Original free-standing Chick-fil-A in DeKalb County gets a makeover

- Today there are more than 2,100 Chick-fil-A restaurants inside airports, shopping malls, college campuses, and on neighborhood streets in 46 states across America.

Did you know that prior to 1986, Chick-fil-A restaurants were only found in shopping malls?

And did you know that as the Atlanta-based chain transitioned from malls to street corners, the store currently located at North Druid Hills and Briarcliff Roads became the very first free-standing Chick-fil-A store when it was built in 1986?

Now 31 years later, that landmark store is about to be torn down and rebuilt in order to more efficiently and quickly serve their loyal customer base.

So there’s good news and bad news.  Let’s start with the bad.  This popular location will close in early August (the exact date is TBD, pending permitting), and will remain closed for 19 weeks.  Yes, you read that right, approximately 4.5 months.  If this is a store that you frequent (like I do), you will have to find another location to get your Chick-fil-A fix.  Nearby stores include locations at Piedmont Road and Sidney Marcus, Peachtree Industrial Blvd., North DeKalb Mall, Northlake Festival, Tucker, and Downtown Decatur.  In other words, we’ll get through this.

Now to the good news…when the demolition and construction is complete, your Chick-fil-A experience should be better than ever. When the store was built in 1986, it was never designed to handle the volume that it experiences daily in 2017. The actual footprint of the store will change very little as they are landlocked at the busy intersection.

Some of the biggest changes will include what they are calling a major kitchen redesign which will allow them to more easily and efficiently handle capacity, menu changes, or whatever the future brings.  Also, the drive-thru will be redesigned and basically flip-flopped to the other side of the store in order to allow for a better flow on and off the property.  Going forward, the playground will also be indoors, so that the youngsters can enjoy it no matter the weather conditions outside. In the end, the new store will look similar to the Northlake Festival store.

“I think we are just really looking toward the future,” said Store Operator Greg Mapoles. “We’re looking at what changes we can make today that will allow us to take care of our guests more efficiently and in a quicker manner in the future”. 

As far as the employees, the majority of the full-time staff have been temporarily placed at other stores in the area.

While the exact dates are not yet known, it is safe to assume that the store will be closed from early August until mid-December.  Of course, we will update you when those dates become firm.

We’ll get through this, everybody! 

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