Saturday, February 22, 2020

[CLOSURE ALERT] Zinburger to Shutter Dunwoody Restaurant

The Dunwoody location of upscale burger eatery Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar will close Sunday April 12, according to staff at the restaurant.  Zinburger Dunwoody, located in the Sterling Pointe development along Ashford Dunwoody Road not far from Perimeter Mall, opened September 18, 2018.  The freestanding 4,800 square foot restaurant was the second in Atlanta, joining the first outpost which opened in Buckhead at Lenox Square in 2014.  

Sources have told ToNeTo Atlanta for months that the Dunwoody Zinburger was under-performing but a closure less than two years after opening is nonetheless unfortunate.  Zinburger's location, while highly visible, did not provide the best in/out access, and unlike Shake Shack at Perimeter Mall, did not provide great co-tenancy.  

The closure of Zinburger would be the second "better burger" concept to close in the area following the  June 2019 closure of Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Perimeter Mall after less than three years in business.  As ToNeTo Atlanta first reported September 10, Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar is expected to open in the old Cowfish space later this fall.   

Zinburger was developed in Arizona by serial restaurateur Sam Fox (Flower Child, True Food Kitchen, North Italia, etc.) where several locations still operate.  The two Atlanta area locations and sixteen others along the east coast are all owned by Livingston, New Jersey-based The Briad Group, who purchased development rights east of the Mississippi to the concept from Fox.  (Briad reportedly purchased the entire chain in 2015.)  

Briad, founded in 1987 by Brad Honigfeld, is the franchisee of 111 Wendy's and several Hilton and Marriott hotels in addition to its Zinburger holdings.  The firm was once the largest franchisee of  T.G.I. Friday's, but according to its website, has completely divested itself of the stale casual dining concept.  

Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) reported February 12 that T.G.I. Friday's had purchased 36 TGIF restaurants from The Briad Group.  A purchase price was not disclosed, but but in a regulatory filing, it was said that TGIF had repurchased “underperforming domestic franchised restaurants at attractive valuations.” 

Industry sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that TGIF locations owned by Briad had been, like the chain itself, "not well," and their poor performance had weighed on Briad's ability to grow its more popular Wendy's and Zinburger concepts.  

While the closure of the Dunwoody restaurant is for now isolated, industry speculation is that additional closures may come as Briad works to strengthen its balance sheet.  Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Dunwoody Zinburger will be converted into a medical facility, rather than another restaurant.  

Are you surprised to see Zinburger close their Dunwoody restaurant?  What is your favorite burger in metro Atlanta?  What upcoming Dunwoody area restaurant (Sixty Vines, Whiskey Cake, Iron Hill Restaurant & Brewery, Buffalo Wild Wings etc.) are you most excited about?

Please share your thoughts below.  

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hope it's not another Urgent Care! I'd rather see a Fazoli's go in there!

Anonymous said...

Ate there three times. Vacuous wait staff got my order wrong three times.

Timmyg said...

Expensive, fries were extra $ I did not order the fries. Burger, water, tax and 20% tip.... $15.00

Unknown said...

Very disappointing... I love this location. I guess Zinburger will be out my life forever because I refuse to go to Lenox .

Anonymous said...

where is it? I go to the mall and that area every week, never spotted it..

Anonymous said...

Poor service was the death of Zinburger, no more complicated than that.

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