Friday, March 10, 2023

[UPDATE] Mrs. Winner's to Reopen Shuttered Sandy Springs Restaurant

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  With that in mind we share news that Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits will later this spring reopen its former location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The restaurant - located at 8550 Roswell Road - first opened as a Mrs. Winner's in late 2020 before closing after about two years in late 2022.  

When Mrs. Winner's first opened it replaced a former Bojangles, which itself had replaced several other unsuccessful restaurants.  Bojangles, with a menu centered on chicken and biscuits, was perhaps closest of any of the prior occupants to Mrs. Winner's.

One has to wonder why a restaurant that already replaced a similar one, and both failed, would reopen the same restaurant on the same site.  Adding to the mystery is our observation that a pretty significant renovation was underway at the space including what looked to be a completely new dining room.   That said, Mrs. Winner's is not the conventional restaurant chain.  At its peak in 1984 there were nearly 200 Mrs. Winner's franchises, primarily around the southeast.  

Today, after a 2010 bankruptcy, multiple ownership changes and a failed 2016 revival, the brand is a shell of its former self. The brand was in 2019 acquired by Gourmet Services, Inc., an Atlanta-based contract food service management company primary known for serving operators in K-12 and college dining, corporate dining and concessions, among other areas.  

Running a fledgling restaurant chain does not seem to be one of Gourmet Services core competencies.  According to the Mrs. Winner's website, the chain is currently comprised of 16 restaurants across four states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.  That said, and despite a visible 2023 update to its website, it seems to list several locations as "open," which in fact are not.  

In addition to the Sandy Springs restaurant which according to the website is open, complete with an "Order Online Now!" button, another location on Fulton Industrial Boulevard reportedly closed in 2020 but shows as open, as does another in Montgomery, Alabama, which also has the "Order Online Now!" button, but according to Google is "temporarily closed." [It's worth noting, too, that the Montgomery location is like the Sandy Springs outpost, a former new-ish build Bojangles.]  

In February 2022, ToNeTo Atlanta reported on a new Mrs. Winner's coming to 5660 Jonesboro Road in Lake City in Clayton County.  Ultimately the restaurant never opened and local eatery Ocean Seafood & Chicken opened in its intended space instead.    

What are your thoughts on the potential reopening of a Mrs. Winner's in Sandy Springs?  What chicken & biscuits centered chain do you think has the best overall product?  If Mrs. Winner's does once again expand, where would you like to see them open next in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Jodyml813 said...

Wondering if the decision to open is a play to get more doors before an acquisition ? I can't think of any other reason why it would make sense to reopen this unless they own the land or are paying taxes and rent etc so it's better to make something than pay for an empty building.

Anonymous said...

More like Mrs. Loser's. Did Mr. Winner die? And was he truly a winner when he was alive? What does this family consider a winner? Did the name originate from winner winner chicken dinner?

Is this what was left to her? She's a widow trying to fulfill the legacy of her late husband, in bringing chicken to the world, only with no business experience, which explains the constant closings. If they changed the name to Mrs. If-at-first-you-don't-succeed or Mrs. Practice-Makes-Perfect, maybe it will be received better by the public. Mrs. PMP or Mrs. Pimp. She could be an underdog story, like Rocky, how she kept pushing and trying until she won out against the heavyweight Apollo Chicken, aka Pollo Chick, ala Apollo Chick-fil-A.

Anonymous said...

Yoo gottsta get good food service workers! Ann dat ayn happnin mofo’s!

Anonymous said...

I think the location has potential. Now the food at Ms Winners. Well I will start with the sides. BLAND! Biscuit, dough ball that isn't cooled enough, the chicken is average. Hopefully they fixed the food issues. I am betting they didn't.

BigRedDogATL said...

Problem the first time around with this Roswell Road location was that they NEVER opened the dining room up to customers. Because of the pandemic, they operated as a drive-through only restaurant, meaning all orders were take-away orders to be eaten somewhere else. Even after the pandemic, they kept the dining room closed.

For me personally, if I go out for food, I want to option to eat it there, while it is still hot! Their packaging does nothing to maintain the temperature of the food, so it gets cold quickly. Without an open dining room, I refuse to buy their food. If they do reopen, they better also open the dining room or they won't get any of my business.

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