Friday, January 5, 2024

[EXCLUSIVE] Long-running Moe's Franchise to Say Farewell, Ramen & Milk Tea Coming

January 4 ToNeTo Atlanta reported on the planned relocation of Blue Ribbon Grill from Briarciff LaVista Shopping Center.  Elsewhere in the center, Moe's Southwest Grill, which has been a tenant for about two decades, is also leaving.  

When Moe's became a tenant at 4030 LaVista Road in 2003, it was one of the first expansion franchises for what was then a small, less than 50 unit chain that had gotten its start along Peachtree Road in Buckhead in 2000.  

Today, however, following their 2007 acquisition by Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands, Moe's has grown into a huge business with more than 600 locations across the country.  With growth, however, comes challenges - competitors, COVID, poor franchisees, etc. - all of which have led to a more than 10 per cent drop in store unit count since 2017, when the chain reached 700 locations.  As recently as 2021 the company had "more than 700 locations," but according to the Moe's website, the chain is today comprised of just 624 units.  

The Moe's Average Unit Volume (AUV) is also on the decline from a reported $1.1 million in 2022 to a sub one million number, according to a source with knowledge of the chain's performance.  

Moe's is still a successful franchise but nearly a dozen Atlanta area units have closed in recent years including those in Buckhead at Phipps Plaza, Peachtree Center and CNN Center downtown, Atlantic Station, Ansley Mall, Ponce de Leon Avenue, Johnson Ferry Road and Roswell Road locations in Sandy Springs, Parkaire Landing in East Cobb, Cumberland Mall, and Marietta near Town Center at Cobb, among others.  To be clear, the chain continues to operate 90 locations across Georgia, according to its website.  

When the Tucker Moe's opened, it had little nearby competition save for a dingy Taco Bell.  The Taco Bell shuttered and was rebuilt into a new Chick-fil-A in 2011. In 2012 a new Chipotle Mexican Grill opened across the street on the site of a former Pizza Hut.  Later, in late 2017, a new Willy's Mexicana Grill also opened nearby, bringing additional competition to the area.  

The Northlake Moe's did complete a so-called "rapid refresh" a few years ago, which brought the brand's new [contrived] logo to the exterior, but little else in the way of renovation or improvement.  

The restaurant is due to close in March.  

Following the closure, there will still be two Tucker area Moe's to visit including one on Hugh Howell Road in the same plaza as Magnolia Room Cafeteria and a second on Chamblee Tucker Road in an outparcel of the Kroger-anchored Embry Village shopping center.  

Moe's closure at Northlake follows the late October closure of one of the areas oldest McDonald's at 3893 LaVista Road after more than five decades in business.  

Despite the closures, there is reason to be optimistic about the area.  

Regency Centers, which owns both Briarcliff LaVista and Briarcliff Village shopping centers, among others in Atlanta, has already signed a replacement tenant for Moe's.  Taichi Bubble Tea, a growing Asian franchise, plans to open in place of Moe's later this summer.  The new Taichi will mark the fourth location in Georgia for the Rochester, New York-based concept.  Despite the name, Taichi features assorted ramen, sushi and smoothies in addition to a wide variety of milk teas, fruit teas and lemon teas.  

The closest Taichi to Tucker is in Brighten Park in Brookhaven which opened in 2020, but the franchise also has outposts on Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners and on East Broad Street in Athens.  

Also in Tucker, KPot Korean BBQ & Hot Pot opened a new location in Northlake Festival in 2023 as did Five Guys Burgers & Fries.  

As for Briarcliff LaVista, rumors that anchor Michaels is moving to Northlake Festival are completely false, as according to a source close to the center, the arts and crafts retailer just renewed their lease and plans to renovate their store later this year.  It's also worth mentioning that the former Tucker Federal turned PNC Bank in the freestanding building facing Northlake [Mall] is actively being marketed and a replacement could come soon.  No lease has been signed yet but multiple banks have reportedly expressed interest in opening in the existing building.  

