Sunday, July 25, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Chick-fil-A Shopping for More Space in North DeKalb

Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based chicken chain that saw its restaurants ring up a reported $13.7 billion in sales in 2020, is again looking to better position itself for continued growth.  ToNeTo Atlanta has since 2017 reported on more than a dozen "scrape & rebuilds," relocations and new restaurants for the quick-serve chain.  We have now identified another planned relocation that company has in its metro Atlanta pipeline. 

Rezoning signs along North Druid Hills Road near North DeKalb Mall indicate that Chick-fil-A is seeking a Special Land Use Permit (SLUP) and rezoning to relocate their existing Drive Thru Only (DTO) restaurant from 3905 North Druid Hills Road to 3795 North Druid Hills Road where it would replace a shuttered Pier 1 store.  The Pier 1 store has sat idle for more than a year following the housewares company's unsuccessful emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The Pier 1 site is currently zoned NS - Neighborhood Shopping but the restaurant chain is looking to have the property rezoned C1 - Local Commercial.  

The current Chick-fil-A is 1,174 square feet, sits on about a half acre and was built in 1993, according to DeKalb County tax records.  Chick-fil-A is proposing building a new 2,800 square foot restaurant on the roughly 1 acre Pier site that would, in addition to twin drive-thru lanes, also include inside seating.  

Zaxby's opened a new restaurant adjacent to the proposed Chick-fil-A in 2012 while fellow quick serve chicken chain Popeyes proposed but later abandoned plans to open a new restaurant at 3835 North Druid Hills Road.  

Several years ago, Chick-fil-A reportedly tried to acquire what was then a shuttered Checkers restaurant adjacent to its current DTO location.  Their efforts were unsuccessful and the Checkers was later renovated and reopened under new ownership.  Additionally, Chick-fil-A has been closing mall-based units: Northlake, Gwinnett Place and North DeKalb Mall locations among them, which has no doubt pushed business that might previously have been in the mall to the accompanying freestanding Chick-fil-A restaurants surrounding the malls.  

It's no secret that Chick-fil-A restaurants are among the most productive quick-serve chains with average unit volumes of about $6 million, according to sources familiar with the restaurant's performance.  To keep up with demand, Chick-fil-A is constantly looking to optimize its real estate portfolio to create and operate the most efficient restaurants that it can.  

In Tucker, Chick-fil-A is also planning to relocate their existing restaurant from 4340 Hugh Howell Road to 4431 Hugh Howell Road.  The existing restaurant, which opened in 1989, is what some might consider an endangered species: a Gen 1 Chick-fil-A, a design of the restaurant chain that is quickly disappearing across Atlanta.  The current location, situated in an outparcel of the Ingles Markets Goodwill anchored Tucker Station shopping center, is literally at the corner of Lawrenceville Highway and Hugh Howell Road.  The new restaurant is further down Hugh Howell, in the direction of the new Hugh Howell Marketplace development, and would replace the Greater Good BBQ which closed in early 2020. 

Are you pleased to hear that Chick-fil-A plans to replace their existing DTO location with a full service restaurant?  Were you hoping for a Whataburger on the Pier 1 site?  What is your favorite fast food chain?

Please share your thoughts below.   


  1. Right next to a Zaxby's...

  2. Their prices are already too high…

  3. Very glad they are opening up a bigger spot but they absolutely need to have an entrance from the back. Otherwise North Druid Hills road will be extremely backed up.

  4. Sounds like a good move for the area. Now, if DeKalb could ever get their act together and do something with North DeKalb Mall that would be great. I guess the Tucker location relocating makes sense also the current location has lots of exposure, but traffic patterns make it difficult to access during busy times.

  5. They are relocating on 78 in Snellville as well, to the site of a former Ruby Tuesday.

  6. The CFA in Tucker definitely needs more space. I hope it works out up the street, but seems like access would be more difficult.

    I’m wondering, has anyone heard about what happened with the plans for Arbys in Tucker? They were approved late 2019 but I’ve seen and heard nothing since then and can’t find any updates. I’m guessing they backed out with Covid and all but would like to definitely know.