Tuesday, November 12, 2019

[UPDATE] Ponko Chicken to Replace Steel City Pops in Decatur

A deal was reached Tuesday for PONKO Chicken to open in place of Steel City Pops at 312 Church Street, just off the square, in downtown Decatur.  The longterm lease, orchestrated by Steve Josovitz of The Shumacher Group, was first reported by Decaturish.   The growing chicken franchise plans to open the new restaurant in early 2020.  The Decatur outpost is about 3,500 square feet, making it the chain's largest location.
The Decatur "kitchen" store of Steel City Pops officially closed November 1 along with ten other locations including several in Houston, Texas, a market that like Atlanta, the company withdrew from completely.  

The Decatur PONKO franchise, like the Midtown location on West Peachtree Street, will be owned by business partners Johnny Esposito and Shane Godfrey.  The Midtown location debuted this past May in place of Mulavi, a Mediterranean restaurant, at 915 West Peachtree Street.  

The Decatur location, will, like the Midtown outpost, feature a full bar but with a greater emphasis on local beers, according to Esposito.  The Decatur location's size will provide more back of house prep area and allow for the franchisees to increase their catering capabilities.  The restaurant also partners with third party services such as Chow Now, Uber Eats and DoorDash for food delivery.   

PONKO Chicken currently has locations on Chamblee Tucker Road in Chamblee, West Peachtree Street in Midtown and Roswell Road in Chastain Park.  

In addition to the Decatur location, a new PONKO is slated to open before the end of the month at the Marietta Square Market in Marietta.  PONKO Chicken was also added to the Harrah’s Cherokee Clubs for the 2019 season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  "PONKO Franchise Corporation currently has agreements to open over 20 stores in various locations throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan Area."  One of the other planned locations is slated for The Maxwell, a new development on Main Street in Alpharetta, where PONKO plans to open next fall.  Esposito and Godfrey have plans for at least two more locations, one of which could be in Canton and may open as soon as next summer. 

Are you excited for the opening of PONKO in Decatur?  Have you been to one of the existing PONKO locations?  Where would you like to see PONKO open next?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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