Are you surprised to see Moe's close at Northlake in Tucker?  Does the idea of a ramen and tea shop excite you?  What other types of restaurants would you like to see open in Northlake / Tucker?

Please share your thoughts below. 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is terrible news. Ill never go to the ramen restaurant like Ive never gone to the Korean restaurant. With BRG leaving, they should bulldoze the center and start over

Anonymous said...

I am a bit surprised that Moe’s is closing and am glad to know the Michael’s relocation rumors are not true

Anonymous said...

Lots of changes in that little shopping center. A little surprised to see Moe's leave. Not excited at all about a Tea and Ramon shop.

Cat said...

Tucker is in desperate need of Bubble Tea options, so this is great news! The other bubble tea place where Carvel used to be isn’t good. Their ice cream is fine, but the milk tea was lackluster. Hopefully this new addition is tasty.

Jeff said...

Frugal kitchens moved to that area too from toco hills location

Anonymous said...

I had heard the rumor of Michael's moving and thought with Blue Ribbon leaving that Moe's would also be out and the entire block maybe razed for something else. With a bubble tea store coming (whoopie), guess that's not the plan.

Anonymous said...

1) No.
2) No.
3) Tapas.

Anonymous said...

Quality has plummeted at Moe's. I'm pretty convinced they refrigerate unused items from the day before and reheat and serve. I got sick on my last visit and likely won't return.

Anonymous said...

Aw.. we love the BubbleCream place - wonderful owners and yummy milk tea

Anonymous said...

So excited for ramen and bubble tea! We need more diverse food options in Tucker.

Anonymous said...

i'd love to have the arby's that never materialized near cofer crossing, or the diner that was supposed to replace the old 'po folks just up lavista, or a real italian restaurant (sorry, bambinelli's), or a krispy kreme...

Anonymous said...

Not a bubble tea fan but will LOVE having a place for ramen!

Anonymous said...

Thank God !!

Anonymous said...

Your ridiculous....BRG is leaving because owners know nothing about running a restaurant and can't pay their rent..They are the ones that started the rumor about Michaels..now asking people for money to help them start at another location !!! WOW

Anonymous said...

Frugal Kitchens and Cabnits

Anonymous said...

Reopen A&P’s

Megan said...

I totally expected Moes to vacate once I heard rent was increased AND that BRG was leaving. No way could that small awkward and dark spot survive. Moes on Hugh Howel is bright and lots of parking. I also think the random phone provider store will not make it- if they haven’t left already! Tea and Ramen- wonderful!! We need more fares to choose from. I am all about a good noodle! The bubble tea place across the street is blah, but it’s popular enough to still be open! Something other than Panda Express in this area is great. I hope they do well!!
We would LOVE to see more regional choices: Thai, a Salad spot, Tex Mex, Salvadorian, Italian! ! Steak joint, and pizza.
We could also use another family friendly Pub with American fare.

Anonymous said...

Desperately?

Anonymous said...

I’m thrilled at having the Bubble Tea place! I like Bubble tea, but the thought of having a good (&, hopefully, reasonably priced) ramen place nearby is delightful!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy Michael's is staying and they will do a remodel. Even though the store is well stocked it is very dated. I love that they installed some self checkouts. That makes me go there more often.

Anonymous said...

wish Trader Joe’s would move into Northlake festival. plenty of parking……lots of folks would flock there.. what about an aggressive real estate agent approaching Trader Joe’s as a possibility. closest one at Foram.

Anonymous said...

Right! Thank God it will be another empty shopping center. We need more empty retail space in the Northlake Mall area.

Anonymous said...

Chilean and Honduran are good options too.

Anonymous said...

to the person who said bulldoze the center and start over just because they're picky about ethnic restaurants in area...up yours!

Anonymous said...

Hate to hear Moe’s is leaving. I find it better and lower priced than the one on Hugh Howell. Tucker needs Whataburger, Raising Canes, and Arbys.

Anonymous said...

You’re missing out

Anonymous said...

Yes Desperately….

Anonymous said...

Yes!

Anonymous said...

Not interested in ramen. That is the Moe's I go to.

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