Wednesday, May 15, 2024

[CLOSURE ALERT] Local Neighbors Have One Less Applebee's to Ignore

Applebee's Grill+Bar has closed its longstanding restaurant at 4353 Lawrenceville Highway in Tucker's Cofer Crossing.  The restaurant, which occupied a roughly 5,000 square foot out parcel of the Walmart and Kroger anchored power center, reportedly closed suddenly on May 13, without prior notice to patrons or staff.  

DeKalb County property records indicate that the restaurant building was constructed in 1998 and unlike the center itself, is owned independently.  

No reason was provided for the closure, but a ToNeTo Atlanta reader who asked a manager at the Snellville location was reportedly told he had not heard of the closure but surmised it might have closed because "the management staff was better looking in Snellville."  

As chain restaurants go, Applebee's is extraordinarily average, and the more likely cause of the closure is that people simply don't go as frequently as they once did.  In Tucker, this is likely due to newer and better options that have opened and the public's general belief that - despite the hit Walker Hays song - Applebee's is not all that good or the perfect date night destination.  

The Tucker restaurant occupies a 1.2 acre parcel, according to DeKalb County property records.  There is no word yet on what may replace it, but its size, location, and the fact that it's not officially part of Cofer Crossing likely makes it a desirable property.  

Although some may not realize it, Applebee's actually got its start in metro Atlanta.  Bill and T.J. Palmer opened T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs on Memorial Drive in Decatur on November 19, 1980.  The duo converted an old "Judy's Hamburgers" building.  Judy's had been sued by Wendy's for copying their concept, and they were put out of business, leaving several vacant buildings around metro Atlanta. (More Applebee's history can be found here.)

Today, following its 2007 acquisition by IHOP, Applebee's is part of Dine Brands Global, Inc., the parent company formed to include Applebee's, IHOP, and more recently, Fuzzy's Taco Shop.  After peaking at about 1,800 restaurants in 2013, Applebee's currently has a little more than 1,600 restaurants globally.  

In metro Atlanta, the company has in years past shuttered locations in Sandy Springs, Gainesville, Dunwoody, and in Decatur at North DeKalb Mall.  Notably, the former Sandy Springs restaurant is now home to City Barbeque, while the former Dunwoody location is now Hyderabad House Atlanta, an Indian restaurant.

There are still several Applebee's units open and operating in metro Atlanta including the aforementioned Scenic Highway restaurant in Snellville as well as those on Spring Road in Smyrna, Memorial Drive in Decatur, Stone Mountain Highway in Stone Mountain, and Franklin Road in Marietta, among others.  

When was the last time you visited an Applebee's restaurant?  Did you know that Applebee's still had more than 1,600 locations?  What would you like to see open in place of the Applebee's in Tucker?

Please share your thoughts below. 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

it might have closed because "the management staff was better looking in Snellville."

Business is not a joke. These are people's jobs, paychecks, lives. Comments like this indicate that Applebees is not a serious company.

This restaurant had a rating of 3.5 on Google, which is terrible. The other side of the coin is that if people value their jobs, they do them well. Otherwise, customers quit coming.

Ham said...

Went to another location to meet some friends for an early dinner. About four the place was mostly empty which wasn't surprising for a weekday. However, there were like six drunks sitting around the bar arguing and cussing at each other. It was all friendly as things like that go but did not make for a nice dining experience. Overall food and service was good but see no real reason to go back.

Anonymous said...

I could see this building make a nice bank, like the old Fuddruckers at Northlake.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there are still 1600 locations nationwide. Don't think they have been a quality restaurant for a long time. Would be nice if a good restaurant/bar goes into the Tucker location.

Anonymous said...

"extraordinarily average" yes, albeit relative. keep expectations in check, and apple bee's and other keystone chains of the 90s are a gawdsend in the middle of Nowhere, USA.

Anonymous said...

The manager in Snellville is a narcissist. He thinks he’s a hottie because he’s got big fat junk. He takes every opportunity to show it to you too. No matter, he thinks that joke is funny.

Anonymous said...

Loved Fuddruckers, Great Suggestion !!

Alex said...

I'm curious how Judy's Hamburgers copied Wendy's concept? Did they copy the buffet idea that Wendy's was operating around that time?

Anonymous said...

That location staff and management has been terrible for many years

Anonymous said...

I forgot all about Judy's. It was a carbon copy of Wendy's, including the food.

Anonymous said...

"Applebee's has rats!"

Anonymous said...

Was last in there May 9. Business tanked during pandemic and never picked back up. Goodbye to Ms. Wanda and all the folks at Applebee's who took care of me over the years...

Anonymous said...

I went in there for dinner one time and saw our waitress get into a fight with someone in the kitchen. All I could do is sit there and yell “WORLDSTARRRRR”. All in all this place was awful and service was terrible. They did Tucker patrons a favor by finally closing the doors for good. I recommend an outback to take its place.

Anonymous said...

Hi this is Wanda I gave them 21 years of my life when I got to work Monday they where all ready packing up no notice or no explanation I’m so hurt to think they would have did better by me being a long-term employee

Anonymous said...

I used to live Applebees and went there practically weekly with my co-workers. Several years ago, the service at all locations I visited was not good. Even though there were only 2 or 3 customers, it would take so long for a server to come to our table and we’d have to track them down if we needed napkins or a refill. I think their poor service is a large reason for their downfall.

Anonymous said...

If you lived there, why did you have to wait at all? Didn’t you just go get and cook your own food and serve it to yourself? I mean, if you lived there…..

Anonymous said...

Because it was Judy’s turn to cry.

Skrybe said...

Oh no! Not the Applebee's right around the corner from my job that I never, ever go to for lunch!

Seriously, lunch at Kroger was a better option.

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