Buckhead-based Argonne Capital Group, a firm that also controls the On The Border restaurant chain and operates as a franchisee of several other food and service concepts.

Are you surprised that the North Druid Hills Krystal closed?  Are you looking forward to the Peachtree Creek Greenway?  What would you like to see open in place of Krystal?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Richard Hanson said...

Lived near this Krystal all my 53 years. Never been.

Anonymous said...

Argonne Capital Group basically destroyed the On the Border brand. Closed many restaurants and prices were extravagant for the chain.

It'll be interesting to see what ACG does to Krystal.

dal787 said...

Would make a great Culver's, Freddy's, or Cookout.

phil c said...

Anytime a "capital" big-money group of vultures buys an ongoing company, even if struggling a bit but has good revenue, it's the kiss of death. Run up the debt, suck out all the cash, let the bones rot. Employees, vendors, customers all get hosed.

Steve Barton said...

Lived near this Krystal in 1980-82.
We went to at least 50 Braves games those 3 seasons and got a sack of 10 from there for most of those games. A fond memory. Have lived in Dunwoody for 23 years and have visited that store maybe 5 more times. Thank you for your website and your reports on retail and restaurant businesses. Now we know how long it was there and that it is recently closed. It is good to know.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

So sad to see this location closed at North Druid Hills Road. When we moved from Atlanta proper to Lawrenceville I was four. We still went to church in Atlanta, kept same doctors at Piedmont and now I live in Buckhead and have for 14 years. Have eaten on and off for all of these years frequently. Another Atlanta memory gone down the drain. Why Can't this city keep anything long term????? Please don't close the location on Piedmont as it is a favorite of mine and close to home.

Unknown said...

You should buy it instead of complaining. It's just business.

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