Wednesday, December 7, 2022

[CLOSURE ALERT] Popular Pizza Shop to Shutter After Nearly Four Decades

Chris' Pizza, a longstanding neighborhood mainstay at Toco Hills shopping center (2911 North Druid Hills Road) is closing.  The restaurant, which first opened in 1983, will close as of December 23.  Chris', which served pizza as well as other Greek favorites, had been for sale for several months but unable to find a buyer and with costs (both food and rent) continuing to rise, ownership made the decision to close.  

The more than 4,000 square foot space is not yet marked as available or coming soon on the Edens leasing plan for the center but will no doubt be marketed soon.  

For ToNeTo Atlanta, Chris' Pizza will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was where we first met Sherrod "Pete" Patterson, a local resident and President of the Leafmore-Creek Park Hills civic association.  Pete and his wife Angie, who were already fans of ToNeTo Atlanta, become what we like to call our "super fans," and their support has been tremendous.  Sadly Pete passed away last August.   Those wishing to honor Pete and his contributions to our site and the community at large, may contribute to Saint Barnabas Anglican Church.  

Chris' Pizza is one of the last vestiges of the center's last regime that also included eateries Bagel Palace, Petite Auberge and Famous Pub as well as retailers like Shoe Center, all of which have closed since then new owner Edens purchased the center in late 2015.  

In the years since the Edens acquisition, the real estate firm has made significant improvements to the aesthetics of the center as well as upgrades in other areas.  That said, all these improvements come at a cost and the resulting increase in rents has caused many of the small local businesses to close or relocate.  

Regional and national chains like Ulta Beauty, Conte's Bike Shop and Westside Market have all opened in the center along with eateries such as Yumbii, Chopt, Flying Biscuit and Kale Me Crazy.  Crumbl, a growing national franchise cookie shop, is expected to open soon, as is Silla Del Toro, a Spanish tapas restaurant from Fork U Concepts that has an existing location on the Marietta Square.  

Are you sad to see Chris' Pizza close at Toco Hills?  What are your thoughts on the new tenants in and planned for Toco Hills?  What would you like to see open in place of Chris' Pizza at Toco Hills?

Please share your thoughts below.  

19 comments:

Disneypal said...

I am sad to see Chris' Pizza close. For over 20 years, it has been a regular lunch place for my co-worker's and I. It is always sad when I long-time business closes its doors.

Ham said...

It seems one of the saddest parts (other than traffic) with the growth of Atlanta is the loss of small independent businesses. I realize the economics probably favors chains or franchises, but it is still sad.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is sad. Chris' Pizza and Bagel Palace were favorites of ours when we lived in the neighborhood, back when we were in grad school. It was my first introduction to real Greek food (and music). Many fond memories of going there with our friends.

Anonymous said...

Please don’t go guys?! Maybe move to a smaller place but still be in the area?? We’ve enjoyed Chris’s Pizza Restaurant since it opened in the early 80’s.

Jim Smith said...

I've been impressed with the folks at Edens in working through their plans for North DeKalb Mall with them, but the changes at Toco Hill have mostly been to the negative for me. The influx of chain businesses at the expense of long-standing locals is a common story these days, but it's still sad to witness. It would have been nice for Edens to put more effort into retaining these long-term locals. I frequented all of the establishments listed and miss them all. Thankfully Goldberg's, Ace and Toco Giant are still there...

Anonymous said...

So sad to hear this. I have been enjoying this place since the early 80's as a teen getting gyros and going to the arcade next door was a blast. It's on my way home from wrk and I get to go orders, always hits the spot. I will miss all the independent businesses. My hometown is losing its charm and that's sad.





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Anonymous said...

So sad to hear this!! We didn’t go there often, but always had a great experience and great food when we did. The service was wonderful and it was always the same woman who made us feel welcome. RIP and to bagel palace too.

Unknown said...

I can remember that fountain in the center of the restaurant. Always thought it was a bit weird (along with the wallpaper) - but the food was superb! I will miss it!

Anonymous said...

Atlanta becomes more generic and corporate when these local landmark chains close and are replaced by corporate name brands. I realize it's inevitable in today's economics, which don't work for smaller local mom and pops, but it doesn't make Atlanta seem special or unique anymore. It may as well be Wichita

Anonymous said...

I don’t know… I was there once, all of the dinnerware and silverware were filthy, the table cloths were filthy, and the server smells like an ashtray. Just because somethings nostalgic doesn’t automatically mean it’s good.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think Athens Pizza is nearing the same fate. The parking lot is nearly empty most nights and when we stopped in recently, half of the restaurant was closed off and there were lots of empty tables. It's very similar to what we've seen at Chris's over the past year.

Anonymous said...

Probably didn’t help that Donato’s opened right across the street.

Anonymous said...

We went as a family since they first opened where you could watch the owner, Greek Olympic weightlifter Chris, making pizzas through a big window into the kitchen in the back. Sad to see it go but many fond memories will live on.

Anonymous said...

Our family had planned to eat there together tonight for dinner and we were shocked when we pulled up to find the sign gone and the doors locked! This breaks my heart. One of our favorites. The owners were such nice and hardworking people. I hope they’re doing Ok and we wish them success. Maybe they can re-open somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I’m selfishly devastated that I can’t have their lasagna or avgolemono soup anymore. #poutinglikeababy
It’s too bad they couldn’t close public dining and remain open for catering and events like the Little Farmhouse Cafe did #stillpouting

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! Chain restaurants are so, so impersonal. Chris had the best pizza + crust. I just introduced my daughter to their pizza when she was here before Thanksgiving. Not sure how to tell her they have closed 🤔

Anonymous said...

Very, very upset about the closing of Chris pizza. Toco Hills has loss all of the local businesses. I understand progress but...
I introduced my daughter to Chris before Thanksgiving. Don't think I will mention the closing during her next visit.
Atlanta is definitely not the place that drew me here 30yrs ago 😒

Anonymous said...

This is depressing. :(

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Maggie's can hold out.

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